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
  • Career Totals: 399 appearances, 70 goals
  • Also Played For: Dundee, Dunfermline Athletic, Hibernian


Playing Seasons


ALL League Cups
Season
1987-88 1 (1) 2 0 0 0 - (1) 0 1 0
1986-87 18 18 1 2 0 11 1 7 0
1985-86 20 (5) 25 1 2 0 13 (2) 1 7 (3) 0
1984-85 33 (5) 38 4 3 0 18 (5) 1 15 3
1983-84 43 (3) 46 10 6 0 24 (2) 9 19 (1) 1
1982-83 39 (10) 49 7 6 0 26 (5) 3 13 (5) 4
1981-82 47 (4) 51 7 9 0 29 (3) 2 18 (1) 5
1980-81 39 (7) 46 12 1 0 24 (5) 10 15 (2) 2
1979-80 30 (11) 41 5 1 0 22 (6) 3 8 (5) 2
1978-79 34 (5) 39 11 2 0 32 (2) 11 2 (3) 0
1977-78 27 (13) 40 11 3 0 16 (11) 4 11 (2) 7
1976-77 3 (1) 4 1 0 0 3 (1) 1 - -
Totals: 334 (65) 70 218 (43) 46 116 (22) 24

ALL = Combined first team appearances
League/Cups = First team starts (sub appearances)
G2G = Goals to Games Ratio

 Recent First Team Starts
Aug 25th, 1987 25/08/87 3rd Round vs. Raith Rovers (A) 2 - 1
May 20th, 1987 20/05/87 Final 2nd Leg vs. IFK (H) 1 - 1
May 11th, 1987 11/05/87 Premier Division vs. Hearts (A) 1 - 1
May 9th, 1987 09/05/87 Premier Division vs. Motherwell (A) 0 - 1
May 6th, 1987 06/05/87 Final 1st Leg vs. IFK (A) 0 - 1

 Recent First Team Goals
May 11th, 1987 11/05/87 Premier Division vs. Hearts (A) 1 - 1
Nov 16th, 1985 16/11/85 Premier Division vs. Dundee (A) 3 - 0
Feb 4th, 1985 04/02/85 3rd Round vs. Hibernian (H) 3 - 0
Feb 2nd, 1985 02/02/85 Premier Division vs. Hibernian (H) 2 - 0
Oct 24th, 1984 24/10/84 2nd Round 1st Leg vs. Linzer (A) 2 - 1

