David Curlett (1932-2023)

Kilmarnock Football Club were saddened to learn of the passing of former player Davie Curlett, a Scottish Cup Final goalscorer and Killie icon from the 1950s.

Davie was an inside-forward – who could also play as a centre-forward and wing-half – provisionally signed by Alex Hastings in September 1949 shortly before his 17th birthday. A product of Dalry Rossvale Juveniles, he spent his early years in the junior ranks with Ardeer Recreation and Dalry Thistle.

After serving his national service in the RAF, Davie eventually made his Kilmarnock first-team debut against Forfar Athletic in April 1953, before becoming a regular the following season as Killie gained promotion back to the top division under the guidance of Malcolm MacDonald.

Davie famously scored a first half brace at Celtic Park in December 1955, earning Kilmarnock’s first post World War II away victory against the Glasgow side. The 2-0 win would be Killie’s last victory at Celtic Park until Kenny Shiels’ side earned another 2-0 win in October 2012 – ending a 57 year wait. He went on to become synonymous with victories against the old firm, scoring the winner as Killie recorded only their second-ever triumph at Ibrox in 1956.

In the 1957 Scottish Cup Final, Davie scored Killie’s sole goal in a 1-1 draw before finding the net again in the replay which Falkirk narrowly edged 2-1 in extra-time.

The following seasoning saw Willie Waddell take charge of the club, with Davie losing his place in the team and subsequently moving onto Dundee as part of a player swap with Jimmy Chalmers in 1958.

The forward later served at Ayr United and Portadown before coaching at Ardeer Recreation and turning to management with Irvine Meadow.

Career statistics

League 114 apps 40 goals
Cup 12 apps 3 goals
League Cup 28 apps 9 goals
Total 154 apps 52 goals