Kilmarnock fans were left devastated on Thursday evening when news emerged that striker Greg Stewart was being recalled by parent club Birmingham City.
The former Cowdenbeath, Dundee and Aberdeen forward was signed on a loan deal in the summer by Steve Clarke but is now expected back at the Championship side by the start of next week.
A supporter has taken it into his own hands by setting up a ‘GoFundMe’ page to raise £500,000 to sign the player permanently.
Findlay Crawford, the fan behind the fundraising, wrote: “Greg Stewart is one of the best players to have graced Rugby Park in recent years. Losing him is a huge blow to our title challenge and diminishes the chances of a team being able to break Celtic’s current monopoly on the title. Please donate so that we can get this majestic player to the Theatre of Pies for good.”
Stewart has been influential as Killie have put in a title challenge, sitting just one point off the summit of the Ladbrokes Premiership.
The 28-year-old has struck eight times in 16 games, providing six assists. He has been the club’s attacking fulcrum, exciting Killie fans with his vision, passing and skill.
One of the moments of the season so far saw him produce a jaw-dropping piece of skill to leave Hibs midfielder Mark Milligan questioning his future in the game.
Birmingham have asked for the player to return with the Blues under a transfer embargo. But it has been reported that the Championship could send him out on loan again but on different terms.
Killie fans have started a period of mourning with one fan suggesting that the only way to replace Stewart is to get Dennis Bergkamp out of retirement.