Results

Scotland Premiership 05/18 11:30 38 [6] Dundee v Kilmarnock [4] D 1-1
Scotland Premiership 05/15 18:30 37 [4] Kilmarnock v Celtic [1] L 0-5
Scotland Premiership 05/11 14:00 36 [5] St Mirren v Kilmarnock [4] W 0-1
Scotland Premiership 05/05 12:00 35 [2] Rangers v Kilmarnock [4] L 4-1
Scotland Premiership 04/27 14:00 34 [4] Kilmarnock v Hearts [3] D 0-0
Scotland Premiership 04/13 14:00 33 [10] St Johnstone v Kilmarnock [4] W 0-2
Scotland Premiership 04/06 14:00 32 [4] Kilmarnock v Ross County [11] W 1-0
Scotland Premiership 03/30 15:00 31 [3] Hearts v Kilmarnock [4] D 1-1
Scotland Premiership 03/16 15:00 30 [5] Kilmarnock v St Mirren [4] W 5-2
Scotland FA Cup 03/09 12:15 3 Aberdeen v Kilmarnock L 3-1
Scotland Premiership 03/02 15:00 29 [6] Dundee v Kilmarnock [4] D 2-2
Scotland Premiership 02/28 19:45 28 [4] Kilmarnock v Rangers [1] L 1-2

Stats

 TotalHomeAway
Matches played 51 26 25
Wins 22 15 7
Draws 15 6 9
Losses 14 5 9
Goals for 68 42 26
Goals against 55 26 29
Clean sheets 20 11 9
Failed to score 10 4 6

Wikipedia - Kilmarnock F.C.

Kilmarnock Football Club, commonly known as Killie, is a Scottish professional football team based in the town of Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire. The team is currently managed by Derek McInnes, who was appointed in January 2022. The club has achieved several honours since its formation in 1869, most recently the 2011–12 Scottish League Cup after a 1–0 win over Celtic at Hampden Park and the Scottish Championship title in 2022. The club nickname, Killie, is the Scottish term for the town of Kilmarnock.

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 three European competitions (European Cup, Cup Winners' Cup and the UEFA Cup). Additionally, the club have played in the International Soccer League four times – 1960, 1961, 1963 and 1965, as well as competing in the 1995 Korea Cup.

Kilmarnock Football Club is currently the oldest football club in the Scottish Premiership, and also the second-oldest professional club in Scotland. Home matches are played at Rugby Park, a 15,003 capacity all-seater stadium situated in the town itself. Kilmarnock took part in the first-ever official match in the Scottish Cup against the now-defunct Renton in 1873. With a long-standing football rivalry with fellow Ayrshire side Ayr United, both teams play frequently in the Ayrshire derby, first meeting in September 1910.

History

Formation and early years

A history of Kilmarnock FC's overall league position from 1895 to 2023
Earliest known photograph of Kilmarnock Football Club, 1878–1879

The club's foundation dates back to the very earliest days of organised football in Scotland, with speculation over the club's beginnings being in 1868, 1869 or 1872 often disputed. The club was founded by a collection of men and boys who were sporting enthusiasts, with a few of them playing cricket during the summer months, as well as playing bowls, quiots, running and golf. During the winter period, the group lacked active sporting opportunities, and in the Autumn of 1868, the younger members of the sporting enthusiasts who attended Kilmarnock Academy first played football in the Barbadoes Green area of Kilmarnock. Football in Scotland at this time was considered "rough" and "disorderly", and, while it was popular, it had never been played in an organised manner before. The group of sporting enthusiasts later became known as the club's "founding fathers", and began playing football with their own set of rules which were more similar to that of rugby, rather than association rules, which had become the rules used for a similar game, also known as football, in England in the late 1850s. A committee was formed with the intention of the game becoming more organised, and after raising money, had placed an advertisement in the 2 January 1869 issue of the Kilmarnock Standard for a general meeting of the "Kilmarnock Foot-ball Club" to be held in Robertson's Temperance Hotel on Portland Road in Kilmarnock on Tuesday 5 January 1869. The advert read: "Parties wishing to become members may do so at the meeting, or at the Secretary's, 55 King Street". No official recorded minutes or outcomes of the meeting are known to have existed.

