Andy Kerr

Andy was born in Lugar in June 1931. He played for Wishaw High School and Lugar Boswell Thistle before signing for Partick Thistle in May 1952. Seven years later, Andy was transferred to Manchester City for £11,000. Andy never really settled in Manchester, so after two years, he signed for Killie in December 1959, for a club record £6,000.

Profile by Phil Hall

Andy proved to be an inspirational signing. Signed to take over from the popular Joe McBride, he soon gave a clue in his first match of what was to come when he scored in a fine 2-1 victory against Celtic. Inspirational, because Killie won the next fourteen league games in a row with Andy in the side, with the new number nine scoring eight goals!

Before Andy signed, he wasn’t even first choice replacement for the popular McBride! Killie tried to sign Scotland internationals Willie Bauld and JackieMundie. Both were experienced goalscorers, but never fancied playing for Killie.

Before Andy arrived, Killie had a bad start to season 59/60, which included a few hammerings, one 5-0 defeat to St Mirren was particularly worrying. That however soon changed with the arrival of Andy. Indeed such was the improvement, Killie finished runners up in this season, their highest ever position. Andy also helped the Club to the final of the Scottish Cup in this season, before going down 2-0 to Rangers in the Final. Killie was also involved in New York soccer tournament at the end of the season. Andy continued his scoring run when when he netted to defeat the English champions Burnley. Five days earlier, Andy scored one of three goals to defeat the mighty Bayern Munich. Killie eventually lost 2-0 in the Final to Brazilians Bangu. 

If Andy helped inspire his team mates in his first season, the fans hadn’t seen anything yet! With close season recruits Brian McIlroy, Sandy McLauchlan, Jackie McInally, Jackie McGrory, Eric Murray and Andy King, Willie Waddell was assembling a fine side.

Season 1960/61, Andy’s first full season, was the most successful season by a Killie striker ever. Andy left defences up and down the country shell shocked as he scored from all positions to net an amazing tally of 41 goals! These included three hat tricks, two braces and four in an amazing 5-3 mauling of Motherwell! The only players who came anywhere near his remarkable high season tally in their careers with Killie this century were Bud Maxwell, who scored 37 goals in season 1932/33, Peerie Cunningham, 36 goals in season 27/28 and Ian Fleming who netted 35 goals in season 73/74. Killie’s all time highest scorer Willie Culley, scored 23 goals in season 1915/16. Killie’s second highest all time scorer, Eddie Morrison banged in 32 goals in season 73/74. Remarkably, Eddie and Ian Fleming scored 67 goals between them in this promotion winning season as joint strikers, another record!

Killie in this season firmly stated their claim to the ‘perennial bridesmaid’ tag when they again finished second to Rangers! This wasn’t a criticism though, with the whole of Scottish football remarking that Killie were an established major force in the game.

In Andy’s second full season, season 61/62 Andy again astounded the experts with another whopping catch. This time he banged in 28 goals in the 32 games, scoring six braces and four in a game against Dundee United! Remarkably in this season, Andy’s goal tally of 28, would put him in joint seventh in the most goals scored by a player at the Club in a season! He was of course first! The other players who scored 28 goals for Killie in their best ever season for the Club were Brian McIlroy, 28 in 63/64 and Gerry Mayes, who scored 28 times in season 52/53.

By Killie’s new high standards, fifth spot in this season was a disappointment. They never really recovered from the sale of Bobby Kennedy, who left for Manchester City for the huge sum of £45,000, a record for a midfield player at the time.

Andy was seeing the new Rugby Park take shape. When finished it would have cover for 25,000. Club captain Jim Richmond won the Player of the Year, as Davie Sneddon joined from Preston for a Club record £17,000. You may remember it was noted earlier that Andy signed from Manchester City from Manchester City less than two years earlier, which was a Club record. It showed the Board was prepared to spend to keep Killie challenging for the top honours, and proved that when they eventually won the Championship, it was no fluke.

It was difficult to imagine, after scoring 41 and 28 goals in his first two seasons at the Club, that he could maintain such scoring form. Indeed the Press at the time questioned any player’s ability to continue such a streak. Andy defied the odds again! In his third and last starting season with the Club, season 62/63, Andy left them all speechless when he hit the back of the net an amazing 35 times.! All the more amazing when you consider he left the Club with eight games to go!

At the start of this season, the Club had applied to enter the Fairs Cup, but were shocked when Hibernian were granted the final place when they had finished three lower than Waddell’s Warriors. Andy and his mates played as if they had a point to prove for at the end of the first quarter of the season, they had lost just once. In one game, Killie entertained the Diamonds from Airdrie, who had just beaten Rath Rovers 8-1 the previous Saturday. Andy thought that he’d give them a taste of their own medicine when he hammered five past the hapless Airdrie keeper in an 8-0 rout!

Their Lanarkshire cousins Motherwell were beaten 7-1, with Andy joining six other team mates on the score sheet! The following week Clyde were hammered 5-0 at Shawfield, with Andy again on the scoresheet. Later in the seaon the Dumfries Doon Hamers were destroyed 7-0, which included an Andy Kerr brace. Two weeks later Andy went to Kirkaldy and scored a hat trick in a 4-1 win, as the team outplayed Raih Rovers. The list goes on. In this season Andy played against Airdrie twice in the League Cup and once in the League, scoring nine times! The Tannadice Tangarines were also terrorised, as he again scored a hat trick against them.

Towards the end of this season, Scottish defenders breathed a huge sigh of relief as Andy signed for Sunderland in a £22,500 deal. In his time with the Club he increased his transfer value almost 400%! To typify his astonishing scoring, he signed off in style, as you’d expect, scoring a brace against Celtic in a marvellous 6-0 victory!!

One year after leaving Killie, Andy now 33, again failed to settle in England. He returned to Scotland signing for Killie in an £8,000 deal. In August 1965 he joined Inverness Caley, where he stayed until finally hanging up his boots in 1967, aged 37.

Andy played for Scotland twice, both appearances in 1955 against the mighty Hungary. He played for the Scottish League on four occasions: the English League in 1956, Irish League in 58 and Jutland the following year. He made a ‘B’ appearance against England in 1954.

Andy was a Scottish Cup finalist in 1960 and he appeared in League Cup finals in 54, 57, 61 and 63

In only two and a half years at Rugby Park Andy had raised the profile of Kilmarnock FC in remarkable fashion. During his brief spell with the Club, Andy scored an amazing 119 goals in 137 appearances, proving himself an invaluable acquisition as Willie Waddell assembled his Championship winning squad.

Sadly though, despite playing teams off the park on a regular basis, Killie never won anything when Andy was there. Despite reaching finals of competitions and finishing 2nd in the Championship on three of the four season he was involved, he never got his hands on any silverware.

Despite that though, Andy has left a tremendous impression at the Club, smashing and creating records that may never be broken. It is for that that he’ll go down as arguably the best Killie striker of all time.

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