Derek McInnes has led the tributes to a Kilmarnock fan who tragically passed away following the Ayrshire derby as the club prepares to honor his memory.
The Killie boss has spoken for the first time after the death of Colin McCue who suffered a cardiac arrest just outside Rugby Park following Wednesday night’s match with Ayr United.
Medics tended to Colin and he was transferred to Crosshouse Hospital but, sadly, he could not be saved.
A minute’s silence will be held before kick-off against Dunfermline Athletic in the cinch Championship today and the players will wear black armbands.
McInnes said: “The club doctor informed us all in a group chat at half one in the morning of Colin McCue’s passing and it was obviously terrible news. It’s awful.
“I believe the club doctor and stadium doctors did everything they could to help the situation but it is really traumatic for the family and Colin’s son, who was with him.
The Ayrshire Live app is available to download now.
Get all the local news in your area – plus features, football news and the latest on the coronavirus crisis – at your fingertips 24/7.
The free download features the latest breaking news and exclusive stories while you can customize your page with the sections that matter to you.
The Ayrshire Live app is available to download now on iOS and Android.
“We have been liaising with the family and it’s something they have to deal with but we’re here to try and help them if we can as a club going forward.
“There is a professional side to football and the importance of points and all the rest of it but we’ve all got families. I was at a funeral on Thursday when my best mate buried his dad and it does put football into perspective.
“Hearing of Colin’s passing was a sad night for his family but we all feel that; players, staff, everybody connected to the club.”
On the football side of things, Kilmarnock are aiming to cut Arbroath’s lead at the top to two points by bouncing back from the 2-1 defeat to Ayr with victory over the Pars.
McInnes added: “It was a really tough night for us as I felt we did a lot right in the game. When you get so many of the fans turning up, it was a bit of a slap in the face for them.
“It feels like we’ve got a bit of making up to do with the result as the last 20 to 25 minutes of the game, we were a poor version of what we are capable of being. We lost our composure and needed to show far more belief.
“When their second goal went in was the part of the game which annoyed me the most. There was still plenty of time to go but I just felt we never responded and allowed the situation to become bigger than what it was. We never threw the kitchen sink at them.
“With 12 games to go and seven of them at home, we have got to take full advantage of that. We have to try and get the win against a team who need points of their own to try and stay in the division. We’ re going to have to fight and work hard.”
Meanwhile, veteran winger Chris Burke – who paid tribute to fan Colin on behalf of the dressing room – insists Killie have to put their derby setback behind them and get the title tilt back on track.
He said: “We can’t think about what happened in the Ayr United game now. We have to think about Dunfermline and respect them because if we don’t we will get stung.
“I think every football player should have pressure, should feel pressure but there’s different levels of pressure and it’s how you manage and cope with that pressure.
“We are probably the team being hunted down. Even though Arbroath are top of the league, they will still feel like the hunters. This is part and parcel when you are the team that is favorite to win the league.”
Don’t miss the latest Ayrshire headlines –sign up to our free daily newsletter here