Ireland pays tribute to Kyle

Date published: December 3 2014

Ireland legends Willie John McBride and Mike Gibson spoke glowingly of the late Jack Kyle at a thanksgiving service on Tuesday in Belfast.

Former Ireland and Lions star Kyle, who helped Ireland to their first Grand Slam in 1948 and is regarded as one of the country’s greatest ever players, passed away last week aged 88.

“He was one of the great men,” said McBride.

“How do you define ‘gentleman’. Well, for me it is two words and those are ‘Jack Kyle’.

“He was just one of the great men of this world and I am just proud I had him as a friend.”

“Unfortunately I didn’t see him when he was at his prime but I don’t think there would be many people arguing with that assessment,” said Gibson.

“I was with Jack at a dinner when he was named as the best player ever produced by Ireland and he felt embarrassed by it, he felt humbled by it – but that was the nature of the man.”

Ulster players Rory Best, Tommy Bowe, Andrew Trimble, Craig Gilroy and Iain Henderson were all in attendance, along with former Lions great Syd Millar.