THE sixth in Cowdenbeath football history guru David Allan's Hometown Heroes series is George Kyle, a fine goalkeeper.

George was born in Viewfield Terrace, Dunfermline, in 1908. His father was John ‘Dirty’ Kyle, an old 42nd Highlander who had learned his football as a back out in India.

After turning out for Lethans Heatherbell (from Saline) and Kelty Rangers, George Kyle stepped up at the age of 17 to play for East Stirling. He subsequently was signed for Cowdenbeath by future Manchester United manager, Scott Duncan, on Christmas Eve 1930.

He was the replacement for Cowden’s Scotland internationalist goalkeeper Bob Middleton, who had been transferred to Sunderland.

George’s spell at Central Park lasted until 1932 and included a spell on loan to his home town club Dunfermline. He dropped out of the Cowden team after being injured in a cup tie against St Johnstone – finishing the 90 minutes but collapsing once back in the dressing room.

Dave Edwards, who lived in Primmer Place and had played for Morton when they won the Scottish Cup in 1922, replaced him in the side and George then couldn’t get his place back. Cowdenbeath though was to become George’s adopted home town. After leaving Central Park, George joined the Welsh club Bangor City where he played for 3 years. He was a great favourite with the Bangor crowd – a capable and courageous custodian as the Local Press described him. He then returned to Scotland and rejoined East Stirling although Hamilton Accies had also wanted him to sign.

In 1939, when war broke out, as a territorial George was called up by the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry and went to France as part of the BEF in January 1940. He was to be one of the many thousands who were evacuated from Dunkirk.

During the war, he became a Sergeant-Major whilst still continuing with his football, guesting for New Brighton and turning out for an Army XI. Among his colleagues in the Army side at Aldershot Command was Matt Busby.

George long relished the tale of how at one time the future Sir Matt had to call Sergeant-Major Kyle ‘sir’! George’s younger brother, Alex Kyle, was also in the Fife & Forfar Yeomanry before transferring to the Hussars as a Sergeant. He was captured by the Germans in May 1940 and later died as a consequence of his wounds in a German Stalag.

George also loved the stage and had first trod the boards as a boy during the 1st World War. In the forces he took part in performances alongside such names as Wilfred Pickles and Beatrice Lillie.

At the end of the War, George returned to Cowdenbeath and went on to become one of West Fife's most popular entertainers. He turned down many offers to turn professional.

George was compere at Cowdenbeath Labour Club ('The Ritz') for 14 years and later formed a double act with his wife Cathie. He was a comedian, singer and entertainer in the best Scottish tradition. He hosted, compered and organised shows at venues all round Fife.

George’s grandson, Raymond George Kyle Allan, kept goal for Cowdenbeath, Forfar, Brechin, Motherwell and Raith Rovers in a senior career spanning 25 years. Raymond made a record 422 League appearances for Cowden.

In 1983 George was named as Cowdenbeath’s ‘Citizen of the Year’ and he was one of Cowdenbeath’s biggest personalities for many years. He died aged 89 in 1998.