Tommy McLean

Tommy McLean

Tommy McLean followed in the footsteps of his brother Willie when he took charge of Motherwell in 1984.

In his playing days, he featured for for Kilmarnock, where he gained six Scotland caps, and Rangers. He made over 450 times for the Gers and picked up three league medals along with seven in cups.

After retiring, he became assistant manager at Ibrox and was in temporary charge following John Greig’s departure in 1978.

Jock Wallace’s arrival from Motherwell saw him move to Morton, where he led them to the First Division title. He was then offered the vacant job at Fir Park, taking over from Bobby Watson.

McLean joined a relegated team that was struggling financially but he achieved promotion back to the Premier Division at the first attempt.

The return to the top-flight in 1985/86 was a  difficult one as he had to sell Gary McAllister and Ally Mauchlen due to raise funds.

Motherwell spent the majority of the season in the bottom two and looked doomed for relegation until a league reconstruction, which saw the top division expanded to 12 teams, saved them from the drop. 

From this lucky beginning, McLean began to stamp his own authority on the team and results and performances slowly improved. 

The highlight of his reign came in 1991 when he lifted the Scottish Cup after a 4-3 extra-time victory over Dundee United – managed by his brother Jim.

He subsequently became the first manager to lead Motherwell into Europe, losing out to Polish side GKS Katowice on goal difference in the first round of the Cup Winners Cup.

Two disappointing league campaigns followed but in season 1993/94, the Steelmen almost won the title, finishing just four points behind eventual winners Rangers.

At the end of the season McLean had a disagreement with the board and resigned from his position, taking over from Sandy Clark at Hearts two weeks later.

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