With no recorded minutes of the meeting having taken place in January 1869, it is assumed that the members continued to play amongst themselves and with their own set of rugby-inspired rules. On 25 October 1872, a meeting was held by the committee at the town's George Hotel, Kilmarnock. Recorded minutes from the meeting highlighted that interest in the game had increased as had the membership, leading to the decision being made to officially constitute the club as "Kilmarnock Football Club", with a set of rules to play the game of football properly to be purchased, as no other clubs were playing "football" in the same style that the club had been playing up until that point. A meeting held by the committee on 29 October 1872 saw the agreement between the club and a gentleman, Mr. Wright, to rent his field nearby for £3, which they did until March 1873. A game was agreed to be played on the field on 2 November 1872, but no result or opponent to Kilmarnock Football Club were ever recorded. In November 1872, the club decided to formally adopt the rugby union rules they had purchased for use in the game. On 7 December 1872, Kilmarnock Football Club played their first known competitive game using the rugby union rules. The game was an 11-a-side game against Kilmarnock Cricket Club Xl which ended in a 0–0 draw.

Kilmarnock win the Scottish Qualifying Cup, 1897

During a club meeting on 3 March 1873, a letter from Queen's Park asked Kilmarnock F.C. if they were interested in attending a meeting at the Dewar Hotel in Glasgow on 13 March 1873 to discuss the formation of a Scottish Football Association playing to football association rules, with the possibility of purchasing a cup for the winner of a knock out competition to take place later in 1873. Kilmarnock had long previously turned Queen's Park's requests down in the past, however, a favourable letter was returned to the team, informing the club was Kilmarnock were unable to send a representative to the meeting in Glasgow on 13 March 1873 due to having a committee meeting on the scheduled date, but advised that they were willing to join the Scottish Football Association, pledging to pay the 5 shillings membership fee and donate £1 towards the purchase of a cup for the knock-out competition. The first game played by Kilmarnock under football association rules was in the 1873–74 season. The club suffered a drastic decline in membership numbers following a fall out with their landlord at Holm Quarry, after the club wished to move back to Dundonald Road. Kilmarnock Football Club were one of the founding members of the Ayrshire Football Association which formed in May 1877. By the 1880s, Kilmarnock Football Club had established themselves as the premier club in Ayrshire.

The club had not been considered eligible for the Scottish Football League when it was formed in 1890, nor was it deemed eligible to be included in a second division. Kilmarnock Football Club was finally elected to the Scottish League in 1895, and finished their first season in the Scottish League in fourth place out of ten teams. In 1920 Kilmarnock won the Scottish Cup for the first time, beating Albion Rovers at Hampden Park. This was followed by their second success in 1929 where they beat massive favourites Rangers 2–0 at the national stadium in front of a crowd of 114,708 people. They soon reached another final against the same opposition in 1932 but this time were beaten after a replay, and the same outcome followed in the 1938 final against East Fife, Killie this time the team on the receiving end of an upset.

North American and European tournaments

After finishing as runners-up during the 1959–60 season, Kilmarnock could have been put forward as one of Scotland's entrants for the following season's European Fairs Cup. Instead, the Scottish Football Association sent the team to North America to play in the International Soccer League, serving as Scotland's representative. Kilmarnock remained unbeaten during their group matches in both New York and Jersey City, with wins over Bayern Munich and English league champions, Burnley. Kilmarnock returned to North America to play in the International Soccer League final, losing 2–0 to Brazilian club Bangu Atlético Clube.

During the 1960–61 season, Kilmarnock reached the Scottish League Cup final for the second time, where they lost to Rangers 2–0 and finished as the season's runners-up. After years of being sidelined by the Scottish Football Association, Kilmarnock were put forward for the 1964–65 European Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, losing their first match. The team made it to the second round, losing to Everton 1–4 and exiting the competition.

Scottish League Champions

Kilmarnock performed strong during the 1964–65 season, winning their first six matches in the season and remaining unbeaten in the league until December 1964.

In 1964–65 Heart of Midlothian fought out a championship title race with Willie Waddell's Kilmarnock. In the era of two points for a win Hearts were three points clear with two games remaining. Hearts drew with Dundee United meaning the last game of the season with the two title challengers playing each other at Tynecastle would be a league decider. Kilmarnock needed to win by a two-goal margin to take the title. Hearts entered the game as favourites with both a statistical and home advantage. They also had a solid pedigree of trophy-winning under Tommy Walker. Waddell's Kilmarnock in contrast had been nearly men. Four times in the previous five seasons they had finished league runners-up including Hearts' triumph in 1960. Killie had also lost three domestic cup finals during the same period including the 1962 League Cup Final defeat to Hearts. Hearts had won five of the six senior cup finals they played in under Walker. Even the final they had lost was in a replay after drawing the first game. Hearts' Roald Jensen hit the post after six minutes. Kilmarnock then scored twice through Davie Sneddon and Brian McIlroy after 27 and 29 minutes. Alan Gordon had an excellent chance to clinch the title for Hearts in second half injury time but was denied by a Bobby Ferguson diving save pushing the ball past the post. The 2–0 defeat meant Hearts lost the title by an average of 0.042 goals. Subsequently, Hearts were instrumental in pushing through a change to use goal difference to separate teams level on points. Ironically this rule change later denied Hearts the title in 1985–86. This is the only time to date Killie have been Scottish champions.

