Billy Kirkwood - Player Profile


Full Name:William John Kirkwood
Born:September 1st, 1958 (Edinburgh)
Height:5' 10
Position:Midfielder
Signed:July 1st, 1976
First Manager:Jim McLean
Left Club:May 12th, 1986
Career Stats: 399 appearances, 70 goals
Full Debut: April 20th, 1977 - Dundee United 1 - 2 Heart of Midlothian (League - Premier Division)
First Goal: April 20th, 1977 - Dundee United 1 - 2 Heart of Midlothian (League - Premier Division)
Also Played For:Dundee, Dunfermline Athletic, Hibernian
Autograph:

 Season  League Apps Gls GtGR Yel Red W D L
 1987-88  Premier Division 1 (1) 0 - 0 0 50.0% 50.0% 0.0%
 1986-87  Premier Division 18 1 0.06 2 0 55.6% 27.8% 16.7%
 1985-86  Premier Division 20 (5) 1 0.04 2 0 52.0% 16.0% 32.0%
 1984-85  Premier Division 33 (5) 4 0.11 3 0 44.7% 21.1% 34.2%
 1983-84  Premier Division 43 (3) 10 0.22 - - 56.5% 23.9% 19.6%
 1982-83  Premier Division 39 (10) 7 0.14 - - 65.3% 22.4% 12.2%
 1981-82  Premier Division 47 (4) 7 0.14 - - 43.1% 23.5% 33.3%
 1980-81  Premier Division 39 (7) 12 0.26 - - 50.0% 26.1% 23.9%
 1979-80  Premier Division 30 (11) 5 0.12 - - 34.1% 34.1% 31.7%
 1978-79  Premier Division 34 (5) 11 0.28 - - 46.2% 17.9% 35.9%
 1977-78  Premier Division 27 (13) 11 0.28 - - 47.5% 20.0% 32.5%
 1976-77  Premier Division 3 (1) 1 0.25 - - 25.0% 25.0% 50.0%
334 (65) 70 0.18

 Apps = First Team Appearances (Sub Appearances) | Gls = Goals
 GtGR = Goals to Games Ratio | W/D/L - Games won, drawn or lost as percentage of games played in
 Yel = Yellow Cards/Cautions | Red = Red Cards/Dismissals

 Most Recent 1st Team Starts:
 Aug 25th, 1987 League Cup  (A)  vs. Raith Rovers 2 - 1
 May 20th, 1987 UEFA Cup  (H)  vs. IFK Gothenburg 1 - 1
 May 11th, 1987 League  (A)  vs. Heart of Midlothian 1 - 1
 May 9th, 1987 League  (A)  vs. Motherwell 0 - 1
 May 6th, 1987 UEFA Cup  (A)  vs. IFK Gothenburg 0 - 1
 
 Most Recent Goals:
 May 11th, 1987 League  (A)  vs. Heart of Midlothian 1 - 1
 Nov 16th, 1985 League  (A)  vs. Dundee 3 - 0
 Feb 4th, 1985 Scottish Cup  (H)  vs. Hibernian 3 - 0
 Feb 2nd, 1985 League  (H)  vs. Hibernian 2 - 0
 Oct 24th, 1984 UEFA Cup  (A)  vs. Linzer Athletik 2 - 1

Billy was initially signed provisionally in May 1975 from Cornbank Boys Club and he began his career at United as an attacker. He started playing in United reserves in August 1976 and made his first appearance at first team level as a substitute in Iain McDonald's testimonial match in October 1976. He then made a scoring debut in his first match in major competition at the end of that campaign, against Hearts in April 1977, and made the breakthrough into the first team the following season. Originally playing as a striker, Billy finished as the clubs top scorer during both the 1977/78 and the 1978/79 seasons before dropping back into a midfield position.

Having helped United reach their first League Cup final in 1979, scoring twice in the semi-final win over Hamilton, Kirkwood was not involved in the final against Aberdeen at Hampden Park. However, with the match ending goalless and requiring a replay, Billy was back in the starting eleven for the midweek match at Dens Park, collecting a winners medal as the club won their first ever major honour with a 3-0 victory.

United reached a second consecutive League Cup Final in 1980, this time against neighbours Dundee. Billy collected another winnersí medal, but remained on the bench as United ran out 3-0 winners to keep the trophy at Tannadice. Kirkwood would go on to collect runners-up medals from two other League Cup finals and also two in the Scottish Cup.

