OBITUARY: Johnny Carlyle 1929-2017

Johnny Carlyle, pictured at Falkirk Ice Rink in 1946
Johnny Carlyle, pictured at Falkirk Ice Rink in 1946

Former Falkirk Lions ice hockey great Johnny Carlyle has died, aged 87.

He passed away in Forth Valley Royal Hospital on Saturday and is survived by wife Joan, son Garry and daughter-in-law Rosemary and grandchildren Dylan, Ryan and Harry.

Johnny Carlyle. Falkirk Lions ice hockey player.

Johnny Carlyle. Falkirk Lions ice hockey player.

Carlyle was born on July 31, 1929 and raised in Falkirk where he began his ice hockey career at the rink on Grangemouth Road, making his debut aged 17 after rising through the ranks of the reserves and Cubs.

He went on to play more than 300 games for the local Falkirk Lions as both a forward and a defender helping the team to three national play-off titles before the club folded in 1955.

He was called up to the Great Britain squad for the Ice Hockey World Championships in 1950 and 1951 and would go on to further international success with his future clubs Harringey Racers, Brighton Tigers, Edinburgh Royals and Nottinham Panthers. In total he received nine Scotland caps too.

He returned to Murrayfield to coach and it was a successful change from ice to becnh as he led the team to success in the 1960-61 season and was then called into the GB set-up again as a player-coach.

His return to the ice ontinued the following season when he moved in the same role back to Brighton and again returned to Edinburgh, with Murrayfiled Racers where he spent ten successful seasons and was named coach for the All-star team four times.

Upon retiring in 1973 he became a familiar face in British ice hockey and was named in the British Hall of Fame and in 2012 was included in The Falkirk Herald’s FH100 Sport - a guide to the 100 sporting stars to influence the town and district. Carlyle ranked highly.

Edinburgh Capitals have also paid tribute to him on the club website.