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I’m still traumatized from that pathetic performance in Paisley and I feared I was so affected I wouldn’t be able to sleep. Thankfully I just stuck on my DVD of “Great AJ post match interviews” and hey presto I was in the land of nod quicker than it takes Jackson Irvine to miscontrol a pass. Seriously, if anyone is suffering mental torture listening to AJ’s verbal nonsense please seek some online help at Given the tightness of the four teams above Hearts its inevitable that you get “this is a six pointer” headlines but I do think that st Mirren was probably the first genuine six pointer of the season…….and we failed with flying colours. I;ve written in previous issues stating we need to give managers a bit of time but there has to be some signs of progress and I simply don’t see any. The introduction of Eremenko was hailed as a great move but it’s pointless playing a guy like him then launching long balls from back to front. All I saw at Paisley was a few square or back passes followed by a hit and hope attempt up the park and it simply isn’t good enough. It may be the players are putting it all in for the manager or it may simply be AJ’s lack of tactical know how but either way the blame lies firmly at the feet of AJ. When he arrived in the summer he gave the impression that he was a bit out his depth in the SPFL. I have seen nothing since then to suggest he has what it takes to ensure that Killie’s extended stay in the top division continues for another year. This isn’t a knee jerk reaction, the league doesn’t lie and we are down there as we are simply not very good. Lets try and stay a wee bit positive for now as there are plenty of points still to play for and as previously stated there are several other crap teams out there. Our next game is at home to Hearts and hopefully three points will give us a little bit of breathing space, defeat in that game doesn’t bear thinking about. Hopefully Karlsson will get a start as he looked like he may have something about him….well Sunderland did play big bucks for him. Elsewhere you may have seen ex Killie star Ian Bryson in the papers. The local lad was a fine midfielder for Killie back in the 80;s and is a thoroughly top bloke as well. He played with Preston down south and I believe he has settled in that area. Ian was a pall bearer at the funeral of Sir Tom Finney, a funeral that was attended by Davie Sneddon who played with Sir tom at Deepdale……Killie connections all over the place. You will see a couple of articles about fundraising in this issue, can I ask everyone to do whatever they can to help, however little It may be. Thanks for your loyal support and send my your thoughts on an independent Killie!! Sandy

DO LOAN SIGNINGS WORK? I suppose the less money in the Scottish game the more we will see teams giving young players a chance whilst looking to bring in loan players. Managers all have their own views on the use of loan players and we are going to have a look to see if these are good for the game……and if Killie benefit from loan players. We will stick specifically to Scotland since it’s a different world down south. One Howard regular was telling me recently that Chelsea currently have 32 players out on loan!!! I haven’t been able to verify this but there is no doubt the Premiership teams have squads which are equivalent in size to an A*r Utd home crowd. I suppose we could stick with the English premiership theme to start with as more and more clubs are trying to get some players on loan due to the huge squads the bigger teams have. St Mirren are a good example as they seem to have a tie up with Newcastle, the lad Dummett was on loan at the buddies and is now in the Newcastle first team. They also have the guy Newton who has been there since last season plus they signed a young striker earlier this season. Perhaps they only take players who play in black and white stripes and nobody has noticed they still wear their toon army tops! I don’t know what the St Mirren fans think of it but in the case of Newton he seems to play every week and seems decent so I suppose his inclusion can be justified. It seems a very similar to the argument from years ago about the introduction of many foreign players. It seemed it got to the stage where almost every team was packed with overseas players but as time has went on there has been a realization that they are not really any better than the home based players. Of course there are players like Eremenko who ooze class and clearly improve the players around them but for very Eremenko there is a Jorge Galan who had an impressive CV but couldn’t get a game with the Howard fat Lads Sunday 11. The January window is probably most popular for loan signings with some players realizing they are not in favour at their own club therefore they look to get a wee loan move so they can get game time. Another factor is that the EPL teams have to name a first team squad of 25. In all honesty that leaves a lot of guys not going to see any 1st team action so as long as that particular rule stays in place you can expect to see many players heading for the bright lights of Caledonia. I wonder how a “Yes” vote for independence will affect the movement of players between us and England…..probably none but I digress, lets have a look at loan players in and out of Killie.

