Monday 29 September 2014

The Great Jack Kyle

Yesterday morning, it was with great pleasure — and a large degree of nostalgia — that I listened to Jack Kyle, at 88 years of age and accompanied by his daughter, in conversation with Miriam O'Callaghan on her radio programme.

Jack Kyle
In my early youth my ambition, with others, was to play Gaelic Football and to try our hands at hurling with all kinds of imitation hurleys. When the International Rugby season began I would listen intently to Liam Brown and Austin Darragh describing the progress of the Irish team. They had some great players at the time, but the shining light was Jack Kyle. He was the greatest out-half of that era, closely followed by the recently deceased Cliff Morgan of Wales.

Following a particularly brilliant Kyle try against France at Ravenhill, Belfast in the early fifties, the great rugby reporter of the time, the late Arthur P. McWeeney, writing in the Sunday Independent, borrowed from the introductory words to the popular radio drama of the time "The Scarlet Pimpernel":
They seek him here, they seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him every where,
The paragon of craft and guile,
The daring elusive Jackie Kyle.

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