Andy Returns for the 2009 Killie Festival
(PS... We Still Love You!)


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Andy McLaren (2000-2003)


Andy played with a lot of fire and passion - too much at times!

Andy was signed by former manager Bobby Williamson in June of 2000 after being out of football for a period due to drink and drug related problems. His fight back to fitness was nothing short of dramatic and he made an immediate impact with Killie and especially the fans. His passionate displays made him a real fan's favourite and he always gave no less than 100%. At times though he took it a bit too far and he was never slow to have a go at the referee and as a result he picked up many unwarranted cards.

The 30-year-old former Dundee United and Reading striker turned down a new deal at Rugby Park after his contract ended, and after several other deals falling through he has eventually signed a short term deal with Ian McCall's Dundee United...probably for a lot less money that the reduced deal that Killie offered him, that's agents for you!

Just after he left he said: "I'm willing to come and go with any offer but still have a standard to maintain and a wife and two children to support. That's why I've knocked back Killie and I'm holding out for something else. This is likely to be my last major contract and I'm confident I'll get something that suits."               

McLaren admitted it was highly unlikely that he would come to an agreement over a new deal with Kilmarnock but was adamant he was leaving the Ayrshire club on the very best of terms. He told the Sunday Mail: "It's unlikely I'll be back at Killie. In fact, there's next to no chance. They sent my P45 through the post. It arrived on my 30th birthday and I thought it was a card. It's a pity because I liked the club and will always be grateful to them for taking me on when my problems came out. But I have to look after my family. I'm not leaving because of the football. I like Jim Jefferies and the lads and I'm sad at missing out on their pre-season camp in Il Ciocco."

He went on: "Some of the boys have been on the phone asking me to sign because they'll miss my patter in the dressing-room. The guys I slaughter haven't been calling - they must be hoping I don't come back to give them a hard time. I wish Kilmarnock all the best and want to thank my team-mates, the management, board and the fans for their support."

Kilmarnock Career Statistics

From To Fee League Scottish Cup League Cup Other
02.06.00 30.05.03 N/A 66(17) 13 4(1) 0 5 (1) 2 1(2) 0

After leaving Killie Andy had a trial at Carlisle, then ended up at Dundee Utd, only to fall out of favor, and be loaned out to plastic whistle by the end of 2004. Poor Andy! We miss & love you! .... "Andy, Andy...... Andy, Andy"!!


Andy then reckoned that  Partick Thistle needed to pioneer another brand of the game to haul themselves out of their relegation threatened 04-05 season ....
"We need to learn how to play ugly football," ...Aye right ... Andy

Andy Back at Rugby Park in Nov 2007

Andy McLarenUpdate Oct 2007...

Booze and drugs are usually associated with rock 'n' roll, not football. The story of former Reading footballer Andy McLaren is an inspiring one. Here he reveals how he picked himself up from the depths of his addiction to rebuild his life.

While Andy McLaren was playing for Reading in 2000 he failed a random drugs test and was immediately banned from football.

"Alcoholism had just taken over, it was the most important thing in my life."

Andy McLaren

He then was forced to confront his demons and admit he was an alcohol and cocaine abuser.

He went to a clinic in Glasgow and worked hard to overcome his addiction.

He then resurrected his career with Kilmarnock and gained a national cap when Scotland played Poland.

Now he's written a book called Tormented: The Andy McLaren Story about how he fell foul of drink and drugs and then rebuilt his life.

Here he speaks frankly to BBC Radio Berkshire's Henry Kelly.

Listen to the interview here or read the transcript below.

What sent you to the drink and drugs in the first place? Is it because they were readily available?

"Probably at the start.

"I had stuff from my childhood that had tormented me for a load of years, and the drink and the drugs was a symptom of that. I used them because I didn't feel very good about Andy McLaren.

"I used them as a mechanism to blot out these kind of feelings."

And how bad did it get?

"Pretty bad, at certain parts of my life I contemplated taking my own life because of the pain and I didn't like the person I became with the drink and the drugs, or the way I was treating my family."

Was there any one thing that caused you to stop and seek help?

"Well failing a drug test at Reading was a major turning point in my life. The stuff I was doing didn't sit right with me, I wanted to stop but I didn't know how to stop.

"I could stop drink for maybe a week or two but I couldn't stay stopped.

"The Priory introduced me to Alcoholics Anonymous and to helping myself. You've got to want to stop.

"Alcoholism had just taken over, it was the most important thing in my life. I've not had a drink for seven years now.

"I'm still with Claire (his partner) and my two boys, she's been my rock, I honestly think that if it wasn't for her that I wouldn't be here now, I would have maybe committed suicide."

What advice would you give to younger players?

"I'd make them aware of the pitfalls, that's something I'd really like to go and do is speak to the youngsters at clubs and warn them of the dangers.

"I'm not saying for a minute that there's a problem with drugs in football but there is a drug problem in society so I think it's naive to think that people aren't getting offered them in football."

There's so much money in football, do you think clubs do enough to protect the younger players?

"I think there's a lot more now then what there used to be. It's become silly the money in football. And young football players have lots of money and lots of time on their hands, which isn't a very good cocktail."

What are you doing to earn a living now?

"I'm still playing (when not suspended) - with A*r United in the 2nd Division in Scotland.

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