Kenny Shiels didn’t seem over keen on bringing in loan players as he favoured giving young players a chance. Mixu before that had contacts all over the globe and that is why we were able to get Eremenko here first time around. AJ hasn’t covered himself in glory with his signings so far and I don’t know that his loan signings can be viewed as a huge success either. OUTS Currently we have three players out on loan: James Fowler is at Cowdenbeath and its no surprise I suppose with Jimmy Nicol well aware of our squad from his time here with KS. We don’t have huge experience in the squad so I thought Fow may have been kept for his versatility and experience however he has just had his loan extended for another month. His contract at Killie runs out this summer so it may well be the last member of our League cup winning team will be away by next season. Rory McKeown just followed Fow to the blue Brazil and he scored on his debut at home to Dundee, a game they won 2 – 0. Rory was in and out the team and is still relatively young so he is the type who may well improve with a run of games under his belt. Our full back positions appear a bit of a weak link to me and it could be argued that they have been an issue for a few years now. Tess and Maksimenko look like they will occupy left back for the rest of the season so maybe there is a chance for rory to come back in the summer and push for a starting spot next year. Jude Winchester is the final player to be shipped out and it does seem that he is one of the guys simply not rated by AJ. That disappoints me as I always liked Jude and thought he had the attributes to become a decent attacking midfielder. He did chip in with a few goals when he got his chance under KS and I have to say I would have stuck with him rather than get the likes of Irvine in from Celtic……more of the much maligned Jackson a little later. Anyway Jude is away back to Northern Ireland to play with Cliftonville and it will be interesting to see where his career goes from here………I suspect it wont be back at the Theatre of Pies. I’m sure every killie fan will have their own opinion on the three players who we have farmed out since we don’t have the biggest squad in the world and in the case of Fowler, he can fill in several positions which is an invaluable asset within a smaller squad. The flip side of that argument is that Fow is getting on a bit and we should be letting younger guys get the experience in either the midfield of full back roles. Managers will normally tell you that they send players out to get the games and to let them come back better players but in the case of all three players above I don’t know if they have a future with Killie….time will tell.

INS Given our financial shortcomings it is no surprise to see that we tend to have more players “in” than “out”. Almost all clubs are doing the same in the SPFL so we would be missing out if we didn’t try to grab a few gems from south of the border especially. We currently have four guys on loan as follows: Michael Gardyne – the diminutive midfielder/striker has had mixed success since he came to us at the start of the season. He hasn’t been able to hold down a starting place however and I would be a little surprised if the move was made permanent come the summer. One stat shows he hasn’t scored whilst he has no assists either so that doesn’t exactly fill you with confidence especially if Boydie was to get injured. We are short in attacking options however so he may get more chances between now and may. Jackson Irvine has probably sparked more debate than any of our own players this season. He has played in various midfield and defensive positions but has failed to totally convince in any of them. I feel a bit sorry for the guy when he is played at full back as that clearly isn’t his position but he has become bit of a target specifically when things aren’t going well. I have to admit that I hate the idea of us helping to develop another team’s young players at the expense of our own. O’hara is a good example as he can play in the same positions as Irvine and is at least as good in my opinion. The rumour is that part of Irvine’s deal is that Celtic pay his wages if he plays hence he seems to start all the time. That may be a bit of an urban myth but it would explain the desire to by AJ to find him a starting place at all costs. As I say I don’t have anything against the lad but I would criticize Aj for some of his selection policies. Vitalijs Maksimenko joined us from Brighton in January and can play centre back or left back apparently. That seems like decent cover given the injury problems we have had with Bouzid and Barr. The slight concern is that he hasn’t yet figured but perhaps AJ is just staying loyal to the guys in place. I’m sure we will see the big Latvian before too long and if he is comfortable at left back I’d give him a run in that position as Tess is not playing great. David Karlsson is the final loan singing and is a Swedish winger/striker. He was signed for big bucks for Sunderland so they obviously have high hopes for the 19 year old. He set up a couple of goals in the recent reserve gave against St Johnstone so we may see him get a wee run shortly. As stated earlier we don’t have great options in the attacking third and Karlsson apparently has a bit of pace about him. Overall I much prefer to see our youngsters get a chance but there is room for loan players… long as they improve what we already have. AJ’s signing record is poor so far so the next few months may let us see if he really does have an eye for a player.


