Scottish schemer George Lyall joined John Kaye’s Tigers in December 1975 and slotted straight into the first team midfield in an attacking role. His first Tigers goal was the winner in a 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion in February 1976. George missed only one game during the rest of 1975/76 and started 1976/77 in similar fashion, contributing goals and linking up with October signing Billy Bremner. However his final goal in Black and Amber, and his final contribution as a professional footballer, came in February 1977 in a 2-2 draw against Bolton Wanderers at Boothferry Park. As Lyall struck home a goal from close quarters in front of the North Stand, a vicious lunging challenge by Bolton centre back and future England manager Sam Allardyce connected with Lyall’s shooting leg and snapped it in sickening fashion. A goal scored and a career ended in an instant – I hope you were pleased with yourself Sam.
George Lyall was born in Wick, to the far north of the Scottish mainland, but was raised in the Fife Peninsula by parents who ran a hotel in the village of Kingskettle. He joined Raith Rovers at 15 years of age in 1964 and despite his tender years made 27 appearances and scored 21 goals before his eighteenth birthday, linking up with future Sunderland star Ian Porterfield. In March 1966 Second Division Preston North End paid £10,000 for Lyall’s signature and his development continued apace. In five seasons George made over 100 starts and contributed 24 goals from an attacking midfield position, winning a Division Three champions medal in 1971. In May 1972 Nottingham Forest, freshly relegated from the top flight to Division Two, spent £40,000 on Lyall as part of their preparations for recovery. Three Scottish managers came and went in three years at Nottingham Forest and all three picked Lyall as a first team regular. He scored 12 goals in 47 starts during 1973/74 in all competitions and added a further 7 league goals in 1974/75. However the recruitment of Brian Clough as Forest manager in January 1975 eventually became Lyall’s downfall and he played his last game in October 1975, having scored 27 times for the club across all competitions in 135 appearances. He joined Hull City two months after this last game.
Although his professional career was over when his City contract was cancelled in January 1978, Lyall remained in the East Riding area and played non-league football for several years, serving Scarborough, Goole Town Where he was player-manager for a year in 1980), Grantham Town, Bridlington Town and North Ferriby United. He then left football to work in the chemicals industry and owned a motorcycle repair business in Derbyshire. He remained great friends with Archie Gemmill and was the Scotland’s star’s best man at his wedding.
Date/Place of Birth: 4 May 1947, Wick
Hull City First Game: 20 December 1975, Luton Town H (Division Two), 28 years, 230 days old
Hull City Final Game: 19 February 1977, Bolton Wanderers H (Division Two), 29 years, 291 days old
Raith Rovers (1964-1966), Preston North End (1966-1972), Nottingham Forest (1972-1975), Hull City (1975-1978), Scarborough (1978-1979), Goole Town (1979-1981), Grantham Town (1981), Bridlington Town (1981), North Ferriby United (1981)
Hull City Record
Career: 51 apps, 6 goalsGeorge Lyall
|1975/76||20 (0)||2||3 (0)||0||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1976/77||22 (0)||3||2 (0)||0||1 (0)||0||-||-||3 (0)||1|