• 1998-99

    UEFA Cup

Killie FC

Killie In Europe Part VII


A Personal Recollection by Gordon 'Skygod' Simpson

The Cup Winners’ Cup campaign had given Killie and their fans a taste for European football in what was a high point in the club’s fortunes.

The 1997/98 season ended with the club in fourth place in the SPL and qualifying by right for the following season’s UEFA Cup (a first since it had replaced the old Inter Cities Fairs Cup).

The club had, with the backing of Jim Moffat, put together an exceptional squad with the likes of Gordon Marshall, Pat Nevin, Ally McCoist and Ian Durrant having been added to the roster.

The bad news was that Killie would face two Qualifying rounds before the draw proper. And there was great excitement – or was it trepidation? – when the draw sent Killie to Sarajevo in Bosnia which had been ravaged by the horrific civil war in the former Yugoslavia.

Their opponents were NK Zeljeznicar and the first leg was to be in the Asim FerhatoviÄ stadium on 22 July.

It seems scarcely credible to write but, between 1991 and 1995, Bosnia had been the scene of a savage war following the partitioning of Yugoslavia into the independent states of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Slovenia and Macedonia.

Bosnia was populated by a multi-ethnic mix of Muslim Bosnians, Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats. The Bosnian Serbs declared their own independent state and proceeded to annexe Muslim land, while the Croats similarly invaded Bosnian territory.

The war was characterised by “ethnic cleansing” – the mass slaughter, rape and deportation of Muslims by Serb regular and irregular forces under Ratko Mladić – in the face of NATO impotence, and the laying waste of Muslim villages, towns and cities, not least the sustained bombardment of Sarajevo. An estimated 11,000 citizens were killed during the four-year siege of the city alone. It was only when NATO intervened militarily that the conflict ceased.

This is a gross simplification of the conflict but is merely intended to put into some context the significance of Killie travelling to play a football match so soon after a war which – at the end of the 20th century on European soil – saw the massacre of civilians on no grounds other than nationality and religion. Shameful.

Manager Bobby Williamson and Secretary Kevin Collins made a reconnaissance trip to Sarajevo before the tie. Whether his reported statement that “Playing there would be like playing in Castlemilk” was an attempt to reassure the players and their families or a crass trivialisation, you can be the judge. But it was not without some fears that the players flew into Sarajevo, the thousands of crosses marking recently dug graves being visible on approach.

Despite the difficulties in reaching what had recently been a war zone, the Killie footsoldiers were present as ever!

Those who were present can give a better account of the match than me but the summary would be that it was played before a loud and enthusiastic crowd of 22,000, Kevin McGowne (above) gave Killie a 1-0 lead in the 55th minute and this was cancelled out in the 66th minute.

The NK Zeljeznicar officials presented their opposite numbers with an engraved shell case, an appropriate memento of the most poignant match in Killie’s European history.

The return match was one week later on 29 July. A huge crowd of 14,512 turned out prompted by reduced pricing of £8 and £2 although I was posted missing, being on holiday in Finland.

Killie took 31 minutes to break down the Bosnian defence through a diving header by Alan Mahood (below). 

Thereafter, Killie proceeded to protect their lead without much difficulty and the NK Zeljeznicar players left the field and the tournament to a heart-warming ovation.


The UEFA Cup Second Qualifying Round saw Killie drawn against SK Sigma Olomouc of the Czech Republic with the first leg away on 11 August.

Olomouc is a small, picturesque university city in the east of the Czech Republic on the Morava River, situated 150 miles from Prague. With no direct flights from the UK and two and a half hours by rail from Prague, I couldn’t get the time off work. For those 250 or so who made the journey though, it was probably one of the best of Killie’s second European era.

The match was played in the afternoon heat, estimated at 90 F, and Killie were always going to have a tough task against a Sigma team which would finish fourth in their domestic league that season. Killie were without Pat Nevin, John Henry, Dylan Kerr and the ineligible Ally McCoist.

