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The Club » Dundee United A - Z ( K )

Dundee United A - Z ( K )

Jacky KAY ( 1908 - 1963)
Lanarkshire-born, he was signed from the junior ranks by manager Jimmy Brownlie in the close season of 1927. He struck a rich seam of goals along with Duncan Hutchison during their two seasons together, and Kay felt the effects of Hutchie’s transfer more than most. Only Hutchison scored more goals for the club than Kay in the inter-war years, but no player made more appearances for United during that period.
Over his nine years at Tannadice, Jacky Kay was a big favourite with the fans, who were shocked and disappointed when he was given a free transfer in 1936, at the age of 28. He was signed by English club Chester, with whom he stayed until the outbreak of the Second World War.
He returned to Dundee and was a trainer with Dundee FC for several years until the mid-1950s.
Jock KAY ( 1899 - 1979)
An attacking full back, he signed for Third Lanark in 1920, where one of his colleagues was goalkeeper Jimmy Brownlie. When Brownlie was appointed manager at Tannadice three years later, Kay was one of the first signings for his new club.
Jock immediately established himself in the United team which within two years won promotion to Division One for the first time in the club’s history. His popularity with the fans and his excellent service were recognised in 1928 when Hearts played a benefit match for him – one of only three Tannadice players to receive a testimonial in the club’s first 50 years. Later that year he returned to his native Stirlingshire, joining Stenhousemuir.
Jerry KERR (1912 – 2002)
It would be difficult to overestimate the contribution Jerry Kerr made to Dundee United. He it was who guided the club from Division Two obscurity to an established position in the top division and, though it took Jim McLean to carry the club’s development to the stage where honours were won, without the astute management of Kerr, the solid platform which McLean inherited simply would not have been in place.
Kerr was a full back and his playing career (which included a brief spell with Rangers) took him to Alloa Athletic, St Bernards and Motherwell before becoming one of new United manager Bobby McKay’s first signings during the close season of 1939. He was made club captain but only four League matches of season 1939/40 were played before the competition was abandoned.
Kerr was one of only three players who remained with United after the outbreak of war, but the relaxed registration conditions of the time enabled a much stronger squad to be assembled. They progressed to the semi-final of the Emergency War Cup (which, to all intents and purposes, was the Scottish Cup), where their captain was unlucky to sustain a shoulder injury which kept him out of the final at Hampden.
It was when he moved into management that Jerry Kerr’s true strengths began to emerge. His first post was as player/manager with the East of Scotland League club Peebles Rovers, followed by a spell at Berwick Rangers before being appointed manager of Alloa, a club which knew him well.
In the summer of 1959 United manager Andy McCall (the fifth in less than five years) had just resigned after leading the part-time club to third bottom place in Division Two and there was little expectation that fortunes would improve significantly. Dundee United advertised for a new manager; the man given the apparently thankless task of reviving the club was Jerry Kerr.
The records show that less than a year later Kerr had taken the club into Division One and in so doing had more than doubled attendances at Tannadice. They doubled again the following season as United – following Kerr’s insistence that his players must be full-time – retained their place and, through shrewd entries into the transfer market, Kerr achieved the gradual improvement which led to qualification for European competition in 1966. It was an astonishing achievement and one which stands as a landmark in the club’s history.
By 1971 Kerr, then aged 59, had taken Dundee United as far as he reasonably could. In November of that year he assumed the post of general manager, the job which he had transformed into one of the most sought-after in Scottish football going to Jim McLean. It seems Kerr was never comfortable with his new duties and he left the club, with the minimum of publicity, at the end of season 1972/73.
It was an exit which did not do justice to his contribution to Dundee United over a period of twelve and a half years, and it seems odd to say the least that he was not given a testimonial match in recognition of his achievements and at which Arabs could have paid him due tribute.
This oversight was corrected 30 years later when the Board renamed the main (south) stand in his memory following a request by the Federation of Dundee United Supporters’ Clubs. The Jerry Kerr Stand was officially unveiled at the pre season friendly against Everton on 30 July 2003. The ceremony was attended by members of his family, together with many of his former players, and United fans welcomed the opportunity at long last to show their appreciation of his wonderful contribution to the club.
Prior to 1947, League meetings between the clubs had been restricted to United’s four seasons in Division One between 1925 and 1932. They came together for seven seasons in B Division until Kilmarnock won promotion in 1954, then did not meet again until United achieved the same feat six years later. Until the advent of the Premier Division they were perennial adversaries, and are now again regular opponents.
In 1969 the clubs also met in Dallas and St Louis while competing in the International League.
The playing record against Kilmarnock in major competitions is:

Scottish League (total):
P 100
W 33
D 25
L 42
F 162
A 162
Premier Division:
P 50
W 16
D 16
L 18
F 71
A 49

Scottish Cup: the clubs were drawn together in 1932, 1986 and 1997 (semi-final).
P 6
W 1
D 3
L 2
A 6

League Cup: the clubs were drawn together in 1953, 1971, 1972 and 1975.
P 8
W 4
D 0
L 4
F 11
A 15

Notable transfers to: John Bourke (1978)

Notable transfers from: Kenny Cameron (1968), Chris Innes (2003)
Billy KIRKWOOD (born 1958)
Billy Kirkwood (picture courtesy of DC Thomson & Co Ltd.)
He had gained two U-18 schoolboy caps (together with Derek Stark) when he joined from school in 1976. Within a year he had broken through to the first team to begin a distinguished Tannadice career. Billy went on to make more than 400 League appearances, winning two League Cup winners’ medals and being a vital part of the squad which won the League championship three years later. He was also a member of the the Uefa Cup final side and was a cup finalist on five other occasions.
Having departed for Hibernian in the close season of 1986, he returned to Tannadice after only six months, joining Dunfermline the following year. In February 1988 he was transferred to Dundee, with whom he became a coach at the end of his playing career. He built up an impressive coaching reputation, which was further enhanced after he joined Rangers in 1991.
United was his first managerial appointment, in March 1995, at a time when the club was in freefall towards the First Division. Although he did restore Premier Division status a year later, following a poor start to the new season he left the club in September 1996.
Since then Billy has taken up coaching posts at Hull City, St Johnstone, Livingston, and is now with Dunfermline.
Frank KOPEL (born 1949)
Frank Kopel (Picture courtesy of DC Thomson & Co Ltd.)
Falkirk-born Frank joined Manchester United from school, but made only ten first-team appearances for the Old Trafford club before being transferred to Blackburn Rovers. He arrived at Tannadice in January 1972 and was a member of both League Cup-winning teams as well as the Scottish Cup final teams of 1974 and 1981. He made more than 400 League appearances before joining Arbroath, where he had a spell as player/coach.
After retiring in 1984, Frank was a coach with United for some time and his son, Scott, was with the club as an apprentice before joining Forfar Athletic.
Miodrag KRIVOKAPIC (born 1959)
Miodrag KRIVOKAPIC (picture courtesy of DC Thomson & Co Ltd.)
Signed from Red Star Belgrade for £200,000 in the summer of 1988, the international defender took some time to settle but then developed into an indispensable part of United’s defence over the three seasons which followed.
In 1991 he was transferred to Motherwell, against whom he had played for United in that year’s Scottish Cup final, and his fitness and athleticism allowed him to prolong his career at the top level beyond the point where retirement normally beckons.



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