in #KillieStories November 17, 2018
Mention the name Kris Boyd and the first thing that springs to mind is goalscorer.
It was the constant in each conversation with those who know our club captain best and 135 Killie goals speaks volumes for his natural instinct for finding the target.
But our number nine is a man who has made a wider lasting impression on so many on and off the field.
Alan Robertson helped guide Boyd through the Rugby Park youth ranks and remembers seeing the teenager spend hours at the Ayr International Youth tournament working on improving his touch with both feet.
Alan said: “As a person he’s someone who is very pleasant and knows exactly what he wants to do. He’s got no side to him, basically a good guy.
“When I first knew him, he was 13, he came to go to the Milk Cup with us. He came in not knowing anyone and he was quiet.
“Jimmy Clark had heard about him and during his first night training with us, myself and Stuart McLean immediately said “he likes a shot this boy” and he’s never changed in that regard.
“Now he’s a leader in the dressing room and someone with strong opinions who is very much at the forefront with the captaincy.
“On the football pitch he still has the hunger he’s always had in that respect.”
Craig Samson rose through the ranks with Boyd and he remembers a “changing room joker” who has become “a true captain on and off the pitch.”
The two have formed a great friendship whether in the blue and white stripes or away from the game with the St Mirren shot stopper owing a particular debt of gratitude to our attacker.
“I remember when we were both 18, sitting in his mum and dad’s house thinking we had no money but really wanting a night out.
“We thought it would be wise to take a £1k bank loan out and really do it in style. We went and bought new clothes, shoes, the lot! We thought we’d gotten away with it until his mum found out and went mental. I still owe for him that one.”
It wasn’t long before Boyd’s exploits in the youth ranks caught the attention of manager Bobby Williamson, who handed Kris his Killie debut as Alan Mahood’s goal gave Killie a 1-0 home win over Celtic and with it, the prize of UEFA Cup football.
He said: “His record is incredible and I’m proud to have played some part in it. It gives me great satisfaction to see Kris do so well for himself and what a fantastic career he’s had.”
His progression continued under the watchful eye of Jim Jefferies who was taken aback by Boyd’s ability to see an opportunity when other didn’t.
“I remember one day at Livingston this ball
came over the halfway line and it wasn’t an easy one to take because the ball
bounced awkwardly and I thought ‘he’s not going to shoot from here’.
“And the next thing he smashed one into the top corner from 35 yards” Jim said.
Having made his mark in Ayrshire, Kris caught the attention of fans across the UK when he hit five goals in a rout of Dundee United at Rugby Park leaving his team-mates astounded by his progress.
Samson added: “I remember looking at the score and realising that he scored them all and just thinking to myself, brilliant Boydy! He always had something special when we were kids, but to see him come through the youth ranks and dominate the Scottish game, it was a fantastic achievement.”
Rory McKenzie had watched a young Boyd rampage through the Scottish Premier League before writing his name in the history books by becoming the SPL’s all-time top goalscorer.
As a fellow Ayrshireman, the midfielder spends more time than most with Kris on their car journeys to and from training and the sigh of Boyd taking to the training pitch sticks with him to this day.
“I remember going home and telling my brothers how good his finishing was. It’s not until you work with him that you realise how good he is” he says.
“He’s loud but I’ve become quite close to him and he doesn’t change for anyone – what you see is what you get. That’s a good thing.”
In addition to his talent in front of goal, everyone is an agreement over the impact Kris has made to Kilmarnock FC over his time here.
Even with his family, his charity as well as media commitments, nobody does more community work than Kris Boyd and all our contributors agree that the club is lucky to have such a talented leader.
“His goals at one stage probably kept Killie in the top flight,” says Robertson who remains Killie’s record appearance holder.
“He’s contributed to the history of the club in a big way.”