Sigma were kept at bay until the 26th minute when Krohmer scored. Before a crowd of only 3,669 in the small Andrav stadium, Killie came more into the match in the second half and looked on the verge of taking a good result back to Scotland before Konig doubled the Czechs’ lead in the 78th minute.

The second leg was played at Rugby Park on 25 August. Hoping to get the backing of a big crowd to help annul the two-goal deficit, the club reduced admission prices to £8 and £2 once more. They were rewarded with a good crowd of 11,140 but, alas, the tie was soon killed as a contest by goals from the outstanding Marek Heinz and Mucha inside the first 20 minutes.

Killie plugged away and fashioned a few chances but the game was up long before Alex Burke was sent off near the end for a second yellow card.

Had Killie won, they would have returned to the south of France, to Marseille who comfortably defeated Sigma in the First Round.

When the SPL ceased for the winter break, Killie were in second place, only four points behind Rangers and six ahead of Celtic, with only three defeats in 21 matches.

The break came at the worst possible time for Killie who were flying and they only added sixteen points from the 15 matches post-break to finish in fourth place. To add insult to injury, the Scottish Cup Third Round draw sent Killie back to Somerset Park where they were comprehensively beaten 3-0.

However, overall, the club’s fortunes were still very much in the ascent and, due largely to the charismatic McCoist, media interest in the club had rarely been higher, evidenced by a “Gotcha!” prank at Rugby Park by Noel Edmonds in his top-rated House Party tv programme and Robert Duvall filming a “straight to DVD” film – A Shot At Glory – with McCoist

First Qualifying Round
22/07/98 –NK Zeljeznicar 1 (0)  Kilmarnock 1 (0)  (Att. 22,000)
Scorer: McGowne
29/07/98 – Kilmarnock 1 (1)  NK Zeljeznicarar 0 (0)  (Att. 14,512)
Scorer: Mahood
Second Qualifying Round
11/08/98 – Sigma Olomouc 2 (1)  Kilmarnock 0 (0)  (Att. 3,669)
25/08/98 – Kilmarnock 0 (0)  Sigma Olomouc 2 (2)  (Att. 11,140)


Killie FC

Website Privacy Statement

Our policy relating to data collection and privacy has fairness at its heart and is never intended to cause objection or complaint and to that end if there is any dubiety we will not store your information. As a business we wish to stay in communication with your and keep you up to date with news, offers and updates on our product which you may find of interest, but we will only do this with your clear and specific consent.

Standard Privacy Policy

This privacy policy sets out how KILLIE FC uses and protects any information that you give KILLIE FC when you use this website.

KILLIE FC is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.

KILLIE FC may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy is effective from 13th Jun 2018 


We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. To prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online and offline.

Where we collect this information

As a business we collect data for a number of sources, but our data policy applies to all of the following including personal data collected at reception, check in, exhibitions, on and off-line competitions, guest questionnaires, online bookings, online communications, digital newsletter sign ups from websites and social media, shared promotions with partners and others not listed.

We confirm that unless specific consent is given by the user the information shared will not be stored beyond the purpose intended. If specific consent is given to use the information collected it will be stored securely and digitally encrypted and password protected. 

How we use cookies

A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer's hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.
We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data, using Google Analytics normally but on occasion other aggregation tools that advise us about web page traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and then the data is removed from the system.

Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.

You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.

Links to other websites

Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. Therefore, we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.

Controlling your personal information

You may choose to restrict the collection or use of your personal information in the following ways:
●    whenever you are asked to fill in a form on the website, look for the box that you can click to indicate that you do not want the information to be used by anybody for direct marketing purposes
●    if you have previously agreed to us using your personal information for direct marketing purposes, you may change your mind at any time by writing to or emailing us or by clicking unsubscribe where available.

We will not sell, distribute or lease your personal information to third parties unless we have your permission or are required by law to do so. We may use your personal information to send you promotional information about third parties which we think you may find interesting only if you specifically consent to us that you wish this to happen.
We undertake that third parties will only include businesses that support our business and your stay such as travel providers, visitor attractions, event providers and others directly related to our business offering.

