Popular Southerners: Peter Kyle


October 30, 1905
Peter Kyle possesses that unemotional temperament that makes for success. He is, viewed by student of character, serenely and calmly indifferent to what happens. When he came to Tottenham from Scotland at the beginning of the season, he courted comparison between himself and Vivian Woodward, England’s amateur centre. He accepted the situation, apparently, without any misgiving though, if he had thought, he must have known that, had he failed to prove nothing more than an ordinary passable player, he would have asked, unconsciously it is true, to have been seriously criticised.

Centre-forwards nowadays are few and far between; and it so happened that Woodward, exploiting the game in far off lands, had set up a standard high and lofty – almost impossibly high, if we are to judge the general run of present day pivots. But Kyle came, and, without ostentation, conquered.

There can be no doubt as to his captivating the South; and this notwithstanding that for years he struggled to justify himself. It seems all so strange, in view of Kyle’s career, that he should have turned up at Tottenham and made the name he sought for years ago, and here in his struggle for some establishment you get the true index to his character.

As a youngster, born in a district where every boy must play football – he came into being at Glasgow – he assimilated his first lesson when, as a stripling, he kicked the big ball whenever he had the chance; moreover, he used to go to see the performances of the Celtic, and as a spectator of the doings of the big Glasgow club he realised the immense possibilities of a professional footballer.

The steel trade at that time claimed him – if accident should happen he would return to it tomorrow – but he developed an unwearable fondness for the game, and when, after playing for Parkhead and the Clyde team, an offer came along to chance his arm in a serious sense, he came north. I remember his coming.

There were great many “Mac’s” in the Anfield eleven then. Kyle was quite a boy. I regarded him as a promising player – one who had rough corners to be rubbed off. And the want of education – shall I say the inability to become one of a very big and strenuous world – probably caused him to migrate.

From the time he left Clyde he was tossed about on the wave of professional football. He was like a man groping his way, and in order to reach the goal he had set himself to reach he went from Lancashire to Leicester, where he played for the Fosse.

The boom being on in the South, he hied himself to West Ham. His next move was Kettering. Then came bad times, and like the wise man he is he went home to work at his trade. He was in the languishing stage, and it were, trying to regain a place in English football, But for two seasons, to use his own words, “I never had a chance,” and as a way out of the difficulty he went on playing just how he could.

Kyle is not the man who would hurry. You would almost believe he was a Micawber if you did not know that he is a philosopher; and while he was waiting for his chance he wore the colours of Royal Albert. Shrewd John Cameron heard about him, and brought him to Tottenham. It was a bold move, but the Hotspur secretary knows the game from A to Z; and so Kyle the rover has come to North London as the man who is prepared to do what he can in the position so nobly filled by Woodward. He has done more than he must have though he was capable of doing.

There is about him something that is strongly reminiscent of the old Scotch school. He is quiet, unaffected – the type of players 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. It may be that he has taken the Tottenham school too seriously. However, he had made his mark after being somewhat of a rolling stone. Physically he is well equipped. He stands 5ft. 8in. and scales 11st. 6lb.; and he is sufficiently juvenile to be assured of a long career. He is only 25 years of age.
(Athletic News: October 30, 1905)

Peter Kyle, Tottenham Hotspur F.C. (Athletic News: October 30, 1905).

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