was born on 10th January 1926 in
. He was educated at
and studied medicine at Queen's University,
. He is commonly referred to as Jack Kyle or Jackie Kyle. His brother-in-law is
the late Irish rugby international Noel Henderson who married his sister, Betty
1947 and 1958, he played 46 times for
, and scored 24 points.
Jackie Kyle in the 1947 Irish Triple Crown side
highlight of his
career came during the 1948 Five Nations Championship when he helped
win a grand slam for the first time.
the 1948 Irish side that won the Grand Slam with Kyle on the ground extreme
He played for the British Lions in 1950 on their tour
, playing in 20 of the 29 games. He captained Ireland on 6 occasions between
1953 and 1954 and scored a drop goal and 7 tries for his country, the most
memorable being his try at Ravenhill in 1953 when he left four Frenchmen in his
wake, following a 30 yard jinking, darting run. An
impressed rugby journalist Paul MacWeeney parodied The Scarlet Pimpernel
with the lines:
seek him here, they seek him there
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
That paragon of pace and guile,
That demned elusive Jackie Kyle.
was a past captain of Queen’s University, Ulster and of the Barbarians and
captained the combined Ireland/Scotland XV team in the four country game played
to open the new West stand at Lansdowne Road in 1955.He retired from
international rugby in 1958 and went on to play for some of the lower teams in
NIFC until 1961.
was awarded an OBE on 3rd March 1959 for his contribution to rugby
and when he became a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, he emigrated to
where his life’s work and satisfaction was to help the poor and
underprivileged with his medical skills. In 1991 he was awarded an honorary
doctorate of Social Sciences by Queen’s University for his dedicated work in
over many years. He is now back living in Co Down, where he is enjoying his
retirement. He remained involved in rugby and in November 2001 established the
Jack Kyle Bursary Fund in support of the Queen's
1999 he was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame, and in 2002 he
was named the Greatest Ever Irish Rugby Player by the Irish Rugby Football
Union, and in 2008 he was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame.
Jack Kyle in 2009
would not be another 61 years before
won the Grand Slam again in 2009.