A dependable player who's effectiveness in defence matched his attacking capabilities, Billy was a vital member of the first team squad during the early 1980s, and his versatility was a key element to the United side that won the Scottish League championship at the end of the 1982/83 season. He missed only 5 of United's 36 League matches that year, and played regularly for United in Europe, missing only one match as United reached the UEFA Cup quarter finals in 1982 and 1983, scoring in the famous victories over Monaco, Borussia Monchengladbach and PSV Eindhoven. Billy also played in all of United's European Cup matches during the 1983/84 season, as the team were unlucky to lose out on a place in the final to AS Roma in April 1984.

After featuring less and less over the next two seasons, Billy left for Hibernian in a joint deal with Stuart Beedie in the summer of 1986 after ten years with United. A regular in the Easter Road side, it was a surprise to many when Jim McLean took him back to Tannadice just seven months later for a reported fee of £50,000. Again a vital squad player, he was ineligible for both legs of the renowned victory over Barcelona due to his late signing, but was called upon for the away trip to Germany for United's victory over Borussia Monchengladbach and played in both legs of the historic UEFA Cup Final against Gothenburg.

Early the following season, he was transferred to Dunfermline Athletic in September 1987 to try and help the newly promoted club stay in the Premier Division, but before the campaign was over, he once again returned to Tayside, this time to play for Dundee. After just 20 appearances for the Dark Blues, he picked up a pelvic injury in a Scottish Cup tie against United in January 1989, and this eventually lead to his early retirement at the age of 30. He took up a coaching role at Dens Park, and moved on to Ibrox when Walter Smith became Rangers manager in 1991. Four years later he returned to Tannadice for a third time, taking his first managerial position as United battled relegation in March 1995.

Fourteenth in the list of total appearances for the club, Kirkwood was inducted into the Dundee United Hall of Fame in 2012.

