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Our greatest sports star: Humble, wonderful Jack Kyle


Jack Kyle

Jack Kyle

Jack Kyle

Jack Kyle

?INPHO/Dan Sheridan


Jack Kyle

The tributes from the great and good of rugby that followed the sad passing of Jack Kyle recently told you all you needed to know about this magnificent man's prowess on the pitch and his generous, humble, caring nature off it.

John Wilson Kyle wasn't just a wonderful rugby player... he was a wonderful human being.

He spent many years of his life as a doctor in Africa saving the lives of thousands.

Before that, Jack played rugby in the amateur era and quite simply was one of the greatest sports stars of his generation or any other for that matter.

"They seek him here, they seek him there... Those Frenchies seek him everywhere... That paragon of pace and guile... That damned elusive Jackie Kyle..." were the famous words of one journalist after witnessing the iconic Kyle at his bewildering best during a game at Ravenhill.

The Belfast man, who passed away in November aged 88, played for Ireland between 1947 and 1958, winning 46 caps. The highlight came in 1948 when he masterminded Ireland's Grand Slam success with a series of scintillating displays. It would take Ireland another 61 years before they would win the Slam again, outlining the achievement of Jack and his team-mates.

In 1949, Jack weaved his magic from fly-half again inspiring Ireland to Triple Crown glory and in 1950, he played for the British and Irish Lions on their tour to New Zealand and Australia.

He dazzled, so much so that fans on the other side of the world were left as mesmerised by his skills as those in Ireland. Not surprisingly, in 2002 Jack was named Ireland's greatest rugby player by the Irish Rugby Football Union - a fitting title for an amazing man.