Scotland Men's Under-19 Head Coach Billy Stark has today announced his decision to retire, following a decorated career as both a player and a coach.

Billy, who has enjoyed two spells with the Scottish FA - first as Under-21 Head Coach then latterly as Under-19 boss - will call time on his stellar career in football later this  month. 

The Scottish FA will begin its recruitment process for the position imminently.

Stark began his playing career with St Mirren and he picked up a First Division winners' medal with the Buddies before joining Aberdeen in 1983. 

In a hugely successful four-year spell in the North East, Stark would win two league titles, two Scottish Cups, a League Cup and a UEFA Super Cup. He added to these trophies with two further Scottish Cup triumphs and another league title during a three-year stint at Celtic.

After finishing his playing career at Kilmarnock, he joined Celtic as assistant manager to Tommy Burns and he would lead the Glasgow club in a caretaker capacity for a couple of matches when Burns left in 1997. 

As a manager in his own right, Stark managed Greenock Morton, St Johnstone and Queen's Park. With the Spiders, he guided them to promotion from League Two and also oversaw a famous victory over Aberdeen on penalties in the League Cup.

A move to the Scottish FA followed and in 2010 Stark led Scotland Under-21s to first-place in a qualifying group that included Belarus, Austria, Albania and Azerbajian but they were defeated narrowly by Iceland in a play-off for the 2011 European Championships.

Scotland Under-21s then finished second in qualification for the 2013 Euros, although they failed to gather enough points to make the play-offs. 

Following Craig Levein's departure as the Scotland boss, Stark led the senior side in one match against Luxembourg and he recorded a 2-1 win, with Jordan Rhodes scoring a double.

Stark left the association in 2014 and spent time with Albion Rovers and East Kilbride before returning to the Scotland youth set-up in 2018.

Since returning, Stark has pre-dominantly worked with the Men's Under-19s and he has played his part in developing the likes of Billy Gilmour, Nathan Patterson, Lewis Mayo, Liam Morrison, Ethan Erhahon, Rory Wilson, Lennon Miller and David Watson.

Stark recently guided the Men's Under-19s to the UEFA European Championships Elite Round, topping a group that included Serbia, Bulgaria and Andorra, but the young Scots endured a disappointing week in Italy and they were unable to qualify for this summer's finals. 

Scottish FA Chief Executive, Ian Maxwell: "Billy Stark has been a fantastic servant to youth football in Scotland over two spells and we naturally wish him all the best in his upcoming retirement. 

"From Andy Robertson and Stuart Armstrong to Billy Gilmour and Nathan Patterson, Billy has had a hand in the development of different generations of players within the current Scotland squad and, looking at the talent in the recent youth age groups, I have no doubt that we will continue to see his positive impact on the national team for years to come."

Departing Scotland Men's Under-19 Head Coach Billy Stark: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with the best young players in Scotland throughout my two spells at the association.

"I would like to thank the staff and players who have helped me throughout the years.

"Regarding our most recent group, we are proud of the achievement to qualify for the Elite Round and, although it was disappointing not to progress to the finals, the players in this group will be better for the experience and I am certain we will see them continue to flourish in the future."