Where Are They Now? Kyle Lightbourne

Kyle Lightbourne celebrates one of his three goals for the club with the McCain Stadium crowd
Kyle Lightbourne celebrates one of his three goals for the club with the McCain Stadium crowd
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Kyle Lightbourne may have gone on to have a glittering career in the game, but he hasn’t forgotten where it all started in England.

The striker arrived on the Yorkshire coast in 1992 as a 23-year-old after he impressed Boro boss Ray McHale in a pre-season tour match.

He may have only spent a short time at the McCain Stadium before moving on to make a number of big-money moves, but Lightbourne, now 47, delights in reliving the memories.

“I wasn’t at Scarborough for too long, but I’m so thankful for the opportunity they gave me,” he said.

“I originally came across and played in a tour game for PHC Zebras against Scarborough.

“Ray (McHale) was impressed with me, I owe him a lot because he have gave me my breakthrough. It was a life-changing time for me.

“The experience was great and I can still remember the hotel I stayed in on the cliff-tops.”

In a short space of time, Lightbourne went from playing in the Bermuda Premier League to tackling the stars of Arsenal in the Coca Cola Cup.

He added: “It was crazy really. One of my first games for the club was against an Arsenal side who went on to win the competition.

“What an experience and an occasion that was.

“I can remember coming on as a sub in my first game and then having a bit of a run in the team.

“It was half-way through the season, so it was obviously very difficult for me to adapt fully because I was coming from being an amateur to a professional.

“I was there for a good few months before Ray ended up leaving his role as manager.

“Before he went he told the club to keep me because he said that I had a lot of potential.

“Despite that, for some reason the club seemed to want me to move on.

“I ended up moving on to sign for Walsall on a free transfer and the rest is history.

“I really enjoyed my time at Scarborough, it was a great place and it allowed me to play alongside some great lads.

“I bumped into Tommy Mooney on a coaching course in England recently.

“Having played in the same team as him and against him on a number of occasions, we had a bit of banter.

“I also enjoyed playing alongside Darren Foreman, he was a great professional.”

Lightbourne is still heavily involved in football, as he helped out on the coaching side with League One outfit Walsall and he’s also the assistant coach to the Bermudian national team.

“Since I finished playing I have done my B Licence and I’m working towards my A Licence,” he said.

“I spend a fair bit of time over in England and during that time I’ve helped out Dean Smith at Walsall because he is somebody I played with.

“When I came back to Bermuda from England, Shaun Goater and myself set up a team called the Bermuda Hogges because we were trying to improve the standard of the game on the island.

“Putting that team in the MLS allowed us to bring on players like Nahki Wells and Reggie Lambe, who both now play in the English game.

“I am now the assistant coach of the national team, which is something I’m really enjoying.

“We are currently involved in the Caribbean Cup, having qualified for the second round.

“We have a home game against French Guiana in June and then a game against the Dominican Republic.

“We qualified for that stage without our big players, but they should be back involved for the second round matches.”

Lightbourne is also still a keen cricketer, having played for his country in the ICC Trophy when he was much younger.

His cricketing claim to fame came when he was 18 as he clean bowled former England skipper Michael Atherton.

“I had to make the choice between football and cricket when I was younger,” he said.

“On the island people tended to play both sports.

“I still play a bit of cricket now, but my bowling is nowhere near as quick.”