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Willie Fernie
Personal information
Full name William Fernie
Date of birth 22 November 1928 (1928-11-22) (age 81)
Place of birth    Kinglassie, Scotland
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Playing position Forward
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
St. Mirren
Partick Thistle
Alloa Athletic
194 (47)
065 0(3)
025 0(7)
022 0(3)
000 0(0)
007 0(0)
006 0(1)   
National team
1954–1958 Scotland 012 0(1)
Teams managed
1973–1977 Kilmarnock

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

William "Willie" Fernie (born 22 November 1928 in Kinglassie, Fife) is a former Scottish footballer who played for the Scotland national football team in both the 1954 and 1958 FIFA World Cups.


Playing career

Fernie joined Celtic from his local Kinglassie Hearts side in 1949. A renowned dribbler, he also displayed a remarkable versatility which saw the club deploy him as a right half, inside forward and outside left as the need arose.[1] He was part of Celtic's 1953-54 Double-winning team and also collected two League Cup winners medals, in 1956 and 1957. In the 1957 final he scored a penalty as Celtic defeated rivals Rangers 7-1 in the match known as Hampden in the sun.

Fernie's efforts in Celtic's double-winning side earned him promotion to the full Scotland team, having previously represented the B team and the Scottish League.[1] He made his debut against Finland and was selected in the squad for the 1954 FIFA World Cup. He played in both matches in Switzerland as Scotland capitulated in the first round. He remained in the international framework for the next four years and was again selected in Scotland's World Cup squad, for the 1958 finals in Sweden. He played only one match, his final international, as Scotland again exited in the first round.

Fernie joined Middlesbrough for £17,500 in 1958 but returned to Celtic Park less than two years later. He moved to St Mirren in 1961 and helped them reach the 1961-62 Scottish Cup final, although Rangers prevailed 2-0 at Hampden. He finished his career with short spells at Alloa Athletic and Fraserburgh before moving into coaching.

Managerial career

Fernie returned to Celtic in 1967, appointed reserve team coach by Jock Stein.[1] In 1973 he left for Ayrshire when appointed manager of Kilmarnock. He led his new charges to promotion back to Division One in 1973-74 and then, after league reconstruction, to promotion to the new Premier Division in 1975-76. However, as a part-time team, Killie struggled in the top flight and were unsurprisingly relegated in 1976-77. A bad start to the following season resulted in Fernie being sacked and resolving to leave the football industry. He has since worked as a taxi driver.


  1. ^ a b c Lamming, Douglas (1987) (Hardback). A Scottish Soccer Internationalists Who’s Who, 1872-1986. Hutton Press. (ISBN 0-907033-47-4).  

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