TRIBUTES have been paid to a former footballer and manager who was one of Scotland’s most capped Junior football players.
Jackie Myles, 52, from Portobello, passed away in the Western General Hospital on Monday evening following a short battle with brain cancer.
He is survived by his son, Jackie Jnr, 26, daughter Kirsty Myles, 22 and his ex-wife, Irene Kivlin.
During his long and varied playing and management career, Myles spent time with a number of Edinburgh and Lothians clubs – the foremost of those was Bonnyrigg Rose.
His other clubs included Musselburgh United, Dunbar United, Dalkeith Thistle, Arniston Rangers and Falkirk.
Myles earned 13 caps playing for Scottish Juniors, making his debut for Scotland against England in 1982, and he managed to find the net four times for his country from the midfield.
He is thought to be the one of the youngest player to make their debut at Junior international level.
Myles began his playing career at the age of 19 with Bonnyrigg Rose, under Eddie Carnegie.
After 15 years at Rose, he made the switch to Arniston Rangers and took his game Newbyres Park.
One year later, at the age of 35, he became player-manager and won promotion in his first season.
Myles has also had a very successful playing career outside Junior football.
At the age of 25, he played senior football with Falkirk, where he spent almost two seasons under Billy Lamont, but he decided to leave so that he could return to play in the Junior ranks.
Myles’s long-time friend and former Bonnyrigg Rose chair, Tam Milligan, said: “He was an exceptional player and a great friend. Jackie always demanded 100 per cent from himself and everyone around him.
“On training nights his car would be the first in the car park – it was there so much I thought it was broken down.
“He’ll be sadly missed and my thoughts are with his family.”
Tom Johnston, secretary of the Scottish Junior Football Association, echoed this and said: “Jackie was one of the most capped players ever at Junior international level.
“He was a great servant to Junior football and played well into his forties.
“Guys like him are an asset to the game, and his loss will be greatly felt.”
Another club at which Myles spent some time was Dunbar United, where he made 104 appearances, scoring 12 goals, in seasons 2002-3 to 2005-6. A post on the club website recalls his mastery of the game: “One of his greatest ever appearances was on the January 15, 2005 in the fourth round cup tie against Elwood from Dundee.
“With one minute to go the game was tied at 2-2. Dunbar got a free kick just at the outside right of the box. Jackie strode up, curled a blistering ball over the wall and into the top right corner.
“The ref blew the whistle, and disallowed the goal as someone in the wall had moved. Very calmly, quietly, Jackie strode up, placed the ball, and did exactly the same thing again.”
Several of Myles’s former clubs will be observing a minute’s silence in his honour this Saturday.