 List of Goals Scored (click to expand)
May 11th, 1987 11/05/87 Premier Division vs. Hearts (A) 1 - 1 (20') p
Nov 16th, 1985 16/11/85 Premier Division vs. Dundee (A) 3 - 0 (73')
Feb 4th, 1985 04/02/85 3rd Round vs. Hibernian (H) 3 - 0 (83')
Feb 2nd, 1985 02/02/85 Premier Division vs. Hibernian (H) 2 - 0 (39')
Oct 24th, 1984 24/10/84 2nd Round 1st Leg vs. Linzer (A) 2 - 1 (15')
Oct 10th, 1984 10/10/84 Semi Final 2nd Leg vs. Hearts (H) 3 - 1 (58')
Mar 3rd, 1984 03/03/84 Premier Division vs. Celtic (H) 3 - 1 (51')
Feb 25th, 1984 25/02/84 Premier Division vs. St Mirren (A) 2 - 2 (4')
Feb 25th, 1984 25/02/84 Premier Division vs. St Mirren (A) 2 - 2 (47')
Nov 12th, 1983 12/11/83 Premier Division vs. St Johnstone (H) 7 - 0 (86')
Oct 8th, 1983 08/10/83 Premier Division vs. Celtic (H) 2 - 1 (28')
Sep 28th, 1983 28/09/83 1st Round 2nd Leg vs. Hamrun (H) 3 - 0 (44')
Sep 24th, 1983 24/09/83 Premier Division vs. Aberdeen (A) 2 - 1 (52')
Sep 10th, 1983 10/09/83 Premier Division vs. Hibernian (H) 5 - 0 (78')
Aug 20th, 1983 20/08/83 Premier Division vs. Motherwell (H) 4 - 0 (20')
Aug 20th, 1983 20/08/83 Premier Division vs. Motherwell (H) 4 - 0 (86')
Jan 22nd, 1983 22/01/83 Premier Division vs. St Mirren (H) 3 - 2 (10')
Oct 23rd, 1982 23/10/82 Premier Division vs. Motherwell (A) 2 - 0 (89')
Oct 16th, 1982 16/10/82 Premier Division vs. Morton (H) 6 - 0 (21')
Sep 29th, 1982 29/09/82 1st Round 2nd Leg vs. PSV (A) 2 - 0 (5')
Sep 22nd, 1982 22/09/82 Quarter Final 1st Leg vs. Aberdeen (A) 3 - 1 (80')
Aug 28th, 1982 28/08/82 Group Stage - Section 4 vs. St Johnstone (A) 3 - 0 (74')
Aug 14th, 1982 14/08/82 Group Stage - Section 4 vs. St Johnstone (H) 3 - 0 (20')
Feb 17th, 1982 17/02/82 4th Round Replay vs. Hibernian (A) 1 - 1 (90')
Jan 30th, 1982 30/01/82 3rd Round vs. Brechin City (A) 4 - 2 (79')
Nov 7th, 1981 07/11/81 Premier Division vs. Morton (H) 3 - 0 (48')
Nov 3rd, 1981 03/11/81 2nd Round 2nd Leg vs. M'gladbach (H) 5 - 0 (44')
Sep 23rd, 1981 23/09/81 Quarter Final 2nd Leg vs. Hamilton (H) 5 - 0 (84')
Sep 16th, 1981 16/09/81 1st Round 1st Leg vs. Monaco (A) 5 - 2 (15')
Sep 12th, 1981 12/09/81 Premier Division vs. Dundee (H) 5 - 2 (21')
Apr 29th, 1981 29/04/81 Premier Division vs. Airdrie (H) 4 - 1 (65')
Apr 29th, 1981 29/04/81 Premier Division vs. Airdrie (H) 4 - 1 (82')
Mar 28th, 1981 28/03/81 Premier Division vs. Hearts (A) 4 - 0 (82')
Mar 28th, 1981 28/03/81 Premier Division vs. Hearts (A) 4 - 0 (21')
Mar 18th, 1981 18/03/81 Premier Division vs. Rangers (A) 4 - 1 (19')
Mar 7th, 1981 07/03/81 5th Round vs. Motherwell (H) 6 - 1 (59')
Feb 7th, 1981 07/02/81 Premier Division vs. Rangers (H) 2 - 1 (19')
Jan 24th, 1981 24/01/81 3rd Round vs. Brechin City (A) 2 - 1 (16')
Jan 3rd, 1981 03/01/81 Premier Division vs. Kilmarnock (H) 7 - 0 (42')
Jan 3rd, 1981 03/01/81 Premier Division vs. Kilmarnock (H) 7 - 0 (51')
Nov 1st, 1980 01/11/80 Premier Division vs. Morton (A) 2 - 0 (86')
Nov 1st, 1980 01/11/80 Premier Division vs. Morton (A) 2 - 0 (77')
Mar 15th, 1980 15/03/80 Premier Division vs. Aberdeen (A) 1 - 2 (56')
Nov 24th, 1979 24/11/79 Semi Final vs. Hamilton (N) 6 - 2 (61')
Nov 24th, 1979 24/11/79 Semi Final vs. Hamilton (N) 6 - 2 (20')
Oct 27th, 1979 27/10/79 Premier Division vs. Kilmarnock (H) 4 - 0 (50')
Aug 11th, 1979 11/08/79 Premier Division vs. Dundee (H) 3 - 0 (68')
Apr 25th, 1979 25/04/79 Premier Division vs. Hearts (H) 2 - 1 (40')
Apr 14th, 1979 14/04/79 Premier Division vs. Hearts (A) 3 - 0 (64')
Apr 7th, 1979 07/04/79 Premier Division vs. St Mirren (H) 2 - 0 (76')
Mar 28th, 1979 28/03/79 Premier Division vs. Partick Th (A) 2 - 1 (4')
Mar 10th, 1979 10/03/79 Premier Division vs. Morton (H) 4 - 1 (58')
Nov 25th, 1978 25/11/78 Premier Division vs. St Mirren (H) 1 - 1 (4')
Nov 18th, 1978 18/11/78 Premier Division vs. Motherwell (H) 2 - 1 (21')
Oct 7th, 1978 07/10/78 Premier Division vs. Rangers (A) 1 - 1 (20')
Sep 30th, 1978 30/09/78 Premier Division vs. Hearts (H) 3 - 1 (44')
Sep 30th, 1978 30/09/78 Premier Division vs. Hearts (H) 3 - 1 (12')
Sep 23rd, 1978 23/09/78 Premier Division vs. St Mirren (A) 3 - 1 (57')
Apr 29th, 1978 29/04/78 Premier Division vs. Partick Th (H) 5 - 2 (79')
Apr 15th, 1978 15/04/78 Premier Division vs. Ayr Utd (H) 1 - 0 (5')
Feb 25th, 1978 25/02/78 Premier Division vs. Partick Th (A) 2 - 0 (48')
Nov 9th, 1977 09/11/77 Quarter Final 1st Leg vs. Hearts (H) 3 - 1 (10')
Oct 26th, 1977 26/10/77 3rd Round 2nd Leg vs. Arbroath (H) 2 - 1 (16')
Oct 5th, 1977 05/10/77 3rd Round 1st Leg vs. Arbroath (A) 4 - 0 (49')
Oct 5th, 1977 05/10/77 3rd Round 1st Leg vs. Arbroath (A) 4 - 0 (17')
Oct 5th, 1977 05/10/77 3rd Round 1st Leg vs. Arbroath (A) 4 - 0 (58')
Sep 10th, 1977 10/09/77 Premier Division vs. Hibernian (H) 2 - 0 (11')
Aug 23rd, 1977 23/08/77 1st Round 2nd Leg vs. Albion Rovers (A) 5 - 1 (43')
Aug 17th, 1977 17/08/77 1st Round 1st Leg vs. Albion Rovers (H) 5 - 0 (43')
Apr 20th, 1977 20/04/77 Premier Division vs. Hearts (H) 1 - 2 (24')

 List of Games Played
Sorry, there are too many games to display for this player.