INDEPENDENCE FOR KILLIE I’ll be honest with you all, this whole independence media frenzy is doing my moobs in and the nonsense spouted by individuals on both sides is more tedious than an Alan Johnston post match interview. We’ve got another 6 months of this to endure so to avoid any further mince I’ve come to a conclusion…..its time for Killie to go it alone. This is not a decision I’ve taken lightly, it was only after several gallons of cheap supermarket lager that I convinced myself that we have what it takes to form our own independent “wee toon” and contribute what we can on the world stage. We have the infrastructure, we have the transport links and we have the Forum Café so lets go and kick some ass. Of course this will be a democratic process and every Kilmarnockonian (is that a word?) will have their say in the outcome…….no individual will have 87% of the vote to himself I would like to stress. The manifesto of course is key in the whole process so here’s a few of the things we are proposing, feel free to get in touch with me to put forward your own thoughts. Of course there are expenses for us political types so any proposed changes need to be sent with a cheque for £10,000 made payable to “The Town Fryer”, c/o Howard Arms, Kilmarnock (no part of Scotland, England, Uk or World)

Hippo Manifesto document (subject to change for no obvious reasons) PARLIAMENT All meetings will be held in the Palace Theatre or Bellfield Community Centre as that’s nearest to my hoose. It also gives us the option to grab some beer at the Bellfield shops (good deal currently on Carling) and allows us a munchie box on the way home. There will always be a need for emergency meetings e.g. how the hell do we eat during the Chinese new year and all the shops are shut. All emergency meetings will be held in a pub………..I’ll stick something up on Facebook giving you half an hours notice. So if I’m up the town the meeting will be in the Brass + Granite, Kadikoi etc or if I’m in the south of the empire we just head for the Howard. CURRENCY This is a highly sensitive issue and there were some heated debates recently when I discussed the subject with fellow politicians (lager monsters) and journalists (bigger lager monsters). Initially agreement was reached, we accepted the currency was something all good Killie folk are used to using therefore ginger bottles were passed as our unit of currency……then the blazing rows started. One prominent businessman pointed out it had to be Alpine bottles as they were bigger and better …….just like Killie in general. However the other side of the house pointed out that Curries red cola is the holy water of Killieshire (new county name) therefore the Auchinleck bottles should hold sway.

After days of frantic discussion the nod went to alpine when it was pointed out you could always steal a lift on the back of their lorries and the driver wouldn’t kick you off.

There is one slight issue that may have an effect on our currency and our ability to trade with far flung places like Strathaven, I don’t know if Alpine are still on the go. If they are six foot under under we will open a new factory, start making the famous ginger and we will have created currency and 500 jobs in the process……political genius I’m sure you’ll agree. We will call it the alpine Mint……….oh and there’s a suggestion for a new flavour. NATIONAL DISH One of the most contentious issues in all nations is food and the Killie Peoples Front will be no different. Of course I love the traditional Scottish food like Pakora, Madras and Donner pizzas but perhaps we should look at something else for our new creation.

