Kyle Lightbourne Interview

Taking time from his busy family life and coaching schedule, former Bermudian international footballer and cricketer Kyle Lightbourne, talks to Bescot Banter.
Taking time from his busy family life and coaching schedule, former Bermudian international footballer and cricketer Kyle Lightbourne, talks to Bescot Banter.

You began your career as an apprentice for Pembroke Hamilton, after progressing through their ranks you joined the first team. In 1992, after around six years and several first team appearances you left Bermuda and joined Scarborough. Was it always your ambition to play in England and what attracted you to Scarborough?

KL: As a young boy growing up in Bermuda I dreamed of playing professional football. My opportunity came as a surprise at the age of twenty-three.

How did you cope with the transition from Bermuda to England? The weather alone must have been a huge culture shock.

KL: The weather was not a problem, the biggest thing for me was adjusting to the pace of the game, it was a lot faster than playing in Bermuda.

After around 20 first team appearances for Scarborough, you joined Walsall on a free transfer following an impressive trial. What were your first impressions of the club?

KL: Moving to Walsall was the best thing for my career, it was a club that was used to playing at a high-level, and from day one I felt at home at Walsall, I said to myself I've got to make it here.

What did you think of then Walsall manager Kenny Hibbitt and assistant Paul Taylor?

KL:I have a lot of time for Kenny Hibbitt and Paul Taylor because they put a lot of time in with me helping me with my game.

You played an integral part in Walsall’s promotion to Division Two in the 1994-1995 season, scoring 27 goals and forming an amazing partnership with Kevin Wilson. What are your memories of that season?

KL: Like you said, Kevin Wilson and myself had an amazing partnership, it was like we knew where one another was at all times, and getting promoted the last game of the season was amazing.

The following two seasons you were top scorer on both occasions and helped the club consolidate their Division Two position. Were you setting any personal scoring targets, and were you happy playing for a club in the lower regions of English football?

KL: I was very happy playing football at Walsall also very comfortable with life.

The Saddlers supporters dubbed you ‘Killer Kyle’ in reference to your growing reputation as a predatory striker. Were you surprised how quickly the supporters took to you?

KL: Yes I was very happy to see the Walsall supporters take to me. Of course it helps when you score in your first couple of games!

In the summer of 1997, after making over 165 appearances, scoring over 65 goals for Walsall, you were sold to then Premier League side Coventry City for £500,000, but after an all too brief spell with The Sky Blues you joined Stoke City for £500,000 and went on to make over 100 appearances for The Potters. Do you feel Coventry gave you enough of an opportunity to prove yourself in the top flight or did they allow you to leave the club too soon?

KL: Moving to Coventry was a great opportunity for me but at the end of the day all a player wants to do is play first-team football.

And then moving to Stoke City was going to give me that opportunity But i got off to the worst possible start at Stoke I was sick for the first three weeks And the fans were on my back.

I was ready to quit football, but I thank God for Gary Megson, he saved me. I had both the highest and lowest points of my career at Stoke.

You went on to join Macclesfield Town in 2001 and were an integral part in their survival in the 2002-2003 season. What did you make of your time with The Silkmen?

KL: Macclesfield is a great little club and I really enjoyed my time there.

After you departed Macclesfield you returned to Bermuda where you re-joined Pembroke Hamilton and after five years with the Zebras you joined the Bermuda Hoggies as a player manager with Shaun Goater. Had you always wanted to go into management?

KL: Yes I'm back in Bermuda coaching, I have a team called the Bermuda Hogges we play in the USL PDL division.

And finally, do you have a message for the Walsall supporters?

KL: Yes I love the Walsall supporters, I’ve been back to Walsall on a few occasions, I spent time with Dean Smith on the training field with the players last season. 

Walsall holds a special place in my heart I love the supporters always had a fantastic time there and I always feel welcome.



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