Community Hero: Killie's super squirrel Ian Downie

Community Hero: Killie's super squirrel Ian Downie

in #KillieStories December 5, 2018

Not all heroes wear capes but sometimes they wear costumes.

Today’s award winner has raised thousands of pounds for charity and been at the heart of community events in Ayrshire for the best part of two decades.

Please give a huge Rugby Park welcome to Ian Downie, who will be better known as our mascot Nutz the Squirrel.


A massive Killie fan, Ian has been the club’s official mascot for 18 years bringing smiles to the faces of supporters at Rugby Park and around the town.

Ian still remembers his first match as mascot, when he stepped out onto the turf in front of 10,000 fans and has even featured in a documentary about football mascots in Scotland.

A family health scare in the 1980s prompted Ian to start raising money for Yorkhill Children’s Hospital, running over 12 marathons and numerous half marathons in London, Glasgow and Newcastle.

Throughout the year he attends birthdays, weddings, gala events, special occasions and community events around the county.

In addition to his time spent at the football, he also combines his love of charity and music to play bass guitar at Grub & Gospel nights to help people at the local hostel. Having played in a local band called The Inbetween back in the 60s, Ian’s other interests include writing, art playing golf and horse riding.

This isn’t the first time that Ian’s contribution to the area has been recognised. He was a finalist this year’s West FM Cream of Ayrshire Awards Unsung Hero award as well as receiving a Civic Recognition certificate last month for all his community work in the East Ayrshire community.

We’re pleased to recognise the part Ian has played in making Killie a real family club for generations of supporters.