John "Jack" "Bertie" Herbert Fyfe

John Fyfe, known by some as Bertie from his middle name and as Jack by others was a right-winger, at least to start with, who had a footballing impact in two countries. One was Scotland, by which he was awarded a single cap, although it might well have been more, and the other, for once not England, not Liverpool, Manchester or Newcastle, but Calcutta. 

He was born in 1873 in Girvan of a father, a Draper then a travelling Drapers' Salesman from Ireland, and a Glasgow mother. As a result as a child he was moved around, also staying in Greenock and Glasgow and it was in the latter, where he learned the game. Whilst living in Partick he began at South Western, at Copeland or Copland Park, more or less where Ibrox is today, winning a junior cap before in 1893 being signed by St. Mirren. But he remained at Love Street for only a single season, in 1894 joining Third Lanark at the first Cathkin just a couple of miles across the Clyde, there remaining for two seasons and winning his international recognition.

However, he was also throughout working as a Commercial Clerk and from 1896 that seems to have become more important, his football needing to be fitted around it, rather than the other way. Thus, having spent a season at Clyde and then one, winning the Ayrshire Charity Cup at Ayr Parkhouse, which in 1910 would become one half of Ayr Utd., he, aged just twenty-five, set sail for India, eventually to Calcutta or Kolkuta, as it is now named. There he joined Calcutta FC, leading its line, top-scoring and with it winning the Indian FA Shield on several occasions. 

Jack, as he seemed to be called there, would remain in India for over thirty years, rising to be a partner and then a director of shipping company. How long he continued to play football is unknown but he did leave Calcutta and by the end of the first decade of the 20th Century not least because in December 1911 he married in Karachi. His bride was Evelyn Hemus from Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire. They would have two sons and two daughters, one of whom would die in infancy. All would be born on the Indian sub-continent, although one of the sons, Kenneth, would become a rugby international, and for Scotland. 

The Fyfes would return to Britain in the early 1930s, settling first in Bedford and then, clearly very comfortably-off, in Hertfordshire. And it would be there in 1950, in the County Hospital in Hertford itself, that at just short of the the age of seventy-eight John Fyfe, Bertie, Jack, would pass away, survived by Evelyn by just over the decade. She would die, also in Hertford, in 1961 at eighty.

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