Ex Royals and Racers player/coach Johnny Carlyle has passed away

16 April 2017

It is with sadness we bring the news that ex Edinburgh Royals and Murrayfield Racers player and coach Johnny Carlyle has passed away at the age of 87.

The British Hall of Fame member spent many years here in Edinburgh both as a player, and as a hugely successful coach.

Born in Falkirk in 1929, Carlyle learned to play ice hockey with the Falkirk Lions reserve team, the Falkirk Cubs and made his senior debut with the Lions when he was 17 years old. Following his National Service, Carlyle helped the Lions to win three Scottish National League playoff series before the club folded in 1955. Whilst with Falkirk, Carlyle had the first of his international call ups to the GB team when he played in the Ice Hockey World Championships in 1950 and 1951 as a forward and defender respectively.

Carlyle joined the Harringay Racers in the British National League for the 1955–56 season. He became the team captain the following season and was named to the All-star B-Team. When the Racers ceased playing in 1958, Carlyle returned to Scotland to the Edinburgh Royals but finished the 1958–59 season playing with the Nottingham Panthers. The following season was the last of the British National League, and Carlyle spent the time playing with the Brighton Tigers.

In 1960 Carlyle took up coaching with the Edinburgh Royals and the team went on to beat all comers during the 1960–61 season. Carlyle received his first call up to the GB team as coach in 1961 when he was player-coach of the team which remained unbeaten in the Pool B tournament — although the team finished runners-up to Norway on goal difference. In the 1961–62 season, Carlyle returned to club playing as the player-coach of the Brighton Tigers. Following two successful seasons with the Tigers, Carlyle again returned to Scotland, this time to the Murrayfield Racers. Carlyle spent ten successful years with Murrayfield and was named as the coach for the All-star A-Team team on four occasions between 1967 and 1972. Carlyle again coached the GB team in the 1971 and 1973 Pool C tournaments.

He eventually retired from the game in 1973 but was well thought of and a familiar face long after retiring. 

Everyone at the Edinburgh Capitals would like to pass on our condolences to Johnny's family at this time.