Pep Young

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Harold Colvin Young

Born: November 23, 1927 (Montréal)
Died: January 29, 2014 (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Pep Young was a hockey legend in Scotland, where his association with the Fife Flyers team lasted more than six decades.

The 5-foot-11, 170-pound right winger joined the Flyers for the 1950-51 season, after which he married Sheena Balfour, a three-time Scottish figure skating champion. A serious injury to his right ankle forced him off the ice for a decade, during which he coached the Flyers. He returned as a fill-in playing coach in the early 1960s, lacing up for forward or defence depending on the Flyers’ needs.

ImageYoung was credited with keeping the game alive in Fife during the 1960s. He also cofounded the Kirkcaldy Kestrals as a farm team for the Fifes with whom they shared the Fife Arena in Kirkcaldy.

His coaching stint ended in 1973, though Young remained involved with the junior program he began until 1980.

“I don’t believe in dressing down a player, if he makes a mistake, in front of another player,” he said in an interview last year. “I don’t believe in that. You get some coaches who do, who sit you on the bench and yell at you. That’s not my philosophy.”

Even in retirement, Young was a familiar figure rinkside and in the dressing room at Murrayfield and Fife.

The Montréal-born forward played junior for the Verdun (Que.) Maple Leafs when lured to England for the 1948-49 season. He skated for the Earls Court Rangers in 1948-49, scoring five goals in 13 Autumn Cup games.

He played for a senior-B team in Granby, Que., in 1949-50 before joining the Scottish team the following season.

He spent seven weeks in hospital and was told he would never skate again after an opponent’s skate blade severed four tendons in his right ankle.

The popularity of ice shows temporarily halted the highest level of pro hockey in Fife, but the game revived in 1962 with Young playing for the Edinburgh Royals before rejoining the Flyers.

In 2013, the Flyers celebrated the 75th anniversary of their founding. Young was a central figure in the ceremonies.

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Verne Gregor, Pep Young, Andy Napier and Joe McIntosh of Fife Flyers in the 1960s.

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2 thoughts on “Pep Young

  1. Pep was an awesome coach. He was patient and encouraging to me as a 10 yr old ‘peewee’ in the rough and tumble ’70’s. A true tartan-troosered cdn anomalie in Kirkcaldy. He secured sponsorship from the local supermarket to make us the Safeway Sabres!
    Sorry to hear he’s away.

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