Kilmarnock F.C.

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Full name The Kilmarnock Football Club Ltd
Nickname(s) Killie
Founded 5 January 1869; 146 years ago (1869-01-05)
Ground Rugby Park
East Ayrshire
Ground Capacity 18,128[1]
Chairman Jim Mann
Caretaker manager Gary Locke
League Scottish Premiership
2013–14 Scottish Premier League, 9th
Website Club home page
Current season

Kilmarnock Football Club, most commonly known amongst fans as Killie is a Scottish football team based in the town of Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire. The current interim manager of the club is Gary Locke following the departure of Allan Johnston[2] Kilmarnock FC currently competes in the Scottish Premiership which is the highest competition in Scottish football.[3] Throughout the club's history, many accolades and honours have been won by the club – most recently in 2012 where the team was crowned champions of the 2011–12 Scottish League Cup in a historic win over Celtic 1–0 under then manager Kenny Sheils.[4]

The club have qualified for European competitions on nine occasions, their best performance coming in the 1966–67 Fairs Cup when they progressed to the semi-finals, eventually being eliminated by Leeds United. The club is also one of only a few Scottish clubs to have played in all three European competitions (European Cup, Cup Winners' Cup and the UEFA Cup).[5]

The club, which was founded in 1869 is the oldest club currently in the Scottish Premiership. Home matches are played at Rugby Park. Kilmarnock took part in the first ever official match in the Scottish Cup against the now defunct Renton in 1873.


Formation & early years[edit]

A history of Kilmarnock FC's overall league position from 1895 to 2013

The club's foundation dates back to the very earliest days of organised football in Scotland, when a group of local cricketers looking for a sporting pursuit to occupy them out with the cricket season looked to form a football club. On 5 January 1869 the club was founded during a general meeting at Robertson's Temperance Hotel on Portland Street.[6] Originally they played a game more similar to rugby and these origins are reflected to this day by the name of the club's home ground – Rugby Park. The difficulty in organising fixtures under this code and the growing influence of Queen's Park soon persuaded them to adopt the association code instead. At this time, the club played games in a number locations including Holm Quarry, the Grange on Irvine Road and a location close to the current Rugby Park.

Although not amongst the founder members of the Scottish Football Association in 1873, Kilmarnock did join in time to compete in the inaugural Scottish Cup tournament in 1873–74. Their 2–0 defeat against Renton in the First Round on 18 October 1873 is thought to have been the first match ever played in the competition.

Kilmarnock joined the Scottish League in 1895 and after winning consecutive Second Division titles were elected to the top flight for the first time in 1899. In 1920 Kilmarnock won the Scottish Cup for the first time beating Albion Rovers at Hampden. This was followed soon by their second success in 1927 where the beat massive favourites Rangers 2–0 at the national stadium in front of a crowd of 114,708 people.[7]

Late 20th century[edit]

The club's greatest success was in 1965 under the management of Willie Waddell. On the final day of the season, they travelled to face Hearts at Tynecastle requiring a victory by two goals to nil (due to the competition being decided by goal average at that period if teams were equal on points) to win the league at their opponents' expense. A memorable 2–0 win saw Kilmarnock crowned Scottish League champions for the first, and to date only, time.[8] This capped a period of tremendous consistency which had seen them occupy runners-up spot in four of the previous five seasons.

After a period of decline in the 1980s which saw the club relegated to the Second Division, Killie have returned to prominence, holding top division status since being promoted in 1993 and lifting the Scottish Cup for the third time in 1997 thanks to a 1–0 victory over Falkirk in the final.

The club have qualified for European competitions on nine occasions, their best performance coming in the 1966–67 Fairs Cup when they progressed to the semi-finals, eventually being eliminated by Leeds United. The club is also one of only a few Scottish clubs to have played in all three European competitions (European Cup, Cup Winners' Cup and the UEFA Cup).

21st century[edit]

Kilmarnock FC squad celebrate after a goal against Morton

Kilmarnock reached the 2007 Scottish League Cup Final,[9] but suffered a 5–1 defeat in the final by Hibernian. After selling Steven Naismith to Rangers for a club-record fee in August 2007, Killie struggled in the 2007–08 Scottish Premier League, finishing in 11th place with 40 points. In January 2010, Kilmarnock were second bottom of the 2009–10 Scottish Premier League, with last placed Falkirk just two points behind. On 11 January 2010, Jim Jefferies left the club by "mutual consent" and Jimmy Calderwood was appointed manager. Kilmarnock then achieved a first win in nine years against Celtic. Continued poor form, however, meant a final day showdown at Rugby Park with Falkirk for SPL survival. Kilmarnock began the game with a two-point advantage over their rivals and a goalless draw on the day was good enough to secure top-flight football for another year. They ended the season with just 33 points, their worst points finish in the SPL.

