Billy McKinlay

Billy McKinlay
Personal information
Full name William James Alexander McKinlay[1]
Date of birth (1969-04-22) 22 April 1969
Place of birth Glasgow, Scotland
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1984–1985 Hamilton Thistle
1985–1986 Dundee United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1986–1995 Dundee United 222 (23)
1995–2000 Blackburn Rovers 91 (3)
2000Leicester City (loan) 0 (0)
2000–2001 Bradford City 11 (0)
2001 Preston North End 0 (0)
2001–2002 Clydebank 8 (0)
2002–2004 Leicester City 53 (1)
2004–2005 Fulham 2 (0)
Total 387 (27)
National team
1988–1989 Scotland U21 6 (1)
1990–1994 Scotland B 2 (0)
1993–1998 Scotland 29 (4)
Teams managed
2014 Watford
2015–2016 Stabæk
2017 Sunderland (caretaker)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

William James Alexander McKinlay (born 22 April 1969) is a Scottish footballer and coach, who played as a midfielder. He began his career with Dundee United, making over 200 league appearances, before joining Blackburn Rovers in 1995 for £1.75 million. He later played for Bradford City, Clydebank, Leicester City and Fulham. McKinlay appeared 29 times for Scotland and played at Euro 1996 and the 1998 World Cup.

As a coach, he has worked for Fulham, the Northern Ireland national team and Watford. He was appointed Watford head coach in September 2014 but left the post after eight days. After a spell as assistant head coach with Real Sociedad in Spain, he joined Norwegian club Stabæk in November 2015, before being sacked in July 2016.

Playing career


A product of Dundee United's scouting and coaching network in the west of Scotland, Glasgow-born McKinlay was signed from Hamilton Thistle in 1986. He played in the 1988 Scottish Cup Final side at the age of 19, after only twelve Scottish Football League appearances. He went on to play over two hundred matches for United, but missed out on the club's 1994 Scottish Cup win due to suspension.

Following Dundee United's relegation in 1995, McKinlay requested a transfer. He was sold to English Premier League champions Blackburn Rovers in October 1995 for a fee of £1.75 million. After leaving Blackburn in 2000, McKinlay had brief spells with Bradford City, Preston North End and Clydebank. In 2002, he joined Leicester City, scoring his only goal for them against Coventry City.[2] In 2004, Fulham manager Chris Coleman signed McKinlay, primarily to assist the reserve squad.


McKinlay represented Scotland at under-21[3] and B international[4] level before making his full debut in 1993. He made 14 appearances for Scotland while with Dundee United, the last two as a First Division player. He is one of only three players from that division to play at full international level for Scotland since 1975. In total he played 29 times for Scotland between 1993 and 1998, scoring four goals. He was selected for the Euro 1996 and 1998 World Cup squads, making one appearance at each tournament.

Coaching career

On 21 December 2007, Fulham first-team coach Ray Lewington and reserve team manager McKinlay took over after manager Lawrie Sanchez was sacked. Roy Hodgson was appointed nine days later.[5] McKinlay coached Fulham's reserve side and developed youth talent, and in 2012 became Northern Ireland assistant manager, but returned to Fulham to manage the side's 4–0 defeat at Everton, on 28 April 2012 due to Martin Jol's chest infection and was again in charge on Merseyside, for Fulham's win against Liverpool. On 2 December 2013, McKinlay left Fulham after Martin Jol's departure a day earlier.[6]

McKinlay was appointed as Watford first-team coach, under head coach Óscar Garcia, on 26 September 2014.[7] McKinlay replaced Garcia a few days later as head coach, after the Spaniard resigned due to suffering from ill health.[8] McKinlay relinquished his role as Northern Ireland's assistant manager after becoming the Watford manager.[9] After just eight days in the job, McKinlay was replaced as Watford head coach by Slaviša Jokanović.[10] McKinlay had taken charge of two matches, a win against Brentford and a draw with Brighton.[10]

On 27 November 2014, McKinlay joined Spanish club Real Sociedad as an assistant coach, working alongside David Moyes.[11] He was sacked, along with Moyes, on 9 November 2015.[12]

On 30 November 2015, McKinlay was appointed as manager of Norwegian Tippeligaen side Stabæk Fotball on a two-year contract.[13] McKinlay resigned as manager on 8 July 2016, after being knocked out of the Europa League by Connah's Quay Nomads.[14]

McKinlay joined Sunderland as a scout, initially under Moyes, in 2016. In October 2017 he was promoted to a temporary first team coaching role by manager Simon Grayson when assistant manager Glynn Snodin became ill.[15] Following Grayson's sacking, McKinlay and Robbie Stockdale were appointed the club's joint caretaker managers in November 2017.[16] After one game in charge, a 1–0 loss against Middlesbrough on 5 November 2017,[17] McKinlay left Sunderland to take a coaching position at West Ham United.[18] He left the east London club at the end of the 2017–18 season, after manager David Moyes' contract was not renewed.[19]

Career statistics


Scotland national team[20]

International goals

Scores and results list Scotland's goal tally first.[21]
1.17 November 1993National Stadium, Ta' Qali Malta1–02–01994 FIFA World Cup qualification
2.20 April 1994Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna Austria2–12–1Friendly
3.12 October 1994Hampden Park, Glasgow Faroe Islands4–05–1UEFA Euro 1996 qualification
4.7 June 1995Svangaskarð, Toftir Faroe Islands1–02–0

Managerial statistics

Team Nat From To Record
Watford 29 September 2014 7 October 2014 2 1 1 0 050.00
Stabæk 30 November 2015 8 July 2016 20 6 2 12 030.00
Sunderland (joint caretaker) 1 November 2017 12 November 2017 1 0 0 1 000.00
Total 23 7 3 13 030.43
As of match played 5 November 2017


  1. "Billy McKinlay". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  2. "Coventry 1–2 Leicester". BBC. 21 March 2003. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  3. "Scotland U21 profile". Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  4. "Scotland B profile". Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  5. "Fulham appoint Hodgson as manager". BBC Sport. 28 December 2007. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  6. "Coaching Staff Update". Fulham FC. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  7. "OFFICIAL: Hornets Appoint McKinlay As First Team Coach". Watford F.C. 26 September 2014. Archived from the original on 29 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  8. Watford: Oscar Garcia replaced by Billy McKinlay as head coach, BBC Sport
  9. Watford coach Billy McKinlay quits Northern Ireland role, BBC Sport
  10. 1 2 Watford: Slavisa Jokanovic replaces Billy McKinlay as boss, BBC Sport
  11. "David Moyes: Billy McKinlay named Real Sociedad assistant". BBC Sport. 27 November 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  12. "Real Sociedad sack former Man Utd manager". BBC Sport. 9 November 2015.
  13. "Fra Bob til Billy" (in Norwegian). Stabæk Fotball. 30 November 2015. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  14. "Billy McKinlay fratrer som trener" (in Norwegian). Stabæk Fotball. 8 July 2016. Archived from the original on 14 July 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  15. "Simon Grayson on what Billy McKinlay brings to Sunderland coaching staff". Sunderland Echo. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  16. "Sunderland: Billy McKinlay & Robbie Stockdale in caretaker charge but experienced boss wanted". BBC Sport. 1 November 2017. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  17. "Middlesbrough 1-0 Sunderland". BBC Sport. 5 November 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  18. Gregory, Ross (12 November 2017). "Sunderland in chaos as caretaker boss Billy McKinlay quits for West Ham". Sunderland Echo. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  19. "David Moyes: West Ham manager departs after just six months in charge". BBC Sport. 16 May 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  20. National Football Teams profile
  21. SFA profile
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