The overwhelmingly popular nosebag is the Killie Pie and that will be our national dish for as long as I fiddle the referendum figures. It will be the requirement of each citizen to scoff a minimum of one Killie Pie per day although if you want to replace it with a belter bridie the police will turn a blind eye. There is a very vocal minority, and I have some sympathy, who feel the munchie box should play a part in our independence. With this in mind we will name it first reserve. At present in Scotland the tatties and neeps play a supporting role to the humble haggis. In an independent Killie the munchie box can be served as the perfect accompaniment to the Killie Pie and why not wash it down with a bottle of alpine Mintade?? Food will play a big part in 21st century Killie and we want to look at how a healthy diet can go hand in hand with sport and specifically with our beloved killie. It is proposed that before each Killie game the opposing captain will give Pasca a pendant and in return Manuel will hand over a monster munchie box. This can be also be used as their half time scoff hence saving a few quid on half time refreshments (I hope the parasite doesn’t steal this idea from me). INDUSTRY You will be aware that the manifesto has already created a large number of jobs but we cant sit back and admire our great work. Our first task is to find the Chief exec of Diageo and kick the crap out him. It may or may not persuade him to bring back JW to its rightful home but it will sure as hell make us feel a lot better. A feelgood factor is vital to Killie and beating up this dick is something we can all agree on.

Elsewhere we need to look to build on what we have and create new industry that will make us leaders throughout the global economy. In particular we’d like to focus on the fashion industry and with this in mind we have two proposals. Firstly its clear to see that the youth of today like to flash the back of their knees when wearing jeans so we are creating Killie Jeans. This must have fashion accessory will be normal to look at from the front but on the back the jeans will stop just above the knee. The saving in material will allow us to sell at 75% of the current range hence we will become the denim capital of the world creating 5000 jobs in the process. Secondly this new range will increase the awareness of undercrackers hence our marketing team have come up with Killie Bombers. They will be in the Bridget Jones mould and will have the words “Killie Jeans” emblazoned across the arse, sales and advertising all in one. The Killie Bombers will only be available in Killie colours so to summarise, all Killie folk will wear big blue and white stripey knickers. BORDERS This is another highly emotive issue and one that caused a near riot in the wee paper shop at Bellfield shops. Hadrians Wall is the visible separation between Scotland and England so we propose Killie has something similar. My wee mate Marc is a brickie and will stick a cracking wee red brick number “roon the toon” for a tenner a day. The million dollar question is where does wee Marc stick the wall as I don’t want him getting a slap in the jaw for putting hulfurt on the wrong side of the divide.

This is where the problems start, just who should be allowed within the walls of our superpower. I suppose if any of the surrounding villages brings something to the party (or bribes me) then we’ll count them in. Hulfurt is a fine example, its got a cracking wee willie winkie, cracking ruby Murray shop and I have good mates fae there so hulfurt gets in. Another acceptable criteria is if the town/village in question has a good Killie crew then we will allow them in although at this point I must apologise to my chums in the Edinburgh Killie Supporters club, wee Marc refuses to extend the wall up to your gaff. Much like Britain has the Commonwealth countries we will have wee “satellite“ killie toons so that will bring in the likes of the Irvine Valley toons, Garnock Valley, the three toons and Dreghorn but we have a big problem……..the a*r and Prestwick KSC. I propose we do a sort of north Korean cull, release the hounds on lovers of the black/white, green/white + red/white/blue and the cream will be left……..wee marc has stated he requires double time if you want your own wall. FITBA Now to the crux of the matter, what do we do with Scotland’s oldest, finest and best. Firstly we rid them of their dictator and our legal team are currently investigating his claim that the town library is named after him. The beauty of all this is that Killie will be both our club team and also the national team. We will create history by winning the Champions League and World Cup within 50 days of each other although some of the West Stand will still moan about young whippersnappers singing songs and saying naughty things about the dearly departed dictator. That’s all for now folks but please send us your proposals along with your hefty cheques.

