Billy Thomson sadly passes away

Kilmarnock Football Club was deeply saddened to learn that the club’s renowned former goalkeeping coach Billy Thomson has passed away at the age of 64.

Billy was one of the most recognisable Scottish goalkeepers of his generation, having established himself by making more than 350 appearances for St Mirren and Dundee United throughout the late 70s, 80s and early 90s. During his time with United, Billy was a key part of the team that incredibly reached the UEFA Cup Final in 1987.

Across a two-decade long playing career, Billy also went on to represent the likes of Motherwell, Rangers and Dundee, in addition to proudly earning 7 caps for the Scotland National Team between 1980-1983.

Following his retirement, ‘Thommo’ held coaching roles at Dundee and Rangers before joining Jim Jefferies’ backroom team at Rugby Park, where he would serve 10 managers across a 14-year term at the club (2007-2021). During this period, Kilmarnock would complete their quest to claim the elusive League Cup trophy in 2012 – which rounded off a haul of all three major national titles since being established – thanks to a Man of the Match performance from Cammy Bell who was under Billy’s mentorship at the time.

Responsible for the nurturing and development of numerous first-team and academy goalkeepers, Billy also worked alongside the likes of Alan Combe, Jamie MacDonald and more recently Daniel Bachmann who played a starring role as Kilmarnock secured European football under the guidance of Steve Clarke in 2019.

Clarke subsequently called upon his trusted colleague to join the coaching staff for his initial matches in charge of the Scotland National Team.

Raymond Montgomerie, Ambassador of Kilmarnock Football Club, stated: “Billy was an immensely talented coach whose legacy is evident through the countless goalkeepers that he has developed over the years. A long-term career at the club displays how highly past managers valued his coaching ability and, just as importantly, the life that he brought to the changing room through his unique character and famed sense of humour.”

Kevin McNeill, club kitman and long-term colleague of Billy, added: “Thommo was a wonderful man whose jokes could always be heard echoing across the corridors of Rugby Park. If anyone was having a bad day, or if the team required picking up after a defeat, Thommo was the person that would be called upon. He has been a tremendous friend to so many people around the club and he’ll be missed dearly”.

The thoughts of everyone at Kilmarnock Football Club are with Billy’s friends and family at this difficult time.