John "Jack" Lyall

John "Jack" Lyall was raised on Tyneside and learned all his football there, a six foot two inch goalkeeper, from eighteen years old starting with his local Jarrow club. But he was born on Tayside, in Dundee, a Scot, his mother from the city itself, his father, a Plasterer-Joiner from Newburgh across the water in Fife. And the family more generally would keep connections, uncles and aunts, who lived and died in the city and Jack himself would later in his career before an effective swansong at Ayr in 1914-15 spend the previous three seasons and make eighty-three starts at Dundee F.C.. That was towards the end of a career over almost a decade and half that in addition would take in Sheffield Wednesday from early 1901 to 1909 and Manchester City (1909-11) with a single cap awarded in 1905, a defeat to England, whilst at the former.  

However, football could be seen as just one third of a life that would take Lyall both east- and westward. In the Great War he served in the Royal Engineers to begin with in the UK and from 1917 first in South Africa and then in India, returning on demobilisation to Jarrow and clearly intent on picking up the pieces there. A plasterer to trade and went into the building business with his brothers. However, it is then said that his health began to fail, perhaps a result of India, and decision was made by him and his wife, he had in South Shields in 1902 married Elizabeth Martin, to emigrate with their two Sheffield-born children. 

In 1924 they went to Canada, he first but by 1927 had crossed the border to settle in Detroit. And it was there he would spend the rest of life, working to begin with as a plasterer once more but becoming a janitor for the city's National Bank. And whilst there is no evidence  of involvement in "soccer" his past prowess and reputation was clearly recognised. The nationwide obituaries on his death at the age of sixty-three in 1944, Elizabeth following him just a year later and still in Motor City, speak to that. 

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