Born: September 28, 1932;

Died: May 14, 2016

JOHNNY Cohen Coyle, who has died aged 83, was a footballer who became one of Dundee United's most impressive goal scorers - in his 132 appearances for the club, he 112 times.

He also holds a unique place in the history of the Scottish game. He is the only Scottish player ever to travel to the World Cup finals, as a full squad member, but never win a full cap for his country.

Coyle achieved this unique feat, when, as a Clyde player, he travelled with the national squad to the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden. His squad number was 18, but he was never chosen for the three matches in Sweden, or indeed, for any full international.

A Dundonian, he cut his footballing teeth with the local Dundee St Joseph's junior club, playing alongside his brother Jimmy. His goal-scoring with St Joseph's brought him to the attention of Dundee United, then a struggling Second Division side, very much the poor relations in Tannadice Street, and he signed for them in 1950. He was one of five forwards from St Joseph's to sign for United around the same time, and, on occasions the quintet – Jimmy Coyle, Jimmy Reid, Johnny Coyle, Davie Sturrock and Maurice Milne – formed the club's forward line.

In many ways, he was a late developer. His career was interrupted by national service, and with a spell on loan with Brechin City, and it was not until the start of the 1955-56 season that he broke into the United first team on a regular basis – to great effect, as he scored 112 goals in 132 appearances for the club, including a single-season club record of 43, at the rate of a goal a game in season 1955-56.

For all his goals, however, United were never better than a mid-table Division B side, during this period, leaking goals faster than Coyle could score them at the other end. But, his sharp-shooting had been noticed and Clyde paid £8000 to take him to Glasgow in December, 1957.

He continued to find the net regularly for the Bully Wee, never to greater effect than through his deflected shot which settled the 1958 Scottish Cup Final in Clyde's favour, 1-0 to Clyde and another episode of cup final heartache for Hibs.

That goal, and his general form over that half season in the top-flight (he scored 31 goals in that period, including a hat-trick in Clyde's Scottish Cup semi-final win over Motherwell, and a double in a 4-0 Glasgow Charity Cup final win over Rangers) saw Coyle included in the Scotland 22 for Sweden. His club trainer, Dawson Walker, was in day-to-day charge of the 22-man squad, which included three Clyde cup-winners, Coyle, Archie Robertson and Harry Haddock. Walker clearly knew what Coyle could do in front of goal, but he was unable to persuade the SFA selectors, who picked the side back then, to give him his chance.

He was Clyde's top scorer in the following 1958-59 season, but he fell out of favour in season 1959-60, playing only a dozen games, before leaving the club at the end of that season. His record with the club, however - 59 goals in 85 games, 0.7 goals per game - marks him out as a top quality striker.

His next move seemed a strange one: he went south, to join non-league Cambridge City. The motivation was simple – money. City were at that time sponsored by a local building company and for Coyle, a time-served bricklayer, it was possible, between his football pay and his Monday to Friday bricklaying pay, to earn far more than he had been earning in Scotland.

From a football perspective, the move was not a success, as he was unable to claim a first team spot, managing only nine first team appearances in two spells with the club, interrupted by a season with Boston United. He continued, however, to find the net regularly in the reserves, maintaining a near goal-a-game scoring record.

After hanging up his boots, Coyle continued to live and work in the Cambridge area, where his funeral service will be held on Tuesday, June 7.

His later years were not easy. He was pre-deceased by his wife Margaret, while, like so many of his footballing contemporaries, he was visited by Alzheimer's.

He is survived by his children June, John Jnr, Graham, Sally and Melanie, 10 grand-children and 20 great-grand-children.