Killie Trust Ellie and Laurie Fund Ideas The Killie Trust have decided that we should do something further to help young Killie fan Laurie who needs further orthopaedic surgery to help him walk. It's such a shame that in this day and age they are struggling to make the £12k they need in the next few weeks to allow the surgery to go ahead and we'd like try and raise some funds and hopefully raise a bit of publicity to try and make sure he gets the treatment he needs. Our share of the profits from our next comedy night (see advert in this issue) should be in the region of £1200 and we are going to petition our members to ask them if it is okay to front fund the charity £1000 out of our general fund which will be replaced after the comedy night (which obviously happens after the money is needed). An email will go out to all our members to ask if they will sanction this so please make sure that it does not get caught in your spam filters, and please reply whether you are in favour or have any objections. We have also contacted the club to see if we can do a bucket collection at the Hearts game as well. The club do not normally allow bucket collections but they've done quite a bit for Ellie and Laurie in the past so hopefully we can get the go ahead for that, at which point we will be looking for some trustworthy volunteers to help out on the day. They have so far raised £2,138 and need to get to 12% (£8,400) of their target (£70,000) as soon as possible so that's £6,262 that needs to be raised immediately. It's heartbreaking to think that Laurie would miss out on this life-changing opportunity for the want of just over five grand. Let's make this happen, let's get off our back sides and do something for one of our own, together we can make a difference.

ALL THE LATEST KILLIE GOSSIP You may have read in issue 135 that we were expecting to have heard about the club AGM by this time. It used to always be held around Xmas but last year it was help back to the end of January. Well here we are in March and still no mention of the AGM although Billy Bowie seemed to think it would be around the middle of March. Well it may well happen however one Killie fan informed me that MJ had sent off to Companies House looking to change the date therefore we may not have the AGM until around the end of May!! It’s obvious that MJ is scrambling around trying to get a deal with the bank that will ultimately benefit him…….he simply doesn’t get the fact that as long as he is here, more damage is done daily and the fans are more fractured than ever before….pathetic but not surprising. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> There has been no update on the BB situation although many feel he is simply in this for the hotel and is simply paying lip service to all the fans, companies etc that he has been talking to.I did hear one wild rumour today that he was going to take over from MJ and he was going to be backed by a Brazilian businessman………it sounds far fetched but nothing would surprise me these days at the shell that is MJFC. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> You will see elsewhere in this issue that we did a quick update on the youths and specifically their excellent progress in the Youth cup. The Killie kids have reached the semi final following a fine 2 -1 win over Morton at the Theatre of Pies. Since I wrote the report the draw has been made for the semis and the draw is as follows – Hearts v Killie and Rangers v St Mirren. At the time of writing the date is given as Sunday 6th April although these games are often subject to change. Nothing is arranged as yet but the Howard may well be taking a minibus if we can get enough numbers……please get in touch if you fancy making the trip.

WHAT CONNECTS THE KILLIE PIE, YOUNG KILLIE + NURSING HOMES? It may sound like a joke and on a good day I would engage my brain to attempt a witty punchline but I’m afraid my napper is still numb from watching that mince at St Mirren. The answer is all very simple really and it all relates to our humble publication. We have only survived for 136 issues thanks to the fans, the sponsors and the contributors. Of course the circulation may have dropped a bit over the years in line with the falling attendances however the loyalty of the fans has been heartwarming and the support and feedback that we get makes it all worthwhile. Anyway none of this helps to answer the question above so here goes. I’m sure you are all aware of the disgraceful treatment the YK had to ensure from the club and specifically the parasite. The organization, thanks to all their volunteers, have done wonders over the years for the youngsters and for the club. Thanks to the generosity of John Gall (that’s the Killie pie connection) we are now able to give the YK free issues of every fanzine which they can sell to raise funds. We have also committed to send free copies of very issue to all nursing homes in Killie……..we started doing this a few years back but fell out the habit. I’d just like to thank Brownings the Bakers for their support and I hope they continue to enjoy the great success they have built up over the years. John has been a loyal sponsor of the Hippo for yonks and I know he gives great support to lots of other fan causes. We hope to continue for a long time yet (if the old ticker survives the current relegation battle) so if there are any businesses out there willing to help please e mail