After Calderwood left the team at the end the season, Mixu Paatelainen was appointed manager for the next two years with an option for a third.[10] Despite being the favourites for relegation that season, Kilmarnock finished the season in fifth position. Paatelainen left Kilmarnock to become manager of Finland and his assistant Kenny Shiels was appointed manager. Kilmarnock progressed to the 2012 Scottish League Cup Final with wins against Queen of the South, East Fife and Ayr United in an Ayrshire derby at Hampden. Kilmarnock won the League Cup for the first time, as they defeated Celtic 1–0 in the final. Dieter van Tornhout scored the only goal six minutes from time, with Cammy Bell named Man of the Match.[11] In June 2013, after three years at Kilmarnock Football Club, manager Kenny Shiels was sacked by chairman Michael Johnston after a "mutual agreement" between the two.[12][13] Allan Johnston signed a two-year contract and was appointed manager on 24 June 2013, with Sandy Clark as the assistant manager.[14]

Colours and badge[edit]

The earliest known Kilmarnock kit from 1879 consisted of an all blue jersey with white trousers. The shirt bore a crest which was described as "a hand, index and second fingers upright, thumb outstreached, other fingers enclosed over a palm." The hand rested on a bar over a ball marked KFC. There after, the club have predominantly played in blue and white striped or hooped shirts with either blue or white shorts. The club have also occasionally played in plain blue and plain white tops. The clubs away colours have varied greatly over time. Yellow is generally regarded as the club's main third colour; but white, red and purple away kits have also appeared in recent years.

Between 2008 and 2014, the club manufactured their kits under their own sportswear brand, 1869. The current shirt sponsors are the locally based QTS Group with Italian company Erreà manufacturing the kit.

The current club badge is an modernised version of previous club badges. It features a ball bearing a hand in a blessing position, flanked by two red squirrels. The club's Latin motto, confidemus (we trust), is written above the badge. The club adopted the current badge in 1993 after The Lord Lyon decreed that the previous badge, based heavily upon the town crest, was in breach of ancient Scottish heraldic rules.


Further information: Rugby Park
Rugby Park stadium, situated on Rugby Road, home of Kilmarnock FC

Kilmarnock first played football matches at the present Rugby Park site in 1899. Despite this, the venue is actually Kilmarnock’s fourth home ground. The Grange, Holm Quarry and Ward's Park all hosted matches, before the club moved to Rugby Park in 1877. This was not the present stadium, but one situated close by near South Hamilton Street. This ground was shared by cricket and rugby teams – sports which Kilmarnock had played previously – and the connection with rugby gave the ground its name. This name was taken with the club when they moved to their present stadium.

During 1994–95 season the stadium capacity was significantly reduced as three new stands were constructed; the Moffat Stand, the Chadwick Stand and the East Stand. Their completion brought the capacity of the stadium to 18,128.[1] The stadium opened on 6 August 1995, in a friendly match against English champions Blackburn Rovers. Alan Shearer hit a hat-trick as the home team lost 5–0.

A FIFA 2 star FieldTurf artificial pitch was installed at Rugby Park for the start of the 2014–15 season. The pitch is capable of hosting rugby matches as well as football.

Club records[edit]

  • Oldest professional club in Scotland.
  • Biggest win: 16 – 0 v Torrington
  • Biggest competitive win: 13 – 2 v Saltcoats Victoria, Scottish Qualifying Cup 2nd Round, 12 September 1896
  • Worst defeat: 1 – 9 v Celtic, Scottish League Division 1, 13 August 1938

Highest Home Attendance (SPL) : 18,076 v Celtic, 8 April 1998

Lowest Attendance (SPL) : 1,516 v Gretna, 15 September 2007 away at Fir Park.

