Billy McKinlay

Where is Billy McKinlay now?

Former Blackburn Rovers and Scotland international midfielder Billy McKinlay retired from playing professionally in 2005 after a brief spell at Fulham.

Although he never won any club silverware over his 19-year playing career, he did win 19 caps for the Scotland national side scoring five times.

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Upon hanging up his boots, McKinlay stayed on at Fulham to work as an assistant coach with their under 21’s side.

Working his way up within the club’s coaching structure, he then went onto work as the under 21’s manager for six years until a promotion in 2012 to assistant coach under manager Martin Jol.

When Jol was sacked in December 2013 and Rene Meulensteen came in as manager he bought in his own backroom staff which meant that McKinlay had no choice but to end his 10-year association with the club,

However, he was back in football in September 2014 when he was appointed as first-team coach of Watford working under Oscar Garcia.

In a strange turn of events, Garcia resigned from his role after only four games in charge due to ongoing health issues which subsequently thrust McKinlay into the manager’s hot seat.

During this period, he had been working as assistant coach with the Northern Ireland national team working with his former Dundee United team-mate Michael O’Neill but he left his position to concentrate all his efforts into his new managerial role at Watford.

Unfortunately he was in charge for just two games before their controversial Italian owner Giampaolo Pozzo decided he wanted to replace him with Slavisa Jokanovic and move him back into in a backroom position.

Declining the offer and leaving the club, McKinlay then went onto join fellow Scotsman David Moyes in Spain as his assistant at Real Sociedad.

The pair only lasted a year in La Liga and were sacked after a run of poor results left the club on the edge of the relegation zone.

Shortly after leaving Spain, McKinlay joined Norwegian side Stabæk Fotball as their new manager on a two-year contract.

He endured a tough eight months in Norway and was sacked in July 2016 after his side struggled in the league and were knocked out in the early rounds of the UEFA Europa League.

In 2016, he joined up once again with David Moyes at Sunderland as a scout, and was retained by the club when Moyes was sacked and Simon Grayson was appointed as manager.

When Grayson’s first team coach Glyn Snodin fell ill in 2017, McKinlay was promoted to temporary first team coach.

Shortly after, Grayson himself was sacked by the club and McKinlay was appointed joint caretaker manager alongside Robbie Stockdale.

He left Sunderland just days after when he joined up once again with David Moyes at West Ham United as one of his assistant coaches.

Although they successfully steered West Ham away from the relegation places, Moyes’ contract wasn’t renewed and he left the club along with all of his backroom staff including McKinlay.

He made a return to football in November 2019 when he teamed up with Michael O’Neill for a second time in his career in his current role as assistant manager at Stoke City.

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Billy McKinlay: Premier League Statistics

Goals Scored3
Yellow Cards35
Red Cards1
Premier League Teams Played forBlackburn Rovers, Bradford City, Fulham, Leicester City

Statistics courtesy of