WANTED – KILLIE IRON MAN You may be aware that over the last couple of years we have taken a keen interest in former Killie fave Mark Reilly and more specifically his fundraising efforts on behalf of his daughter who suffers from Retts Syndrome. The Killie Trust Ball last September gave all profits to charity and it was Retts and the Ayrshire Hospice who benefitted from what was a great night. We are looking at doing other Killie related fundraising (see Have a Killie Heart article) so please get in touch if you can help in any way possible. Anyway Mark recently posted on his Facebook page that he was lining up a huge challenge for next year, here’s what he had to say: “I have decided that my next big challenge for Reverse Rett and all the little princesses out there will be an iron man in 2015. Venue to be confirmed. This consists of a 2.4 mile swim in open water, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run to finish. This is a big ask for me as I can't swim 25meters freestyle, hav'nt been on a bike since I was about 10 and have never ran a marathon. But I will complete this... Because I can..” Now we could simply do some fundraising for Mark but I contacted him and suggested we get a Killie fan to take on the challenge as well and raise funds in that way. So there you have it, is there a Killie fan out there who is fit enough to take on this massive challenge? You will understand there will be no volunteers from the Howard troops for obvious reasons but I’m sure there is someone out there who is u for it. If interested drop me an e-mail

WILL WE FINALLY GET TO THE FINALS? So we now all know who’ll face in Scotland as they seek to qualify for Euro 2016. Germany, Poland, the Republic of Ireland, Georgia and Gibraltar are the teams standing in the Scots way as they bid to reach a major final for the first time since 1998. The group doesn’t look that easy or the hardest draw the Scottish team have had in the past fifteen years or so. Scotland’s form has been extremely unpredictable. That’s why it’s so hard to say where they will finish in this up and coming campaign. I doubt the bookies will take bets on Germany qualifying for France 16. They should and probably will coast the group as the top-side. They are one of the favourites to go on and lift this years World Cup. So first place in this group should be nailed on. Tiny Gibraltar will be taking part in their first qualifying process. The minnows will be seen as the whipping boys and will be very lucky to get a point from any of these fixtures. They are a side used to facing and losing to the likes of Shetland, Jersey and Greenland. Poland, Ireland, Georgia and Scotland will then battle it out for the golden second spot or the possibly lucrative third position. (Rules of qualification: With France 2016 being a larger competition there will be 24 qualifiers instead of the previous 16. That means the nine group winners and runners up qualify automatically, as does the best placed third placed side. The eight remaining third placed teams will then face a play-off to decide which four sides take up the remaining positions.) This is where it gets dangerous for the Scottish national side. They don’t usually do well in a group that has so many sides that are capable of cutting each other’s throats.

Just look at the World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign. That looked decent too, but Scotland floundered and by the time they got going they were already out of the running. Georgia is not an international powerhouse but are likely to trip up other teams, especially in Tbilisi. They managed to beat Croatia at home and got a draw with France in recent qualifying ties. Back in 2007 they easily beat the Scottish national side 2-0. Poland aren’t thinking beyond their big rivals Germany. I caught up with Polish football writer Ryan Hubbard who said this… “Arch-rivals Germany will of course be the main focus of the draw. Poland know that qualification is in their own hands. Should they play to their abilities, qualification should be a formality. However play as they have in recent qualifying games and it could be another tournament passing by without the Poles. “ Poland has a good core to their squad with plenty of faces in the EPL, Serie A and of course the Bundesliga. Should they all pull together in the same direction then they will be a big threat to Scotland’s chances of second or third spot. Poland and Scotland will get an early chance to size each other up before their qualification matches as they have a friendly coming up in early March. Ireland is in a bit of a transition. Quite a few of the Irish players have recently retired or are on their last legs in terms of international football. Martin O’Neill needs to come in and really get the squad gelled and ready for battle straight away. The fixtures with Scotland will be fiery and highly anticipated encounters. Obviously with the Ireland management team having close links to Scottish football it could be interesting to see if they can get an edge over the Scots or will both teams just cancel each other out? They have two key players who were both born in the West of Scotland (Aiden McGeady and James McCarthy), that too can add a bit of spice to the fixture. All in all Gordon Strachan will hope his squads resurgence can continue and they can seal a return to France for the Tartan Army and get to a major final once again.

