Peter Kyle

Peter Kyle
Peter Kyle
● Peter Kyle, 1905 (SPT)

probably born in Scotland

Peter Kyle was born on Saturday, 21st December, 1878 in Cadder, East Dunbartonshire.

The 5' 9½ (10st 7lbs) forward signed for George Easton's Thistle on Saturday, 22nd April, 1905, having most recently been with Royal Albert.

Aged 26, he made his only appearance on Saturday, 29th April, 1905, in a 2-0 defeat away to Queen's Park in the Glasgow League.

There were no goals for Peter in his one-off appearance for Thistle.

His club-list included Parkhead, Clyde, Larkhall Thistle, Liverpool, Leicester Fosse, West Ham United, Kettering Town, Wellingborough, Aberdeen, Cowdenbeath, Heart of Midlothian, Port Glasgow Athletic, Royal Albert, Partick Thistle, Tottenham Hotspur, Woolwich Arsenal, Aston Villa, Sheffield United, Watford and Raith Rovers.

Peter died on Saturday, 19th January, 1957, in Glasgow, aged 78.

Bio Extra

If you think he looks kinda mean then you'd be right, for a fierce temper was one of Kyle's trademarks. Sacked at Kettering, Tottenham, Sheffield United and Watford for fighting during training and matches, his was a career disrupted by disciplinary problems and disputes with both clubs and team mates. And yet, there was another side to him, as the October 1905 pen pic in the Athletic News told:

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There is about him something that is strongly reminiscent of the old Scotch school. He is quiet, unaffected – the type of player who must be understood before he can be appreciated. He is the mainspring of a machine; the man who will keep it running if all the cogs are in sympathy with one another. He has individuality; he as ideas of his own. Close dribbling, an insistence to keep the ball on the ground, the constant endeavour to weave a profitable pattern, stamp Kyle as an intellectual player. He can shoot, too, but he does not shoot often enough. Physically he is well equipped.

Hooked on football from a kid, Peter used to go and see Celtic play, and dreamed that this could be his future career path. It was the steel trade that gave him his first working wage, but he always had a foot in some footballing door, and this was his primary passion. At the age of 17, his final year of juvenile grade football was played with Linton Villa, before he stepped up to the juniors with Parkhead; one step closer to Celtic! He did well there, and was signed by First Division Clyde in October, 1898. He played 9 League games that term, scoring twice, and also guested once for Larkhall Thistle during that season after a disciplinary incident at Clyde. He was very much regarded as a promising player, albeit one with rough corners waiting to be smoothed, and Liverpool fancied they could be the ones to tame the beast, and let him flourish. A huge fee of £100 was paid to Clyde in May, 1899.

He made his Football League debut at Stoke in September that year, and played in four of Liverpool’s first five League fixtures that season. It never quite worked out for him however, and an FA Cup appearance against Stoke was his only other notable contribution to the Anfield club's cause. He stepped down to the Second Division with Leicester Fosse in May 1900. He enjoyed a full season there, missing only 3 games and scoring 4 goals in 32 appearances, before joining Southern League West Ham United at the end of September, making 3 appearances for them in November 1901. The boom being on in the South, Peter seemed to drift around from one deal to the next in his quest to make professional football pay. There was a spell with Northamptonshire Southern League club Kettering Town in late 1901, before he joined Wellingborough early in 1902.

By his own admission he was languishing at this stage, and returned home to Scotland to press the re-set button. Not that he settled down back home though. He tried for Aberdeen once, playing at Dundee in September 1902, before joining Cowdenbeath at the end of December 1902 where he remained for several months. He played four games for Heart of Midlothian in August and September 1903 before a surprise return to Leicester Fosse in March 1904, a move which lasted a matter of weeks. The odds on some sort of scrap being involved are short! The following month he had signed with Port Glasgow Athletic, then it was on to Royal Albert in December, 1904.

It was announced that he'd signed for Thistle in April 1905 and he even played in a Glasgow League game against Queen's Park at Hampden. Something quickly turned sour with the deal though, and before anyone knew what was happening, the restless Kyle was on his travels once more, returning to The Southern League with Tottenham Hotspur. As we now know, it was the shrewd Hotspur secretary, John Cameron, who had heard about his availability, and made the bold move. It was reckoned Cameron knew the game from A to Z, and if he thought Kyle was the man to replace the legendary Woodward as Tottenham centre, then there must have been something about the player indeed. He was an on-field success there, scoring 11 goals in 29 League and FA Cup matches. Trouble was never too far away however; he was reportedly involved in a fracas with teammate Christopher Carrick and suspended by the club.

In April 1906 he joined Woolwich Arsenal, and scored twice on his debut, Arsenal defeating Manchester City by 4 goals to 1 on 1st September 1906, a somewhat bizarre day on which half the Man City lot were reportedly suffering from the effects of sunstroke! Again, he was prolific in front of goal, scoring 14 goals in 35 League and Cup appearances (finishing second to Charlie Satterthwaite’s 19 strikes in Arsenal’s goal scoring charts) as Arsenal finished seventh. He also played in their 1907 FA Cup semi final defeat to eventual winners, Sheffield Wednesday, at St Andrews, Birmingham. Peter's good form was such that, in March 1907, he was selected for a Scotland trial match, albeit a full cap was never forthcoming. 23 goals in 60 appearances marked one of his most succesful stints anywhere, and only the need for a cash injection meant that an offer from Aston Villa in March 1908 was accepted. He played a number of times straight away as Villa finished the second placed team in England. Peter couldn't really break in to that first class side the following season, and in October 1908 he was transferred to Sheffield United for the handsome sum of £1,100. He scored 4 goals in 10 games for The Blades during the remainder of the season.

There was another return to Scotland for the start of 1909-10, with Peter signing for a second spell with Royal Albert. However, Southern League Watford came calling in November 1909 and our man was off again! He scored 4 goals in 13 appearances, but his old failings came back to haunt him once more due to fisticuffs involving he, Frank Cotterill and Jock Grieve; “utterly disgraceful and demoralising conduct”, said the West Herts Post. He returned to Scotland to re-join Royal Albert for a third time in the close season of 1910, and in July 1911 he signed with Raith Rovers, where his long and winding footballing journey came to an end.

(WS/VIF)



Historian's note: JL reckons that Peter was born in Glasgow on 1st January 1878. WIK says he was born in Rutherglen in September 1880 and that he died in 1961. 11v11 and the very well researched LFH concur with b. 21 December 1878 @ Cadder & d. 19 January 1957.

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