London: Former Ireland rugby great Jack Kyle has died at the age of 88, his family announced on Friday.
"Jack died peacefully in his sleep at home last night (Thursday), surrounded by close family members," his family said in a statement published in the British media.
Kyle played at fly-half for Ulster and won 46 caps for Ireland, leading his country to their first ever Five Nations Grand Slam in 1948. He also played six times for the British and Irish Lions.
In 2002 he was voted Ireland`s greatest ever rugby player in a poll organised by the Irish Rugby Football Union, pipping celebrated figures such as Brian O`Driscoll and Willie John-McBride to the honour.
Born in Belfast in 1926, Kyle studied medicine at university before making his Ireland debut in a friendly match against the British Army during the Second World War.
He played in all four matches of Ireland`s 1948 Five Nations triumph and was present in Cardiff in 2009 when a team led by O`Driscoll ended the country`s 61-year wait to repeat the achievement.
After retiring from the game, he spent over 30 years working as a surgeon in Zambia before returning to live in Northern Ireland.