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Frank Beattie

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Frank Whitfield Beattie 17 October 1933 – 19 November 2009 was a Scottish football player and manager He spent his entire senior playing career with Kilmarnock, making 422 league appearances between 1954 and 1972 He was captain of Kilmarnock when they won the Scottish league championship in 1964–65 After retiring as a player, Beattie managed Albion Rovers and Stirling Albion


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Kilmarnock
    • 21 The tough first years
    • 22 Becoming a regular
    • 23 Being made captain
    • 24 1964-65 Season
    • 25 Later years
  • 3 Death
  • 4 Career statistics
  • 5 Honours
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Early life

Frank Beattie was born in St Ninian's Stirling on 17 October 1933 Frank started playing football at an early age for his school St Modan's in Stirling He later moved up to juvenile level with Dunipace and Cowie before then joining Bonnybridge Juniors During his time at Bonnybridge Juniors scouts from several Scottish clubs were looking at him and then in October 1953 just six weeks after signing for Bonnybrodge Frank signed for Kilmarnock


The tough first years

Frank Beattie was brought to Kilmarnock by the then manager Malky MacDonald Frank spent the first season playing for the reserve team Frank's favoured position was inside-left but, Frank first played for Kilmarnock in an unfamiliar role on the right of the attack during his debut against St Mirren in the League Cup tie at Love Street on 4 September 1954 This did not impact on his performance because he scored the goal to give Kilmarnock the lead at half time The game ended in a 3-2 defeat for Kilmarnock and Frank was dropped for the first League game of the season the following week Frank made his Kilmarnock league debut against Partick Thistle on 9 October 1954 Like the game at Love Street Frank scored the only goal of the first half but again like Love Street, Kilmarnock lost the game but Frank did do enough to keep his place in the team for the next two games Frank struggled to stay in the team during his first full season That was the only season that Frank played in a Kilmarnock team that was threatened by relegation

Becoming a regular

At the start of Frank's second season with Kilmarnock he was still not a regular starter He played in only one of the opening ten League Cup and league games When Frank did get his chance in the team he took it, missing just one of the 33 subsequent matches that season One of the games he played in was Kilmarnock's last victory against Celtic at Parkhead Kilmarnock finished that season in 8th place, their highest position for twenty years Frank still struggled to hold down a permanent place in the team but this was mainly down to the fact that he was a very versatile player It was only after new manager Willie Waddell that Frank eventually nailed down a position in the team at right-half After the switch of position Frank never appeared in the forward line again In Frank's first full season at right-half Kilmarnock enjoyed their most successful season up to that point, finishing as runners up in the league to for the first time in their history and mounted a sustained title challenge but eventually finished four points behind eventual winners Hearts Kilmarnock also finished runners up in the Scottish Cup to Rangers For their efforts Kilmarnock were rewarded with a trip across the Atlantic to play in the International Soccer Tournament Kilmarnock played very well in America beating Burnley and FC Bayern Munich en route to the Final where they were beaten by Brazilians Bangu The following season they got the League Cup Final where once again Rangers stoo din the way Rangers went on to win the match 2-0 which meant that in the last six months Kilmarnock had finished runners-up in four competitions and Frank had two losing finalist's medals During this season Frank played a few games at left-half deputising for Bobby Kennedy The following season Kilmarnock finished second in the league, just one point behind Rangers and were again rewarded with a trip to America to compete in the International Soccer Tournament but this time was not as successful as before With Bobby Kennedy leaving the club in the summer of 1962 Frank was moved to left-half permanently In the 1962-63 League Cup Kilmarnock once again got to the final where the played Hearts, who took the lead midway through the first half Frank almost scored the equaliser for Kilmarnock but he was denied by a magnificent save by Gordon Marshal With just thirty seconds left Kilmarnock had a free kick which was floated high into the Hearts box where Frank Beattie outjumped everyone to head home for Kilmarnock to equalise but, the referee had already blown for a free kick to Hearts At the end of the season Frank had managed to play in every single one of Kilmarnock's 52 games and also won the Player of the Year award

Being made captain

Frank Beattie was awarded with the captaincy in November 1963 and his first game as captain was against Rangers in the league which ended in a 1 all draw For the fourth time in five years Kilmarnock finished runners up in the league but this time Kilmarnock were allowed to play in Europe

