Cheltenham Town: Where are they now? Martin Boyle
MARTIN Boyle began to focus on his career away from semi-professional football after leaving Cheltenham Town in 1997.
But that did not stop him continuing to play until the age of 42, turning out for Yate Town Reserves until he finally retired three years ago.
Former Bristol Rovers professional Boyle still enjoys five-a-side matches with fellow ex-Robin Gary Hewlett, but his family and working life have taken priority.
After helping Cheltenham win promotion to the Conference in 1997, Boyle joined Tim Harris' Newport before a spell with Forest Green Rovers, but he failed to make an impact at The Lawn.
He then moved on to Paulton Rovers, Mangotsfield United and Yate Town, where he remained for the rest of his playing days.
While he was at Cheltenham, Boyle worked as a builder and brick layer, but he started as a site manager, working on projects including the Imax Cinema in Bristol and development at Bath University.
Bristol-based Boyle is now a project manager for ER Hemmings.
"After I left Cheltenham I started slipping down the footballing chain really because my priorities changed," Boyle said.
"I had a young family and my career was taking off, so I decided I just wanted to enjoy my football and support my two daughters, who both play themselves.
"I still play in the odd charity match, but the pitches are getting too big for me these days and the old hamstrings can't cope.
"I enjoy having laugh and playing at Goals in Bristol with the lads and that keeps me fit, although people who know me will laugh at that statement!"
Boyle was part of the Cheltenham team that finished runners-up in 1994/95 and 1996/97 and third in 1995/96.
Lindsay Parsons paid £6,000 to Bath City for Boyle's services, with Chris Banks also making the same move for £10,000 with both fees set by tribunal.
He formed an effective strike partnership with Jimmy Smith in his first season at Whaddon Road, when both players passed 20 goals.
He netted a hat-trick against Corby Town in August 1994 in Cheltenham's 8-0 victory and also scored in a top-of-the-table clash with eventual champions Hednesford Town at Whaddon Road, which the Robins won 2-0.
"I remember wanting to join Cheltenham because I knew we'd be competitive in league and cup competitions and at Bath we had a good bunch of lads, but it didn't really suit my style of play," Boyle said.
"I wanted a different challenge and Lindsay's team played passing football, so although it was a step down it was the right move for me."
Boyle was not aware Banks was also making the move from Twerton Park until he arrived at the tribunal hearing.
The pair both made a positive impact with their new club, who were battling for a return to the Conference.
"We all gelled well and I remember at times having to play second fiddle to Jimmy Smith and Jason Eaton," Boyle said.
"But I scored the winner against Leek Town early in my first season and we felt after that we were a good side because Leek were among the favourites having switched from the Unibond League.
"I also remember playing against Hednesford when Mark Freeman was there and he headbutting a colleague accidentally trying to challenge me and blood going everywhere!
"I shattered my collarbone playing against Rushden and Diamonds after colliding with Neil Smith, who had left us to join them, which was painful.
"But I scored on my first game back and another one that sticks out is against Bath in an FA Cup qualifying replay, when I levelled in the last minute and we went on to win 4-1 in extra-time.
"I always keep an eye out for Cheltenham's results and I must admit I was a little jealous when they won at Wembley the year after I left!
"But they've done so well to get into the Football League, which is where I think they deserve to be and they were good days for me."
Boyle, now 45, lives in the Coalpit Heath area of Bristol with his wife Catherine and daughters Ellie (13) and Madeleine (11).