1976 - Present:
Joe Gilroy took over at the start of
the 1976/77 season, with a full league programme of 39 games.
His first season saw Queen's finish 5th, but the following
season the team was in mid table, and in April 1979 Gilroy
stood down due to business commitments. Appointed in his place
was player Eddie Hunter, who was to become a pivotal figure
around the club for the next 15 years.
From a position of 13th out of 14
teams when he took over, Eddie Hunter finished 1979/80 with
his team in 5th place, and the following season he led the
team to its first silverware for 25 years. The first season in
division one finished in a comfortable eighth place, but the
likes of John McGregor leaving for Liverpool at the end of
that season meant that 82/83 was always going to be a
struggle, and the team were relegated with three games left.
All the time work went on in the
background to keep Hampden alive as Scotland's National
Stadium, and in 1980 Queen's thought they had secured a grant
from the government towards an £11 million redevelopment of
the stadium, one of the conditions being that Queen's gave up
ownership of the stadium, although retaining the right to play
It is one of the legendary euphemisms
of Scottish football that the bulldozers were on site ready to
begin work, but that was the situation until the Rangers
chairman persuaded the Scottish Sports secretary that there
was no point in redeveloping Hampden when Ibrox was already in
place. Over £10 million (in today's prices) was written off
in fees as the government reneged on their deal.
There is some irony in the fact that
the refurbishment of Hampden in the late nineties almost
collapsed because of a shortfall of £6 million, while the
government were happy to write off almost twice as much as
that in the eighties.
Back on the pitch, it took a couple of
seasons to regroup after relegation, but in 1985/86 another
good team was put together, including the likes of Ian McCall,
Kenny Brannigan, Mark Smith and Stevie Ross, and a great run
from November onwards saw them lose only three times, but the
handicap of an average start to the season prevented them from
overhauling Dunfermline or Queen of the South.
Queen's also went on a great Scottish
Cup run that season, dismissing Buckie of the Highland League,
Albion Rovers of the second division, Dumbarton (just
relegated from the Premier) and eventually losing out by the
odd goal in three at Parkhead, although Jimmy Boyle had given
Queen's the lead early in the second half with a penalty.
In 1987/88 Queen's were challenging
again, but as two years before were up against two teams who
were also on a good run, St Johnstone and Ayr. Queen's
finished third, but equalled the club record for victories on
the road with eleven wins away from HQ.
There wasn't much to shout about for
the next few seasons, but there was a reasonable chance of
promotion in 1990/91, where Queen's held second place for most
of the season until four games to go, when a second half
collapse at Stenhousemuir saw us lose 4-1, eventually
finishing fifth as Montrose overtook us to go up with
The following three season saw
finishes in the lower half of the table, and in December 1994
Queen's and coach Eddie Hunter went their separate ways.
He was followed by Hugh McCann in
April 1995, and in his first season Queen's finished
comfortably in mid table, but in 1996/97 we were back towards
the bottom of the table and another change was made following
McCann's dismissal in April 1997.
He was replaced by a first for Queen's
Park, a player/coach role filled by Graeme Elder, and although
results improved slightly, by March 1998 he indicated that he
would not be continuing in a coaching role beyond the end of
After a long delay, he was followed by
another first for the club, a full time coach, with John
McCormack taking over in July 1998. His late arrival meant
there was little change in the league position in 1998/99, but
the following season started with a 14 match unbeaten run, and,
after a mid-season stutter, it ended with five wins on the bounce
as Queen's lifted their first title in 20 years.
This success was achieved against the
real possibility that the club might not last until the end of
the season. The financial troubles over the rebuilding of
Hampden meant that Queen's went into administration in January
2000, and in February 2000 the team and fans travelled to
Brechin knowing that it could be the club's last game, as the
administrator had declared that the situation must be resolved
by the following Monday or the club would be put into
receivership and therefore lose their league status.
Although a solution was found that
saved the club, the Labour Government insisted that part of
the deal included management of the new stadium being
transferred to the SFA at a very low rent, despite the SFA
having contributed nothing to the rebuilding costs. This deal
will run for 20 years from March 2000, with the SFA having the
option to extend it for a further 20 years in 2020.
The following season in division two
started with four straight wins, setting a new club record of
nine consecutive league wins, but as the season went on
results became harder to come by, and when Forfar won at
Hampden on the second last day of the season the writing was
on the wall, and a last day victory at Queen of the South
wasn't enough to prevent relegation on goal difference.
In 2001/02 Queen's got off to a
dreadful start, and didn't record a win until November, 16
games into the season. That terrible start also meant that
Queen's were always struggling to get off the bottom of the
pile, and when a last minute penalty was saved in the last
game of the season at Dumbarton Queen's finished last for the
first time in their history.
In November 2002 John McCormack left
for a return to full time football, and in January 2003
ex-player Kenny Brannigan was appointed in his place, but his
reign was terminated in August 2004 following an altercation
with a fan during a game at Elgin.
Brannigan was replaced by Billy Stark,
who lead the team to fourth place in his first season, and a
disappointing set of results towards the end of the 2005/06
season prevented Queen's from qualifying for one of the
play-off spots for promotion, a new initiative that season.
However, Stark led Queen's to arguably
their greatest ever victory in August 2006, when they defeated
Premier League Aberdeen in the CIS Cup on penalties at Firhill
Queen's then went on to secure
promotion to Division Two via the play offs at the end of the
same season, defeating East Fife 7-2 on aggregate in the
His work did not go unnoticed, and in
January 2008 he left Queen's to become Scotland's Under 21
coach, and was replaced by then Partick Thistle assistant,
Despite qualifying regularly for the
promotion play offs, he couldn't guide us up a division and,
after a terrible start to the 2013/14 season, he left to be
replaced in January 2014 by Angus MacPherson.
MacPherson took over as Queen's were a
couple of months into a 14 month long exile from Hampden as it
was prepared for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, with Hampden
hosting the athletics events.
His first full season in charge saw
Queen's qualify again for the play offs, this time getting to
the final, only to lose out to Stenhousemuir by the odd goal
in three over the two legs. He was, however, to have more
success the following season when Clyde were defeated over the
two legged final to secure promotion to what these days is
called League One.
Queen's comfortably survived their
first season in League One, however with the usual struggle to
retain players they were relegated at the end of the 2017/18
season after a play off semi final defeat at the hands of
Early in season 2018/19 Gus MacPherson
moved on to to become Technical Director at St Mirren, with
assistant coach Mark Roberts taking over the reins. However,
his tenure came to an end in December 2019, with the club
uncomfortably close to the relegation play off spot.
This happened as the club prepared to
take its first steps into professional football. With the
threat of the relegation trapdoor from the SPFL and the loss
of Hampden, enticing players to come to Queen's on an amateur
basis was becoming more and more difficult, and in November
2019 the members of the club voted to permit the club to offer
professional contracts to players.
In January 2020 the entire first team
squad was offered professional terms, and with the arrival of
Ray McKinnon as Head Coach in the same month, several new
players were brought in, also on professional contracts. There
was an immediate upturn in results, but any hopes of securing
a play off place were scuppered in March 2020 when the season
was firstly suspended, then finished, as a result of the Covid
Another major change was announced in
May 2020 when it was confirmed that the first team squad would
be full time from the start of the 2020/21 season.