 Goals Scored
Apr 20th, 1977 League  (H)  vs. Hearts 1 - 2 (24')
Aug 17th, 1977 League Cup  (H)  vs. Albion Rovers 5 - 0 (43')
Aug 23rd, 1977 League Cup  (A)  vs. Albion Rovers 5 - 1 (43')
Sep 10th, 1977 League  (H)  vs. Hibernian 2 - 0 (11')
Oct 5th, 1977 League Cup  (A)  vs. Arbroath 4 - 0 (58')
Oct 5th, 1977 League Cup  (A)  vs. Arbroath 4 - 0 (49')
Oct 5th, 1977 League Cup  (A)  vs. Arbroath 4 - 0 (17')
Oct 26th, 1977 League Cup  (H)  vs. Arbroath 2 - 1 (16')
Nov 9th, 1977 League Cup  (H)  vs. Hearts 3 - 1 (10')
Feb 25th, 1978 League  (A)  vs. Partick Thistle 2 - 0 (48')
Apr 15th, 1978 League  (H)  vs. Ayr Utd 1 - 0 (5')
Apr 29th, 1978 League  (H)  vs. Partick Thistle 5 - 2 (79')
Sep 23rd, 1978 League  (A)  vs. St Mirren 3 - 1 (57')
Sep 30th, 1978 League  (H)  vs. Hearts 3 - 1 (44')
Sep 30th, 1978 League  (H)  vs. Hearts 3 - 1 (12')
Oct 7th, 1978 League  (A)  vs. Rangers 1 - 1 (20')
Nov 18th, 1978 League  (H)  vs. Motherwell 2 - 1 (21')
Nov 25th, 1978 League  (H)  vs. St Mirren 1 - 1 (4')
Mar 10th, 1979 League  (H)  vs. Morton 4 - 1 (58')
Mar 28th, 1979 League  (A)  vs. Partick Thistle 2 - 1 (4')
Apr 7th, 1979 League  (H)  vs. St Mirren 2 - 0 (76')
Apr 14th, 1979 League  (A)  vs. Hearts 3 - 0 (64')
Apr 25th, 1979 League  (H)  vs. Hearts 2 - 1 (40')
Aug 11th, 1979 League  (H)  vs. Dundee 3 - 0 (68')
Oct 27th, 1979 League  (H)  vs. Kilmarnock 4 - 0 (50')
Nov 24th, 1979 League Cup  (N)  vs. Hamilton 6 - 2 (61')
Nov 24th, 1979 League Cup  (N)  vs. Hamilton 6 - 2 (20')
Mar 15th, 1980 League  (A)  vs. Aberdeen 1 - 2 (56')
Nov 1st, 1980 League  (A)  vs. Morton 2 - 0 (86')
Nov 1st, 1980 League  (A)  vs. Morton 2 - 0 (77')
Jan 3rd, 1981 League  (H)  vs. Kilmarnock 7 - 0 (42')
Jan 3rd, 1981 League  (H)  vs. Kilmarnock 7 - 0 (51')
Jan 24th, 1981 Scottish Cup  (A)  vs. Brechin City 2 - 1 (16')
Feb 7th, 1981 League  (H)  vs. Rangers 2 - 1 (19')
Mar 7th, 1981 Scottish Cup  (H)  vs. Motherwell 6 - 1 (59')
Mar 18th, 1981 League  (A)  vs. Rangers 4 - 1 (19')
Mar 28th, 1981 League  (A)  vs. Hearts 4 - 0 (21')
Mar 28th, 1981 League  (A)  vs. Hearts 4 - 0 (82')
Apr 29th, 1981 League  (H)  vs. Airdrie 4 - 1 (82')
Apr 29th, 1981 League  (H)  vs. Airdrie 4 - 1 (65')
Sep 12th, 1981 League  (H)  vs. Dundee 5 - 2 (21')
Sep 16th, 1981 UEFA Cup  (A)  vs. Monaco 5 - 2 (15')
Sep 23rd, 1981 League Cup  (H)  vs. Hamilton 5 - 0 (84')
Nov 3rd, 1981 UEFA Cup  (H)  vs. M'gladbach 5 - 0 (44')
Nov 7th, 1981 League  (H)  vs. Morton 3 - 0 (48')
Jan 30th, 1982 Scottish Cup  (A)  vs. Brechin City 4 - 2 (79')
Feb 17th, 1982 Scottish Cup  (A)  vs. Hibernian 1 - 1 (90')
Aug 14th, 1982 League Cup  (H)  vs. St Johnstone 3 - 0 (20')
Aug 28th, 1982 League Cup  (A)  vs. St Johnstone 3 - 0 (74')
Sep 22nd, 1982 League Cup  (A)  vs. Aberdeen 3 - 1 (80')
Sep 29th, 1982 UEFA Cup  (A)  vs. PSV 2 - 0 (5')
Oct 16th, 1982 League  (H)  vs. Morton 6 - 0 (21')
Oct 23rd, 1982 League  (A)  vs. Motherwell 2 - 0 (89')
Jan 22nd, 1983 League  (H)  vs. St Mirren 3 - 2 (10')
Aug 20th, 1983 League  (H)  vs. Motherwell 4 - 0 (86')
Aug 20th, 1983 League  (H)  vs. Motherwell 4 - 0 (20')
Sep 10th, 1983 League  (H)  vs. Hibernian 5 - 0 (78')
Sep 24th, 1983 League  (A)  vs. Aberdeen 2 - 1 (52')
Sep 28th, 1983 European Cup  (H)  vs. Hamrun 3 - 0 (44')
Oct 8th, 1983 League  (H)  vs. Celtic 2 - 1 (28')
Nov 12th, 1983 League  (H)  vs. St Johnstone 7 - 0 (86')
Feb 25th, 1984 League  (A)  vs. St Mirren 2 - 2 (4')
Feb 25th, 1984 League  (A)  vs. St Mirren 2 - 2 (47')
Mar 3rd, 1984 League  (H)  vs. Celtic 3 - 1 (51')
Oct 10th, 1984 League Cup  (H)  vs. Hearts 3 - 1 (58')
Oct 24th, 1984 UEFA Cup  (A)  vs. Linzer 2 - 1 (15')
Feb 2nd, 1985 League  (H)  vs. Hibernian 2 - 0 (39')
Feb 4th, 1985 Scottish Cup  (H)  vs. Hibernian 3 - 0 (83')
Nov 16th, 1985 League  (A)  vs. Dundee 3 - 0 (73')
May 11th, 1987 League  (A)  vs. Hearts 1 - 1 (20') p

 Hat-Tricks
Oct 5th, 1977 League Cup  (A)  vs. Arbroath 4 - 0 (3 goals)