If you believe that any information we are holding on you is incorrect or incomplete, please write to or email us [email protected] as soon as possible, at the above address. We will promptly correct any information found to be incorrect.

Our Website and In House Data Collection Policy

Our email collection policy is fully consent based and in entering your details clear consent is given by the user to receive future marketing materials from ourselves. The following information makes clear our policy on use of consent based email marketing and communications.

What we collect

We may collect the following information on a consent only basis:
●    name and job title
●    contact information including email address
●    demographic information such as postcode, preferences and interests
●    other information relevant to customer surveys and/or offers

What we do with the information we gather

The majority of the information we gather is required for contractual and legal purposes and to allow us to offer products and services as purchased. 
When consent is given to use the information for marketing and communication purposes it is used for the following reasons:
●    We may periodically send promotional emails about new products, special offers or other information which we think you may find interesting using the email address which you have provided.
●    From time to time, we may also use your information to contact you using your provided email address for market research purposes. 

Your information will never be shared with any third parties and at all times you have the right to unsubscribe permanently from our database with a simple click of the unsubscribe information at which time your details will be deleted from the mailing lists and removed from the database permanently with no archived records retained.

Killie FC

Website Terms and Conditions

Your use of the Killie FC Web Site is subject to these terms and by using the Site you show your agreement to such terms. If you do not accept our terms, please do not use the Web Site.

Ownership of Web Site

This Web Site belongs to Killie FC.


Headings used in these terms and conditions are for convenience only and shall not affect their interpretation.


The images, logos and names on this Web Site which identify Killie FC or third parties and their products and services are proprietary marks of Killie FC and/or the relevant third parties. Nothing contained in this Web Site shall be deemed to confer on any person any license or right on the part of Killie FC or any third party with respect to any such image, logo or name.


Killie FC reserves the right, at any time and without prior notice, to remove or cease to supply any product or service contained on this Web Site. In the event that such removal takes place we shall not be liable to you in any way whatsoever for such removal.

Phone Calls and Emails

Telephone calls using the telephone numbers provided on this Web Site and email correspondence with Killie FC at the email addresses accessible through, or discernible from, this Web Site may be recorded or monitored. By using such communication methods you are consenting to the recording or monitoring of the same.

Telephone charges

The price of calls may vary depending on your telecoms supplier. Please check with your operator for exact charges.


Commercial use

This Web Site is for non-commercial, personal use only. The services contained on this Web Site may be supplied on a commercial basis on payment to Killie FC or its service or product suppliers of its charges from time to time. Please contact us on Email: [email protected]

In the event that you use any of the services contained on this Web Site for commercial use, Killie FC shall be entitled to charge you at its applicable rates in respect of such commercial use.


The copyright in the material contained in this Web Site belongs to Killie FC or its licensed source. Any person may copy any part of this material, subject to the following conditions:

the material may not be used for commercial purposes;

the copies must retain any copyrights or other intellectual property notices contained in the original material;

the products and technology or processes described in this Web Site may be subject to other intellectual property rights reserved by Killie FC or by other third parties with no license granted in respect of those intellectual property rights); images on this Web Site are protected by copyright as its text by IPR and may not be reproduced or appropriated in any manner without the written permission of their respective owner(s).

Changes to Terms and Records of Agreements

We reserve the right to change these terms and conditions at any time by posting changes on the Web Site. It is your responsibility to review the Web Site terms and conditions to ensure you are aware of the latest terms and conditions. Your use of this Web Site after a change has been posted will be deemed to signify your acceptance of the modified terms and conditions. We recommend that you print off and retain for your records a copy of these terms and conditions from time to time and a copy of any terms and conditions relating to any product or service which you apply for online, together with any related application form completed and submitted.

Any amendment to terms and conditions must be agreed in writing by us, or, if appropriate, by the relevant company or individual supplier with whom you contract.


Whilst Killie FC has taken due care and attention in the preparation of the contents of this Web Site, this Web Site and the information, names, images, pictures, logos, icons regarding or relating to Killie FC or our products and services marketed on the site (or to third party products and services), are provided on an 'as is' basis without any representation or endorsement being made and without any warranty of any kind, whether express or implied, including but not limited to, any implied warranties of satisfactory quality, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement, compatibility, security and accuracy.