  • Most League goals in a season: Harry Cunningham (34 in 1927–28) and Andy Kerr (34 in 1960–61)

Squad and management team[edit]

Current squad[edit]

As of 14 February 2015

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Scotland GK Craig Samson
2 Scotland DF Ross Barbour
4 Scotland MF Jamie Hamill
6 Republic of Ireland DF Mark Connolly
7 Scotland FW Rory McKenzie
8 Northern Ireland MF Sammy Clingan
9 Scotland FW Lee Miller
10 Scotland FW Chris Johnston
11 Scotland MF Paul Cairney
13 Northern Ireland GK Conor Brennan
14 England FW Nathan Eccleston
15 Scotland MF Euan Smith
No. Position Player
16 England MF Tope Obadeyi
18 Scotland DF Lee Ashcroft
19 Scotland MF Craig Slater
20 Finland MF Alexei Eremenko
21 England FW Michael Ngoo
22 England DF Daryl Westlake
23 England DF Chris Chantler
26 Scotland DF Mark O'Hara
28 Northern Ireland FW Josh Magennis
29 Italy MF Manuel Pascali (club captain)
30 Scotland FW Greg Kiltie

Development Squad[edit]

As of 22:22, 18 January 2015 (UTC)[15]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
31 Scotland GK Devlin McKay
34 Scotland DF Mark Thomson
35 Scotland DF Adam Hodge
36 Scotland DF David Syme
37 Scotland MF Aaron Splaine
38 Scotland DF Dean Hawkshaw
No. Position Player
39 Scotland MF Jack Whittaker
40 Scotland FW Dylan Pooler
41 Scotland MF Greg Taylor
42 Scotland FW Scott McLean
43 Scotland DF Sam Lidington


Name Scottish League Scottish Cup Scottish League Cup Promotion from First Division
Scotland Spence, HughHugh Spence (1919–37) 0 2 0 0
Scotland McGrory, JimmyJimmy McGrory (1937–45) 0 0 0 0
Scotland Smith, TomTom Smith (1945–47) 0 0 0 0
Scotland Mather, TomTom Mather (1947–48) 0 0 0 0
Scotland Hastings, AlexAlex Hastings (1948–50) 0 0 0 0
Scotland McDonald, MalkyMalky McDonald (1950–57) 0 0 0 0
Scotland Waddell, WillieWillie Waddell (1957–65) 1 0 0 0
Scotland McDonald, MalkyMalky McDonald (1965–68) 0 0 0 0
Scotland McCrae, WalterWalter McCrae (1968–73) 0 0 0 0
Scotland Fernie, WillieWillie Fernie (1973–77) 0 0 0 1
Scotland Sneddon, DavieDavie Sneddon (1977–81) 0 0 0 1
Scotland Clunie, JimJim Clunie (1981–84) 0 0 0 1
Scotland Morrison, EddieEddie Morrison (1984–88) 0 0 0 0
Scotland Fleeting, JimJim Fleeting (1988–92) 0 0 0 0
Scotland Burns, TommyTommy Burns (1992–94) 0 0 0 1
Scotland Totten, AlexAlex Totten (1994–96) 0 0 0 0
Scotland Williamson, BobbyBobby Williamson (7 Dec 1996–25 Feb 02) 0 1 0 0
Scotland Jefferies, JimJim Jefferies (28 Feb 2002–11 Jan 10) 0 0 0 0
Scotland Calderwood, JimmyJimmy Calderwood (14 Jan 2010–31 May 10) 0 0 0 0
Finland Paatelainen, MixuMixu Paatelainen (23 June 2010–31 March 11) 0 0 0 0
Northern Ireland Shiels, KennyKenny Shiels (interim) (31 March 2011–15 June 11) 0 0 0 0
Northern Ireland Shiels, KennyKenny Shiels (15 June 2011 – 9 June 2013) 0 0 1 0
Scotland Johnston, AllanAllan Johnston (24 June 2013–6 February 2015) 0 0 0 0
Scotland Locke, GaryGary Locke (interim) (6 February-Present ) 0 0 0 0

Honours and accolades[edit]

Honours and competition wins[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Kilmarnock Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ cite book |title= Killie: The Official History |last=Ross |first=David |year=1994 |publisher=The Bath Press |location=Harefield |ISBN 1 874427 75 5
  7. ^ Ross, David (1994). Killie: The Official History. Harefield: The Bath Press. ISBN 1 874427 75 5. 
  8. ^ "1964–65 Scottish League Champions". Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Development Squad". Kilmarnock FC. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  16. ^ Known as second division prior to 1975

External links[edit]