Competition History


Comp
LGE 218 (43) 46 20 0
SC 32 (2) 5 5 0
LC 43 (16) 14 6 0
EC 8 1 0 0
UEFA 33 (3) 4 4 0
DRY - (1) 0 0 0
Totals: 334 (65) 70

 Apps = First Team Appearances (Sub Appearances) | Gls = Goals
 GtGR = Goals to Games Ratio
 Yel = Yellow Cards/Cautions | Red = Red Cards/Dismissals


Biography


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 winners’ 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.

Last updated on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022 by B Orr.





Debut

April 20th, 1977
Dundee United 1 - 2 Heart of Midlothian

League (Premier Division)


Timeline


  • Date of Birth


    Billy was born on this date in Edinburgh.


  • Signed For Dundee United


    Billy was initially signed provisionally in May 1975 from Cornbank Boys Club


  • First Non-Competitive Appearance (Friendly)

    Dundee United 7 - 7 Dundee XI
    Friendly (Testimonial for Iain McDonald)


  • First Team Debut

    Dundee United 1 - 2 Hearts
    League (Premier Division)


  • First Goal

    Dundee United 1 - 2 Hearts
    League (Premier Division)


  • 50th Appearance

    Motherwell 0 - 1 Dundee United
    League (Premier Division)

    Dreadful conditions greeted the crowd that braved the trip to Fir Park for this match. The foul weather had an impact on the attendance with on 3372 heading to the ground. Injuries had forced many cha


  • 50th League Appearance

    Hibernian 1 - 0 Dundee United
    League (Premier Division)

    George Fleming made a return to the United side at Easter Road after serving a suspension in last weeks Scottish Cup defeat. With John Holt promoted to the starting eleven, Derek Addison and Frank Kop


  • 100th Appearance

    Dundee 1 - 0 Dundee United
    League (Premier Division)

    Dave Narey and Derek Addison came into the United side as a replacement for Jim Kerr and Billy Kirkwood. Kirkwood dropped to the bench and United's midweek signing from Chelsea, Striker Jim Doherty, c


  • 100th League Appearance

    Dundee United 1 - 1 Hearts
    League (Premier Division)

    United hosted a visit from Hearts still looking for their first league win of the season after six league outings, but boosted by victory over Motherwell in midweek which had seen United advance into


  • 200th Appearance

    Hibernian 0 - 1 Dundee United
    League (Premier Division)

    In a dress rehearsal for our Scottish Cup tie at Tannadice a week later, we visited a rain-soaked Easter Road deprived of the services of Paul Sturrock, a victim of the flu. Graeme Payne was brought i


  • 50th Goal

    Aberdeen 1 - 3 Dundee United
    League Cup (Quarter Final 1st Leg)

    Jim McLean made three changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Hibs at the weekend. Billy Kirkwood, Iain Phiilip and Ralph Milne came in for Ian Britton, Maurice Malpas and Graeme Payne. Davie Dodds had


  • 200th League Appearance

    Celtic 1 - 1 Dundee United
    League (Premier Division)

    In driving wind and rain Davie Hay's side boss the first half but United come back in the second. McClair sweeps in a Colquhoun cross. Aitken impedes Coyne and Bannon converts the soft penalty award.


  • 300th Appearance

    Dundee United 2 - 1 Hearts
    Scottish Cup (4th Round)

    United opened the scoring after 28 minutes when Smith missed an Eamonn Bannon corner and Paul Hegarty's shot was blocked on the line but Paul Sturrock was on hand


  • Left the Club


    Billy left for Hibernian in a joint deal with Stuart Beedie in the summer of 1986.


  • Signed For Dundee United


    Just seven months after leaving Tannadice, Billy returned to the club for a reported fee of £50,000.


  • Last Goal

    Hearts 1 - 1 Dundee United
    League (Premier Division)

    The only outstanding Premier fixture of the season was of completely academic importance for both clubs, consequently both managers took the opportunity to blood several youngsters. In the tangerine r


  • Last Appearance

    Aberdeen 1 - 1 Dundee United
    League (Premier Division)

    Two soft penalties, one for either side, told the story of this latest meeting with our great north east rivals. Taking everything into consideration a draw was probably a fair reflection of events. C


  • Left the Club