1964-65 Season

the 1964-65 season was the greatest season in Kilmarnock's history and Frank Beattie played a key role as captain Kilmarnock were drawn against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Fairs Cup in their first ever European game Eintracht Frankfurt had lost to Real Madrid in the final of the European Cup just four years earlier Kilmarnock left Frankfurt with a 3-0 deficit to overcome in the home leg The game at Rugby Park was one of the most incredible matches ever witnessed in the ground's history Kilmarnock fell further behind after just four minutes but by half-time they lead on the night 2-1 In the second half Kilmarnock scored again and they then leveled the tie on aggregate before scoring the winner with two minutes left to play During the game the supporters invaded the pitch 3 times as the excitement mounted Kilmarnock's run in Europe was ended by Everton The next game that Kilmarnock played after being beat by Everton was against Rangers, which they drew 1-1 thanks to Frank Beattie's only goal in his 53 games that season Going into the last game of the season Kilmarnock still had a chance of winning the title but they would have to beat Hearts who were top of the league by scoring at least two goals and to not concede anything because the league was decided by goal average instead of goal difference The game was a tight affair but Kilmarnock took a two nil lead within thirty minutes This prompted Hearts to bombard the Kilmarnock goal Kilmarnock however withstood the barrage to win the title by one point This also meant that Kilmarnock would play in the European Cup for the first time Frank Beattie became the first Kilmarnock captain since Mattha Smith in 1929 to bring a national trophy to Rugby Park

Later years

In Kilmarnock's first game in the European Cup Frank Beattie played at centre-half against Albanians 17 Nentori Tirana Kilmarnock won the tie 1-0 on aggregate In the next round Kilmarnock played Real Madrid but lost the tie The next season was to be Kilmarnock's best season in Europe as they reached the semi-finals of the Fairs Cup getting beat by Leeds United The following two seasons Frank played less and during these two season Frank came on as a substitute for only the second time in his career against Raith Rovers Kilmarnock were down 4-0 at half time when Frank was brought on and by full-time it was 4-4

Frank broke Mattha Smith's record for the most league appearances by playing against Celtic Beattie and Jimmy Johnstone collided just fifteen minutes in Beattie broke his right leg; at the age of 36 most people thought that his career was over Walter McCrae did not think so and signed him up for the following season Even though Frank did not feature that season he was awarded with a testimonial match Frank made his come back from injury against Clyde in a reserves match At the end of the season Frank's testimonial took place The team that was chosen was Celtic The result was 7-2 to Celtic, with a young Kenny Dalglish scoring six of the seven goals Frank made his lat appearance for Kilmarnock against Motherwell This game was to push Frank over the 600 appearance for Kilmarnock

After his retirement Beattie ran a newsagent in his home village of Cambusbarron He took over as manager of local amateur side Cambusbarron Rovers in 1976, and two years later led the team to victory in the Scottish Amateur Cup


Frank Beattie died on 19 November 2009 at the age of 76 He died after suffering from Parkinson’s Disease for 10 years During the SPL match played between Kilmarnock and Hearts on 28 November, a minute's silence was held in his memory

On Sunday 22 August 2010, ahead of the first home match of the season against Motherwell, Kilmarnock FC invited the family of Frank Beattie to Rugby Park to witness the renaming of the West Stand in Kilmarnock The stand will now be referred to as The Frank Beattie Stand, and is a fine tribute to one of the former greats of the club

Career statistics

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1954–55 Kilmarnock Division One 15 3 0 0 1 1 0 0 16 4
1955–56 29 10 3 2 0 0 0 0 32 12
1956–57 21 7 2 1 4 0 0 0 27 8
1957–58 20 8 0 0 7 2 0 0 27 10
1958–59 27 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 30 10
1959–60 33 1 7 0 0 0 6 0 46 1
1960–61 28 0 1 0 10 1 6 0 45 1
1961–62 30 1 3 0 6 2 0 0 39 3
1962–63 34 1 2 0 10 1 6 0 52 2
1963–64 33 1 5 1 3 1 8 0 49 3
1964–65 31 1 4 0 6 0 13 0 54 1
1965–66 30 0 4 1 9 0 2 0 45 1
1966–67 29 1 2 0 6 0 8 0 45 1
1967–68 25 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 39 0
1968–69 28 0 4 0 2 0 6 0 40 0
1969–70 8 0 0 0 5 0 5 0 18 0
1970–71 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1971–72 1 0 0 0 5 1 0 0 6 1
Career total 422 34 40 5 80 9 60 0 602 48


  • Scottish league championship winner 1: 1964–65


  1. ^ "Frank Beattie" Londonheartscom London Hearts Supporters' Club Retrieved 6 December 2011 
  2. ^ KILMARNOCK : 1946/47 – 2007/08, Newcastle Fans
  3. ^ Killie FC Classic Killie Matches, Killie FC Classic Killie Matches 22 September 1964
  4. ^ Championship Title Decider, Killie FC Classic Killie Matches 24 April 1965
  5. ^ White, Gregor 25 November 2009 "Cambusbarron Rovers footballer Frank Beattie dies" Stirling Observer 
  6. ^ SPL website , Memorial page
  7. ^ Scotsman obituary , Scotsman Article

External links

  • Beattie's obituary at Kilmarnock FC's official website

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