KYLE Lafferty is married to a former Miss Scotland contestant, boasts a bank balance I’d imagine which puts him in the top ten percent, plus medals and memories most of us dream about but never got near because we weren’t good enough.

At 31, this talented footballer has a few years left. When he retires, there could be 100 international caps to his name and he’s already a cult hero in his home country.

Oh, and his ex-missus won Miss Scotland.

As it was once memorably said to a certain other Northern Irishman: “Where did it all go wrong?”


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Lafferty got kicked out of Rangers this week, no other way to put it really, because he failed to take a second chance, which very few get, to play for one of the great football clubs in world football.

Steven Gerrard sounded genuinely regretful when speaking about a player he’d given opportunities (plural) which were not taken.

“You’d need to ask Kyle why it hasn’t panned out for him. We had high hopes for him because, when he signed, he was in a really good place.

“He’s a big, physical presence up front. But, for whatever reason, it hasn’t worked out. We believe he had the opportunities. Kyle is a good player but showing it in glimpses for Rangers isn’t enough. That’s the brutal truth.”

Brutal is one way of putting it. Honest is a better word. This is why I feel no sympathy for Lafferty and I’m not the type to be like that.

It was back in April when Lafferty signed his own jotters. He was part of a Rangers team losing 3-0 at half-time to a Liverpool academy side, the game ended 4-4, a performance which embarrassed Gerrard.

That was the end for the player at Ibrox. By all accounts he didn’t fancy playing in a game which was beneath him. If true, a pathetic and immature attitude.

Do you remember Michael Ball? Signed from Everton by Dick Advocaat, his knee was in some state and it took forever for him to get a good run in the team. Nice lad, by the way, but had problem was standing up and running.


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Anyway, I was dispatched to watch him at Dumbarton, an appalling place where you get wet even when it’s not raining, on a winter night in some reserve game which made you want to be dead.

Alex McLeish was by then was Rangers manager. Billy Dodds had been dropped to the stiffs, unfairly it must be said, and he was at the age when he should have been still a Scotland player.

The best on the pitch? Billy Dodds. He had no ego. He was still a Ranger. He gave his all.

Ally McCoist easily could have left Rangers when he and Graeme Souness fell out. Stubborn sod that he was, McCoist stayed, put up with being on the bench, and went on to be the club’s all-time top goalscorer.

Life even for the lucky ones can stray off the path. It’s then up to said person to get back on track. Spitting the dummy never ends well.

Now, I don’t know Lafferty but I know of him. He’s a footballer of immense talent but with a fragile ego and work ethic which is not the best. In truth, only Michael O’Neill, manager of Northern Ireland, has got the best from him, and international managers have the time to look after their players.

Rumour has it that O’Neill before games handed Lafferty a tablet and on it would be a highlights reel of his best moments. It worked. Northern Ireland qualified for the European Championships and almost the World Cup. Lafferty was a genuine star.


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In one full season with Hearts, the 2017/18 season, he scored 19 goals and provided many assists from 41 appearances. When in the mood, which was most weeks, he was an almighty pain in the arse in the best possible way.

So, what happened?

As Gerrard said, only the man himself can tell you. However, from the outside looking in, it does seem he didn’t do enough. That’s criminal.

Maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps the many times Lafferty endured problems in football that it’s not been his attitude. Also, he’s rich, a good looking lad – did I mention the Miss Scotland thing? – and lived his dream. For that, I lift my hat into an off position. So, he’s done okay. Better than me, as it so happens.

But I just know that in a few years time, Lafferty will give an interview admitting regrets that he could have done so much more.

And, let’s face it, he’s no George Best. What a waste of genuine talent.