Simon Stainrod was a flamboyant Yorkshireman who came to Ayr United as a player-manage in December 1993. Euphoria exuded in the Ayr supporters as he was seen as an Ally MacLeod type character and it was expected that he would still have a high degree of playing skill.
He had previously played for Sheffiled United, Oldham Athletic, Queen’s Park Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa, Stoke City, Strasbourg, Rouen, Falkirk then Dundee where he gained management experience. He then played for Leixoes (Portugal).
His first few games were postponed giving him time to get to know the players. His first match was against Clydebank on 4th January 1994 in front of 2,152 fans and early goals gave Ayr a 2-0 win. Ayr were in that vital 7th place and a 3-1 win at Stirling Albion in March strengthened their position.Â Stainrod was confident and in the programme notes of the St Mirren match of 14th May 1994 stated that ‘The days of Ayr United being an insignificant club are over’.
Optimism was high and this was hightened when Celtic could only scrape a 1-0 in the League Cup in August 1994. But optimism had to be put on hold as league results did not go Ayr’s way and a 6-0 defeat by Dunfermline in December sent waves through the club. At the mid point of the season Ayr were sitting in second bottom. Losing to Hamilton at hogmanay meant that Ayr and Stranraer were joint bottom and when Stranraer went 2-0 ahead of Ayr in 2nd January match the Ayr fans barracked Stainrod from behind the goals .Relegation was inevitable. Stainrod survived Ayr United’s descent into the Second Division in 1995.
1994/95 saw an early defeat by East Fife and the fans were voicing their opinions already. Later wins helped the mood, but further defeats saw further outbursts from fans and even the local travel club leads referring to him as ‘living in cloud cuckoo land’ The pressure of a bad start to season 1995-96 eventually told and he announced his resignation on 2nd September and as he did so he said that the Ayr players should be done for fraud and that the Ayr supporters were ‘moaners’ He then became a football agent.
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