John ‘Sailor’ Hunter

John Hunter

John ‘Sailor’ Hunter was a centre forward, who’s playing career saw him cross the border on several occasions.

He was a member of the first Liverpool team to win the title, in 1900/01, and also had spells at (Woolwich) Arsenal and Portsmouth. 

In Scotland he played for Abercorn, Hearts and Dundee. He also signed for Clyde but had to retire having never played for them due to injury. 

Hunter went into management early and was appointed secretary-manager of Motherwell in 1911 – aged just 32.

He presided over the most consistent and successful spell in the club’s history when, between 1926 and 1934, the Steelmen never failed to finish outside the top three.

He was one of the first manager’s to take his team abroad and they enjoyed a very successful tour of Spain in 1927, winning six out of the eight games they played and losing only one.

These results included an emphatic 3-1 victory over Real Madrid and a 2-2 draw with Barcelona.

Motherwell won the league title in 1931/32 with 30 wins in 38 fixtures, scoring 119 goals – a record 52 of which were scored by Willie MacFadyen.

Hunter also led the club to three Scottish Cup finals in 1931, 1933 and 1939 but they were defeated on all three occasions.

He eventually stepped down as manager after the war in 1946 but remained at the club as secretary until he retired in 1959.

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