Killie History ..1869-1950

"In The Beginning"

Kilmarnock Football Club early roots can be traced back to 1869 when young cricketers who played on Barbados Green (now the Howard Park) decided that they needed something to occupy their time during the winter months when cricket was not an option. This is when the first club meeting took place and the club founded.

At that time Killie found themselves playing a form of primitive football-rugby at their first ground, near South Hamilton Street. This sport was by no means anything like the football that we know and love now, it was more like a type of Rugby; hence their ground was named Rugby Park. 

Four years later, in 1873, the Scottish Football Association formed and a competitive league and Scottish cup commenced (which Killie donated 1 pound towards the purchase of the trophy).

Key Dates

1869 First general meeting.

1873 Killie adopt blue as their colour.

1877 AGM Invite

1877 Ayrshire Cup initiated.

1878 First floodlight match.

1879 Kilmarnock FC

1880-81 Season Ticket


1885-86 Season Ticket

1895 Killie voted into the Scottish League.

1895-96 Scottish Qualifying Cup Winners Kilmarnock FC

1896 Killie win the Scottish Qualifying Cup.

1898 Killie are Scottish Cup runners up, and are Scottish second Division champions. There was no automatic promotion back in those days, and Killie failed to win promotion, as they were not voted "up".
See the league winners medal pictured left.

Aug 26th 1899 Opening of Rugby Park

1899 Killie are again the Scottish second Division champions, and are "voted" into the first division. Killie move into Rugby Park !

1906 Kilmarnock F C become a Limited Company.

1910 Kilmarnock

1917 October 13th, Killie go top of the table for the first time in their history with a 3-2 win over Celtic in Glasgow. This was Celtic's first home loss in seventy games.

1920 April 17th, Kilmarnock defeat Albion Rovers 3-2 to win the Scottish Cup for the first time, at Hampden in front of 95,000 fans

 1919-20 Scottish Cup Winners Kilmarnock FC

1923 Willie Culley (pictured above) plays his last games for Killie , he finishes his career with 159 goals in 317 appearances. 
He remains to this day as Killie's all time goal scorer.

1928-29 Season Ticket

Spence (manager) & McCulloch (Chairman) with the 1929 Scottish Cup

1929 April 6th, Kilmarnock defeat Rangers 2-0, to win the Scottish Cup for the second time, at Hampden front of 114,708 fans. It will be 68 years before Killie lift the cup again at the end of the 1996-97 season.

1928-29 Scottish Cup Winners Kilmarnock FC

Shortly after the 1928-29 Final, full-back Joe Nibloe is called up for the first of his eleven appearances for Scotland on 13th April 1929, featuring in a 1-0 victory over England at Hampden Park. All his 11 Scottish caps came while he was with Kilmarnock and he is still today the clubs most capped player, his last appearance for his country came in May 1932 against France

Joe Nibloe, Killie's Most Capped Player

1932-33 Scottish Cup Runners Up Kilmarnock FC

1932 Killie are Scottish Cup runners up.

1937-38 Scottish Cup Runners Up Kilmarnock FC

1937-38 Scottish Cup Final

 1937 Killie replace manager Hugh Spence with former Celtic great Jimmy McGrory. 

1938 Killie are Scottish Cup runners up.(above)

Mar 1938 Benny Thomson Scores the Winner Vs Rangers

1939-45 2nd World War. Thomson (above & left) is the only Killie player "lost" during the war. Rugby Park is used as a munitions dump by the Army during the war, and was rebuilt by the army after the war.

1944 Rugby Park During WW II

1945 Killie name Tommy Smith to managed Killie, (as McGrory went to Parkhead to become Celtic manager.) He is manager from  1945-47, and resigned due to ill-health, and also the pressure of building a team from scratch after WW II.

 1947 Kilmarnock relegated to the second division, and Tom Mather  (right) is named manager 1947- 48. Tom made little impact with Killie.

 1948 -50 Alex Hastings, become the next Killie boss, he was a former Scottish international that had won the English League while with Sunderland as a player. Alex became the 3rd straight "dud" and lasted only 2 years between 1948-50. Hastings is replaced by Malky McDonald in May of 1950

Killie finish the decade of the 40's as proud club floundering in post-war Scotland, in the middle half of the "B" division. Not to worry here comes the 50's!

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