kevin kyle

Player of the Day: Kevin Kyle

Published:
by Ashley Houghton

Former Scotland international in the spotlight.

Kevin Kyle spent eight years with Sunderland after joining as a youth from Ayr United in 1998.

The Stranraer-born youngster joined up with the Black Cats’ reserve team before making his first-team debut in a 1-0 win at Southampton in April 2001.

Kevin had loan spells with Huddersfield Town, Darlington and Rochdale before he began to break into the Sunderland first-team at the start of the 2002-03 season.

Kyle’s first Black Cats goal came in a 3-2 League Cup win at Arsenal in November 2002 as Howard Wilkinson recorded his first win as Sunderland boss.

Following relegation from the top-flight, the Scottish international was regularly utilised by new manager Mick McCarthy as the Black Cats set about returning to the Barclays Premier League immediately.

And the Scot was a key figure as McCarthy’s side narrowly missed out in the playoff semi-finals to Crystal Palace.

Kyle notched in both legs with the Eagles, after previously notching 14 goals in all competitions, but Sunderland lost on penalties and would have to wait until the following campaign to return to the top-flight.

Unfortunately for Kevin, a hip injury curtailed his progress at the Stadium of Light and he would make just seven appearances as McCarthy’s side raced to the Championship title during the 2004-05 season.

The Scot returned at the start of the 2005-06 Premier League campaign but couldn’t help Sunderland survive as immediate relegation followed with Kyle’s last goal for the club coming in a 2-1 defeat at Manchester City.

He moved to Coventry City in 2006 for a reported fee of £600,000 before returning to his native Scotland with Kilmarnock in 2009.

Spells with Hearts and Rangers followed before he moved to his current club, Ayr United, at the start of the 2013-14 season.

Capped ten times by his country, Kyle returned figures of 19 goals in 109 games for the Black Cats.