Robbie of Rugby Park gives us the Killie viewpoint
You may remember a while back we caught up with Graeme Black, Falkirk fan and guitarist with The State Broadcasters.
WeKnowSFA likes football and music so we try to combine them whenever we can.
Our latest Scottish musician and footie fan interview sees us catching up with Robbie MacInnes, a solo performer and a Kilmarnock fan. Over the next few days, Robbie will be telling us all about Killie, his opinions on them, modern football and music.
First up, Robbie gives us the Rugby Park round-up!
Robbie, you’re a Kilmarnock fan, tell us how that came about?
RM: Well Kilmarnock is my hometown. When I was young though my Dad took me to a lot of different games. He was keen for me to make my own mind up about who I wanted to support so I’m very grateful for that. At that time in the 80’s the ‘new firm’ were the boys to beat but I ended up liking Celtic. I just must’ve liked the way they played the game. At the same time though I went to Rugby Park because I got in for free to the enclosure!
Think I was about 4 when my Dad took me to my first game, it was a friendly against Blackpool. 1980 maybe. By the time I was 12 I realised that supporting a team isn’t about picking the team who plays the best. There’s got to be more heart and soul in it than that. I saw the light and went full blown Killie.
Was there a stand-out player for you in the early days?
RM: Sammy McGivern was my first favourite I think. Probably because he was the guy who scored the goals. Shortly after that I remember a guy who played on the right wing called Ian McInnes as well (no relation).
Remember thinking he seemed to have a lot of potential and then just disappeared. No idea what happened to him! Later on there was Tommy Burns. the best player I’ve seen in a Killie shirt.
Are you old enough to remember Rugby Park before it was reconstructed, if so, how do the two stadiums compare for you?
RM: Absolutely. I started going in the early 80’s and wasn’t until ’93 that they knocked the old place to bits. It was more enjoyable standing for the game, no question. It’s just a different vibe entirely. I remember a Scottish cup replay we had with Hearts about 1986’ish maybe.
Hearts at that time were a really good side, it was just after their last day of the season calamity the year before I think so they were still shit hot. We were languishing somewhere in the lower half of the first division at the time. There was 15,000 inside the ground, unbelievable atmosphere. We were given a penalty and went up 1-0 and I remember the Hearts fans were going so daft about the penalty decision they burst through the advertising barriers on the to the pitch. It was mental!
They eventually equalised and it finished 1-1. They won the second replay 3-1. No penalties in those days. Our first season back in the premier league the old ground was still there. 19,000 at home to Rangers, again brilliant atmosphere.
After the seats were put in the atmosphere was still pretty good for a while, we were still getting 16/17000 for a while when we played the old firm so I don’t think its entirely fair to blame seats for the lack of atmosphere these days. People just aren’t going enough now.
Do you have a favourite goal / favourite season?
RM: I loved the season we were promoted from the second division, 1989-90. It was the first season I was allowed to go to games on my own! I only missed 2 matches all season. Away to Arbroath and away to Cowdenbeath. The away days were brilliant. Killie were a huge team for the second divison and we’d just been bought over by Bobby Fleeting and everyone was buzzing again, so there would be 2000 killie fans going to Brechin for a league match!
The pubs and towns were so welcoming it was just a great time. I remember once going to Forfar and with it being the time of the stone roses I was wearing a corduroy flowery hooley hat. The entire pub started singing “where did you get that hat” to me. I thought I’d get flung out because theyd see this 14 year old sipping a pint trying to hide behind hair and hat . I loved it really.
Due to our own busy schedule/ laziness (delete as applicable), we’ve left time a bit tight to fully promote Robbie’s music but for those reading this sharply, he is playing at The City Halls in Glasgow on Friday (9th April) night. If you want a taster of Robbie’s music, check out his myspace page.