Billy Stark was head coach at Queen’s Park from August 2004 until January 2008.
His playing career commenced at St Mirren in 1975, where he was signed by ex-Spider Alex Ferguson, who also went on to sign him again in 1983 when he was in charge at Aberdeen. Billy collected two league winners medals, two Scottish Cup winners medals and a League Cup winners medal at Pittodrie, and also played in numerous European matches. Billy then signed for Celtic in 1987, winning both the league and Scottish Cup, before finishing his playing career at Kilmarnock in the early nineties.
His first move into management came as an assistant at Hamilton Accies, who won the B&Q Cup whilst he was there. He returned to Kilmarnock in 1992, this time as assistant to Tommy Burns, before following Burns to Parkhead where he remained as his assistant until 1997.
Billy took his first steps as a manager in his own right at Morton, before moving to McDiarmid Park to take charge at St Johnstone for four years until April 2004.
Taking over at Hampden in August 2004 with the season already under way, Billy had little chance to add to the squad, but he made one important addition within a few weeks of taking over as he brought Mark Ferry into the squad from St Johnstone.
A fourth place finish showed promise, and the following season saw youngsters like Paul Paton, Alan Trouten, Stuart Kettlewell and David Weatherston establish themselves in the team and, along with the experience of players like Richard Sinclair, Mick Dunlop and Tony Quinn, this gave a springboard into the 2006/07, a season that started spectacularly with a defeat of First Division Hamilton in the CIS Cup and, in the following round, a victory on penalties over SPL side Aberdeen at neutral Firhill.
League form in the early part of the season was inconsistent, but the second half of the season saw Queen’s go on a run of 16 victories in 18 games with some vintage displays of the passing game, and a run of seven consecutive clean sheets, a new club record.
The season culminated in promotion through the play offs, with Arbroath dispatched 4-1 on aggregate in the semi-final and East Fife thrashed 7-2 on aggregate in the final.
2007/08 saw Queen’s record three straight wins from the start of the season to top the table, and although results became harder to come by, Queen’s remained comfortably above the bottom two, and with a 2-1 win at Alloa in January 2008 Billy signed off as Queen’s head coach to take over as the Scotland Under 21 manager.
l-r: Billy Stark, David McCallum and Bobby Dickson