Kilmarnock Football Club 150th Anniversary

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 7th February 2019.

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Photo of Willie Coffey Willie Coffey Scottish National Party

It was Dunfermline Athletic Football Club, Presiding Officer. [



Kilmarnock players Davie Sneddon and Brian McIlroy scored the vital goals, and a sensational save by Bobby Ferguson in the last few minutes prevented Hearts from grabbing the title at the end, even in defeat. I remember the key moments as though they were yesterday, even though I was only six years old and my brother Danny was 10. My dad’s response to my mother, who was worried about him taking us to such a big game, was “They’re going. They might not see it again!” He has been right so far—until this season, that is.

Real Madrid Club de Fútbol breezed into Rugby park later in 1965 in the European cup and were lucky to escape with a 2-2 draw. Shortly after that, in 1967, Kilmarnock played the magnificent Leeds United Football Club in the semi-final of what is now the Europa league. It was a stunning period of achievement for the club. It is fair to say that an unspectacular period followed, but in 1997 glory returned with another Scottish cup victory at Ibrox on 24 May with a 1-0 win against an excellent Falkirk Football Club team.

To complete the trinity of Scottish trophies, Kilmarnock had to wait until 2012 to lift the league cup for the first time, beating Celtic Football Club 1-0 at Hampden. The joy and elation soon turned to despair when the news emerged that Kilmarnock player Liam Kelly’s dad had collapsed at the game and later died, echoing the very sad similar circumstances of 1920.

Presiding Officer, this famous old football club has made a huge contribution to Scottish football and is still going strong. Some famous people support Kilmarnock FC, from Marie Osmond, whose 1970s hit, “Paper Roses”, is the club anthem, to Biffy Clyro, who are regular visitors to Rugby park. We have the award-winning Kilmarnock pie—the Killie pie keeps our fans and visitors happy at Rugby park.

We also enjoy a healthy battle for supremacy with the second team in Ayrshire, Auchinleck Talbot Football Club. [


.] We are currently enjoying an amazing period under the magnificent Stevie Clarke, with Killie ending up in 2018 with the most points it has had in the Scottish Professional Football League.

To all the talented players and managers past and present, the wonderful club officials and staff across the years and the incredible supporters of this famous old football club, I say congratulations on Killie’s 150th anniversary. May it enjoy many more successful years ahead. To Killie fans the world over, let us never forget that we are Killie till we die.