For that to happen the Scots will need focus, endeavour, desire and a huge slice of luck. They lacked all of that at various times during the last qualification process but surely our change in fortune is just around the corner. Who knows this Scottish side may be the first to play in an international elite competition representing an independent Scotland. Or they could beat Germay, lose to Gibraltar and finish fourth, losing a final qualification spot due to goal difference! Nothing would surprise me anymore. Hippo says – in my younger days ( a long time ago) I used to take an active interest in our national team and would go to nearly all our home games. It was in the days of Dalglish, Souness etc and there were some great nights at the old Hampden park. I really think I’m turning into a grumpy old fast Show type character who harps on about the good ol’ days but we really did have a decent team and it doesn’t seem that long ago. I only ever manager one Scotland away game and that was a superb 1 – 0 at Wembley with a John Robertson penalty igniting some mental celebrations on the terracing. I just realise this was in 1981 therefore I withdraw my comment about not being too long ago. I’m not a fan of the Tartan Army image where some dafties bounce around and seem to enjoy celebrating defeat. However I have several Killie chums who travel all over the world to support the national team…..they can never be accused of being glory hunters. I suppose the social side of things far outweighs the stuff they have to watch on the pitch…..we could say the same about following Killie I suppose!! I’m sure we could do another article on why the national team has slipped so far but in the 70’s, 80’s + 90’s it was a regular occurrence that we qualified for Euro + World cup finals. We haven’t done that since France 1998 however and if only for the sake of my mates, I’d love to see us making it to France. Wee Gordon Strachan was an infectious character as a player and he has had the same positive effect as the boss. Don’t hold your breath all the same but we had some excellent results of the WC qualifying and the nation expects that to continue for the Euro qualifiers come September.

C’MON THE KILLIE KIDS We like to follow the progress of our emerging youths, of course that is easier when a whack of them are involved with the first team. I’m writing this on the day after our shambolic display at st Mirren so I was hoping the youths could put a wee smile back on our faces. The youngsters have made their way to the Scottish Youth Cup where we have been drawn at home to Morton, Kenny Shiels et al. The huge favourites in the tournament were Celtic but with them knocked out it’s a huge chance for the others to grab a bit of glory. The full quarter final draw was: Heart of Midlothian v Queen’s Park Kilmarnock v Greenock Morton Rangers v Dunfermline Athletic St Johnstone v St Mirren The game was played at the Theatre of Pies although the pitch could probably have done with a rest. Ex boss Kenny Shiels was in attendance to see Killie start the brighter team and took an early lead. Aaron Splaine took advantage of slack defending to fire us ahead in 9 minutes. Morton were coming more in to the game however and grabbed an equalizer in 35 minutes through Fulton. It was a good contest but Killie grabbed the decisive winner through Kiltie who pounced on the rebound after a penalty was saved………Muirhead missed another penalty late on……Well done to the youngsters who now have a semi final to look forward to where they will face either St Mirren, Hearts or Rangers

CAN THE KILLIE FAMILY HELP OUT? You may remember in the last issue we spoke about helping with fundraising for the Headway charity. Jim’s family is keen to help this very worthwhile charity and daughter Nicola has a couple of events lined up. Here’s what Nicola is planning at present: Last year on May the 5th my dad James Haswell went to watch his beloved team Kilmarnock play only he never came home. He collapsed at the game after suffering a massive brain haemorrhage and later died in hospital. He was only 48 years old. I am sure a lot of you will remember of this happening. Basically I have now decided after having such a hard year to do something to honour my dad and raise funds for a charity that is very close to my heart. This will be headway the brain injury association. I will be hosting a charity quiz night on the 26th April with a buffet, raffle and dj/band to follow. If you own your own business or know of someone who may be interested in donating any raffle prizes towards the cause I would be most grateful. I have a letter from the charity to verify that I am doing this. So plz pm me if u can think of anyone that would be willing to help…..e mail Nicola at We are based in Kilmarnock thank you the Haswell family xxx So come on folks lets do what we can for this very worthwhile cause. Big Jim was a lovely guy and his family are doing him proud….lets do our bit to help


