My Team & I: Kilmarnock

By Scott McClymont

Twitter: @mcclymontscott

Why Kilmarnock?

Probably the same as a lot of boys just getting into football, it was my dad taking me along to the games. He’s still a season ticket holder now. That was 1992 and watching Killie was the only football I can remember seeing until around Euro 96. It was a good decade to start following Killie as we won a trophy, had numerous high finishes in the Premier League and qualified for the Europe. Although I live in Stirling now, I head back to Rugby Park whenever I can and if I’m working the Killie score is always the first result I look for.

Favourite Player?

This is a tough one as there are so many contenders for this title. I remember it was George McLuskey when I did a school project aged seven but I think he was one of the only players I knew at that early stage.

In 24 years I’ve been lucky to see Christophe Cocard, Ian Durrant, Eric Skora and Alexei Eremenko play for us but sadly their spells were much shorter than many would have liked.

Frederic Dindeleux, Paul Wright, Manuel Pascali and Gary Holt come very close but my all-time Killie hero is Ray Montgomerie.

He was a local lad and captain when we won the Scottish Cup in 1997 and after joining the club in 1988 he knew what it meant to the fans, club and town. A committed, old-school centre-half Ray was in the Killie team that got relegated to the Second Division in the late 80s before gaining promotion the next year with a 2-1 win over Cowdenbeath in front of 11,000 fans.

He epitomised a fan on the pitch and was in tears as he lifted the cup in 1997. In total he made 390 appearances for the club, including 24 as a sub.

He’s now the club’s public relations and match day manager and is a just genuinely nice man.


Favourite Kit?

There’s only so much you can do with blue and white stripes but my favourite kit is our 1999/2000 Puma kit with an all blue back with the stripes on the front. There was a bit of controversy when we played in an all-white kit in the late 90s and I certainly wasn’t a fan of that shirt. Our away tops have varied from lighting blue, pink, purple and luminous yellow. Our goalkeeper also had a leopard print shirt which I was given as a Christmas present. Mel B has a lot to answer for.


Worst thing about being a Kilmanock fan?

I hate that despite stating you support Kilmarnock, people automatically assume you prefer one of the Old Firm. The words ‘But if you had to choose’ send shivers down my spine however that could equally be applied to other provincial clubs in Scotland.

Personally it’s the lack of a regular derby game that’s the worst thing about being a Killie fan.

The games against Ayr United are fierce, passionate affairs and attract crowds of over 13,000 (decent by Scottish standards). Sadly they only take place in the cup due to our county neighbours’ inability to win anything of note.

The Ayrshire derby would be one of the biggest games in Scotland, and just like the recent Fife derby if there were more of theses games then the SPL would have no bother getting a TV deal.

Favourite game?

There would be a few from this season that would be up there but if forced to choose then I’m going for our 4-3 away win over Inverness in December 2006. To me it sums up the ups and downs that come with following Killie or perhaps any provisional Scottish team. Heading to the freezing Highlands at 8.30am in the middle of December when went 1-0 down after only six minutes through Darren Dods. The outstanding Steven Naismith equalised after half an hour before Colin ‘Pele’ Nish made it 2-1 five minutes later.

Centre-half Dods scored his second goal after 39 minutes before ex-Killie striker Craig Dargo made it 3-2 with a penalty on the stroke of half-time. With the booze partaken on the bus fuelling a lot of singing, half-time passed quickly before Nish’s second and a penalty from Naismith gave us the win. A great rendition of Paper Roses ended a fantastic away day.

It’s unexpected decent games like these that keep things interesting and ensure it’s never boring following Kilmarnock.

Favourite Moment?

Without a doubt May 24, 1997 when Kilmarnock beat Falkirk 1-0 in the Scottish Cup final. I was nine-years-old at the time and I’ll never forget the whole town coming together to dress in blue and white for the occasion.

The whole day was magical. In glorious sunshine at Ibrox, two provincial teams played a good spirited, entertaining game. I don’t think my heart has ever sank as low as when Neil Oliver scored an 85th minute equaliser only to see it ruled out for offside.

When the final whistle went I saw grown men crying with joy and when the bus returned to the town an estimated 25,000 people crammed into John Finnie St (the town’s main street).

I’ve got the game on video and it still brings a little lump in my throat when I watch it back. I’m not sure if I’ll ever see those days again but I live in hope.

5 Responses to “My Team & I: Kilmarnock”

  1. Really enjoying this series, and no surprise 97 mentioned here 😛

  2. Fantastic article. Agree with everything in apart form my favourite game…so many to choose from! Either 2-4 away at Easter Road with Hooky on the scoresheet (can’t remember what season) or 1-2 away to Aberdeen second last game of season 09/10 ! That result kept us up ! Again…good job !!

  3. Great article Minty!

  4. Great read minty. Remember that Inverness game – a brilliant away day, one of many. You could of listed 20 games and struggled to pick.

  5. Good stuff but
    Colin ‘PELE’ Nish

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