Korean Cup and Scottish Cup victory

The club's home stadium, Rugby Park, underwent reconstruction between 1994 and 1995

Decline in the 1980s brought relegation to the Second Division, returning to the top division with promotion in 1993. In the summer of 1995, Kilmarnock were invited to South Korea to play in the Korea Cup. Kilmarnock played the Costa Rica national football team, finishing the game with a draw between both teams.

By the commencement of the 1996–97 season, optimism within the club remained low, with little to suggest that the season would see Kilmarnock win the Scottish Cup again, having previously done so 68 years prior. With inconsistent league results, and a home defeat to Raith Rovers in December 1996, Bobby Williamson became the new manager of Kilmarnock and began introducing new players to the team. Players such as David Bagan and Alex Burke were credited with improving the team's performance, along with Williamson's managerial style and approach. With relegation still a possibility, Kilmarnock climbed out of the relegation zone following a 1–1 home draw in the final league match of the season between Aberdeen. During the same period, Kilmarnock had been making good progress in the Scottish Cup, progressing to the 1997 Scottish Cup final with Falkirk held at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow on 24 May 1997. 25,000 Kilmarnock fans attended with final, with Paul Wright scoring for Kilmarnock, allowing for Kilmarnock to claim the Scottish Cup for the third time. Following their Scottish Cup victory, the team travelled back to Kilmarnock from Glasgow on an open topped bus, travelling up the town's John Finnie Street where they were met with a barrage of fans celebrating their victory.

Victory in the Scottish Cup secured a place for Kilmarnock in the 1997–98 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, meaning a return to European football for the club following an absence of 27 years.

21st Century

Scene from the 2012 Scottish League Cup final in which Kilmarnock beat Celtic 1–0

UEFA Cup

In the 2001–02 UEFA Cup, Kilmarnock travelled to Lurgan in Northern Ireland to play Glenavon, winning 1–0 following a goal by Chris Innes. In the return leg at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock won 1–0 following a goal from Ally Mitchell. In their next match, Kilmarnock faced Norwegian club Viking FK, securing a 1–1 draw at Rugby Park before suffering a 0–2 loss away to Viking FK and exiting the UEFA Cup. Kilmarnock won the Scottish Youth Cup in 2004, following a 1–0 victory over Rangers during which was held at Rugby Park due to Hampden Park being unavailable to host the final.

2007 Scottish League Cup

Kilmarnock reached the 2007 Scottish League Cup final, 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 at the end of the season, Mixu Paatelainen was appointed manager for the next two years with an option for a third. Despite being the favourites for relegation that season, Kilmarnock finished the season in fifth position. Paatelainen left the club 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 goalkeeper Cammy Bell named Man of the Match. In June 2013, after three years at Kilmarnock, manager Kenny Shiels was sacked by chairman Michael Johnston after a "mutual agreement" between the two.

Manager changes

Allan Johnston signed a two-year contract and was appointed manager on 24 June 2013, with Sandy Clark as the assistant manager. Clark left his role in the summer of 2014 with the club looking to go in a new direction, and ex-Killie player and former Hearts manager Gary Locke was appointed as his assistant. Johnston was sacked in February 2015 after informing the press of his intention to leave in the summer, before discussing this with the board. Locke was placed in interim charge, before signing a three-year deal in April 2015. Kilmarnock went on to lose seven of their final eight games of the season, but were spared the play-off spot after a 4–1 win over Partick Thistle.