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DICK OF THE DAY – HIPPO If you read the last issue you will know our thoughts on Terry Butcher. The big thug has the Indian sign over Killie especially during his previous role at Inverness. They play the pressing game, make it physical and we seem to struggle to cope with it. On this occasion the pitch dragged everyone down to the one speed….slow but it may turn out to be a decent point. I have steered away from TB this time and have given the award to myself. I truly think I jinx the weather every home game Saturday. As soon as I turn the corner at Dundonald road the clouds burst open….I better take the hint as they say the sun always shines on the righteous!!


We may have lost last week at Tannadice but the performance was decent and I felt a repeat would see us grab a win over the Hibees. Sadly it wasn’t to be with the pitch ruining any chance of decent football. We took the lead fairly early on after a superb Boyd pass picked out Rory but chances were thin on the ground after that, In all honesty they had the bulk of the play after the break and I suppose it could have been worse. Things are still very tight at the bottom and next weeks trip to Paisley is yet another six pointer.


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DICK OF THE DAY – ALLAN JOHNSTON A bad day all round for the travelling 1081 Killie fans who witnessed one of the worst and most damaging defeats of the season so far. I’ve been patient with the manager so far but my confidence in him has eroded as the season drags on……and I’m officially now at breaking point. Regardless of what everyone thought about KS you could at least see what he was trying to do. I’m afraid I haven’t got a clue what AJ is doing and the standard of football on display was woeful. It’s a couple of square passes and a hoof or Samson launches it……it’s truly awful to watch. Don’t get me wrong, there are several bad teams in the league but on this showing we are as bad and it could be a nerve racking couple of months ahead. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> A truly depressing performance that sees us dragged right back into the play off scrap. There is now one point between all four teams and it may come down to bottle as much as ability. If I was going to take one positive from the game it was the introduction of Karlsson who looked useful…..but why the hell has AJ had him on the bench doing nothing for weeks?

GET WELL SOON STUART I love seeing old players marching into Rugby Park long after their playing days are over, guys with a genuine love for the club. On a regular basis I see Blair Miller, Ross Mathie and Stuart Layburn to name a few. Stuart was with Killie in the heady 60’s when we challenged for honours every year.

Stuart Layburn ‘Unlucky’ to have been at Kilmarnock in the era when they were one of the best teams in the UK. According to Assistant Trainer Jock Murdoch the quality of the reserves was almost as good as that of the first team: a testament to the quality of those backing up the first team pool. The high point of his career at Killie was starring in the remarkable 9-2 victory against Falkirk, setting up Brian McIlroy for the first minute opener. Although defender Stuart described himself – modestly – as “a boy amongst men”, he would surely have found a key role in many other top-flight teams in the 1960s.Stuart went on to work closely with the club in the years that followed, in particular as coach of the reserves. A supporter and still to this day a season ticket holder. Stuart has been missing at RP recently due to a hip operation and he has had a wee setback in his recovery. On behalf of Killie fans everywhere I’d like to wish Stuart a full and speedy recovery. Hurry back Stuart as the real Troon lawyer is missing your banter in the East stand.


If the new Scotland away strip is typical of our designing ability as a nation then I think I may vote No on September 18th. Perhaps someone wanted it to look like a retro tribute to confectionery of the 70’s…….refreshers and drumsticks spring to mind. If the idea is to totally distract the Germans and Poles I reckon it’s a masterstroke………..France 2016 here we come.