Kilmarnock Football Club was formed in 1869, making it one of the oldest football clubs in the world. Before this time, Kilmarnock was an established cricket club, playing according to rugby football code in the cricket off-season. This rugby football code history is reflected in the naming of the club’s ground, Rugby Park.
Technically speaking, Killie is the 15th oldest association football club in the world (the fifth oldest still playing league football and the oldest competing in top tier league football) and the second oldest Scottish club now playing according to association football code, after Queen’s Park. As Queen’s Park have always been an avowedly amateur club, Kilmarnock is the oldest active professional football club in Scotland.
Killie’s honours include one top tier championship (1964/65)—which came after finishing as runners-up in four of the five preceding seasons—as well as three Scottish Cup victories (1919/20, 1928/29 and 1996/97) in eight appearances and one Scottish League Cup (2011/12) in six appearances.
The original Kilmarnock badge, featured on their strip from 1873 to 1887, consisted of a football topped with a hand of blessing. This hand symbol was borrowed from the Kilmarnock coat of arms, which itself is taken from the badge of Clan Boyd, whose seat is based in Kilmarnock. The hand represents the sixth-century disciple of St Columba, St Marnon (Gaelic: Cill Mhearnáig or Cill Mo-Ernóc), from whom the name Kilmarnock derives. From 1887 to 1977, the club’s shirt did not feature a badge.
In 1977, an early version of the current badge was incorporated into the kit. This badge was altered in 1993 and is still used today. The current badge features a football and the hand of blessing, as well as additional heraldic symbols from the Kilmarnock/Boyd coat of arms, including the two supporting red squirrels and the blue and white heraldic wreath. The top of the badge features the Latin motto, Confidemus (‘We trust’), derived from the Boyd motto, Confido (‘I trust’). Below is my initial Kilmarnock redesign that was published on 10 August 2013:I was never quite satisfied with the redesign above. I have long appreciated the content of the current Kilmarnock badge, but have found the execution to be lacking. Ultimately, with my redesign here, I decided to go for something far more minimalistic, calling back to the original badge used from 1873 to 1887.
As far as the kits go, the home strip utilises the established Kilmarnock vertical stripes, first featured on the 1896 home strip and used throughout most of Killie’s history. The away strip borrows its colour and buttoned collar from some of the club’s earliest home shirts.
As ever, I am indebted to Dave at Historical Football Kits for some of the historical information used above.