The 2015–16 season would prove difficult for the team. Locke was removed from his position as manager in February 2016, with Lee Clark being appointed as his replacement. Despite a small uplift in form, the team finished in 11th place and faced a relegation play-off against Championship side Falkirk in order to stay in the top flight. Despite losing 0–1 in the first leg, Killie fought back and comfortably won the second leg 4–0 (4–1 on aggregate), securing the club's status in the Scottish Premiership for another season. Clark would leave Kilmarnock for a return to England with Bury in February 2017, exactly a year after his arrival. Former Rangers player Lee McCulloch, assistant to both Locke and Clark, was placed in temporary charge until the end of the season, achieving an eighth-place finish. The following season saw another poor start, with an early defeat to rivals Ayr United in the league cup group stages, followed by a disappointing start to the league campaign. McCulloch was sacked in September 2017 with the club rooted to the bottom of the table.

The Clarke era

Steve Clarke, appointed manager in 2017, led the club to 3rd place in the 2018–19 Scottish Premiership and secured a place in the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League

In an unexpected move, Kilmarnock appointed former Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion coach Steve Clarke. It was Clarke's first involvement with the Scottish game in 30 years and his appointment preempted a dramatic upturn in form, with the club ultimately finishing in fifth place, earning him the SFWA Manager of the Year award in the process. The 2018–19 season saw Kilmarnock celebrate their 150th anniversary, and the team continued their strong form in the league, both home and away, culminating in a final day fixture against Rangers at Rugby Park. Kilmarnock won the match 2–1 and the result secured a third-place finish in the league, which guaranteed European football for the first time since 2001. The season's results also set a new record points total for the club and their highest placed finish in the league since 1966. The following day, Clarke was signed by the Scottish Football Association to become the head coach of the Scotland national team.

Following the departure of Steve Clarke, Kilmarnock had three managers whose spell in charge was brief, beginning with former Juventus and Chelsea assistant coach Angelo Alessio. In Alessio's second match in charge, Kilmarnock lost in Europa League qualification to Welsh Premier League club Connah's Quay Nomads. Alessio was sacked in December 2019, with the team sitting in fifth place. Following his departure, Alex Dyer, assistant coach to both Alessio and Clarke, was appointed on an initial caretaker basis until the end of the season, before all football was abruptly ended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dyer's services were retained by the club and he signed a new contract extension in June 2020. However, following a poor start to the new season, he left the club by mutual consent in January 2021. In February 2021, former St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright was appointed as the club's third manager in two years.

Relegation and Championship winners

On 24 May 2021, following a play−off defeat to Dundee, Kilmarnock were relegated to the Scottish Championship, bringing an end to their 28-year stay in the top flight. Their 11th-place finish and play-off defeat in 2020–21 meant it was the club's first season in the Championship, and their first in the second tier of Scottish football since 1992–93. Manager Tommy Wright made 14 permanent summer signings as he approached his first full season as Kilmarnock manager, before being sacked in December 2021 with the team sitting fifth place in the Championship. Former Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes was quickly appointed as his successor. Results improved, and by the end of the 2021–22 season, Kilmarnock were promoted back to the top flight of Scottish football at the first attempt, defeating closest challengers Arbroath 2–1 on the penultimate matchday with a dramatic last-minute winner from Blair Alston.

Kilmarnock against Raith Rovers, 19 February 2022. Kilmarnock won 3–0 at Rugby Park

In cup competition during the season, Kilmarnock were eliminated in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup, in the second round of the League Cup and the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup.

Return to Premiership

Following their first-place finish in the Scottish Championship in 2021–22, Kilmarnock returned to the Scottish Premiership after spending one year in the second tier. At the conclusion of the season, Kilmarnock finished 10th in the Premiership table out of 12 teams, as well as reaching the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup and the semi-final of the 2022–23 Scottish League Cup.

Kilmarnock competed in the 2023–24 Scottish League Cup, ultimately reaching the quarter final stage. They were knocked out of the competition following a 2–1 defeat to Heart of Midlothian.

Kilmarnock Football Club, commonly known as Kilmarnock, is a professional soccer team based in Kilmarnock, Scotland. The team was founded in 1869 and currently competes in the Scottish Premiership, the top tier of Scottish football.

Kilmarnock plays their home matches at Rugby Park, a historic stadium with a capacity of over 17,000 spectators. The team's colors are blue and white, and their mascot is a blue and white bird named "Nutz the Bluebird."

Kilmarnock has a rich history in Scottish football, having won the Scottish League Championship once and the Scottish Cup three times. The team has also had success in European competitions, reaching the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup in the 1966-67 season.

The current squad is led by manager Tommy Wright and features talented players from Scotland and beyond. Kilmarnock has a passionate fan base known as the "Killie Army" who support the team through thick and thin.

Overall, Kilmarnock is a respected and competitive team in Scottish football, with a proud tradition and a bright future ahead.