To the extent permitted by law, all such terms and warranties are hereby excluded. In no event will Killie FC be liable, whether in contract or tort (including negligence or breach of statutory duty) or otherwise for any losses sustained and arising out of or in connection with use of this Web Site including, without limitation, loss of profits, loss of data or loss of goodwill (in all these cases whether direct or indirect) nor any indirect, economic, consequential or special loss.

Killie FC does not represent that the information contained in this Web Site is accurate, comprehensive, verified or complete, and shall accept no liability for the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this Web Site or for any reliance placed by any person on the information.

Killie FC does not warrant that the functions or materials accessible from or contained in this Web Site will be uninterrupted or error free, that defects will be corrected or that this Web Site or the server that makes it available are virus or bug free or represent the full functionality, accuracy, reliability of the materials.

If any of these Terms and Conditions (or any terms and conditions relating to a product or service referred to in this Web Site) should be determined to be illegal, invalid or otherwise unenforceable by reason of the laws of any state or country in which such terms and conditions are intended to be effective, then to the extent of such illegality, invalidity or unenforceability, and in relation to such state or country only, such terms or condition shall be deleted and severed from the rest of the relevant terms and conditions and the remaining terms and conditions shall survive, remain in full force and effect and continue to be binding and enforceable. Nothing in these terms and conditions shall exclude Killie FC's liability for death or personal injury resulting from negligence of Killie FC.

Intellectual Property Rights

All Intellectual Property Rights (including, without limitation, all database rights, rights in designs, rights in know-how, patents and rights in inventions (in all cases whether registered or unregistered and including all rights to apply for registration) and all other intellectual or industrial property rights in any jurisdiction) in any information, content, materials, data or processes contained in or to this Web Site belong to Killie FC or its licensed source. All rights of Killie FC in such Intellectual Property Rights are hereby reserved.

Jurisdiction and Law

Killie FC makes no representation that any product or service referred to on or through the Web Site is appropriate for use, or available in other locations. The information and other materials contained in this Web Site may not satisfy the laws of any other country and those who choose to access this Site from other locations are responsible for compliance with local laws if and to the extent local laws are applicable.

These Terms and Conditions and any terms and conditions relating to products or services described in this Web Site shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of Scotland. Disputes arising in relation to the same shall, unless otherwise expressly agreed, be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Scotland.

Links to other Web Sites

Certain (hypertext) links, advertisements or suppliers promotion will lead you to Web Sites that are not under the control of Killie FC. When you activate any of these links, you will leave Killie FC Web Site by opening a new window and we have no control over and will accept no responsibility or liability in respect of the material on any such other Web Site. By allowing links with third party Web Sites Killie FC does not intend to solicit business or offer any security to any person in any country, directly or indirectly.

Force Majeure

Every effort will be made to carry out the contract but its due performance is subject to cancellation by Killie FC or to such variation as we may find necessary as a result of inability to secure labour, materials or supplies or as a result of any act of God, War, Strike, Lockout or other labour dispute, Fire, Flood, Drought, Legislation, or other cause (whether of the foregoing class or not) beyond the sellers control.

Killie FC

Website Accessibility

We have tried to make this website as accessible as possible and easy to use for everyone, regardless of circumstance or ability.

All our page templates comply with the WCAG Priority 2 checkpoints as a minimum requirement. And we make every effort to ensure that all the content on our site meets this standard too. We are making every effort to ensure that we don't exclude any users. For example:

  • We try to use clear and simple language.
  • We use alternative text for all our images 
  • Were possible the HTML we produce conforms to the standard: XHTML 1.0 Strict
  • We have tested the colours we use in the design for contrast.

We try to publish all our text content as accessible HTML rather than in other formats such as PDF. Where we do publish PDFs or other formats our policy is to make them as accessible as we can.

Please feel free to share the content of this page with your friends – simply click on where you would like to share it.