Referee for this Friday’s SPFL Premiership clash with Celtic will be Steven McLean.
McLean, the brother of former ‘Well defender Brian, is handling his second Motherwell game of the current campaign. His first was the last time ‘Well turned out at Fir Park – a depleted Steelmen crashed 4-0 to Dundee United.
He is a very familiar face to most Motherwell fans having taken charge of six matches last term too.
His first was the exceptional 5-1 success over Inverness CT back 12 months ago. Henrik Ojamaa, Adam Cummins, Omar Daley and a Jamie Murphy double completed the rout.
His second was perhaps even more memorable as Motherwell came back from 2-0 down at Easter Road to win 3-2. A Doyle double had the home side in a commanding position but a Murphy brace and a late Bob McHugh winner handed the Steelmen all three points.
Third was the New Year fixture against today’s opponents Celtic when a brave ‘Well went down 1-0 after Tom Hateley had missed a second half penalty.
Fourth was the instantly forgettable 2-0 defeat at Rugby Park in February whereas the fifth was a comfortable 3-0 win at Dens Park – Michael Higdon heading home before a Nicky Law double sealed the three points.
His last was the season finale at McDiarmid Park as the Steelmen went down 2-0 to a Saints side that won the race for Europe ahead of Inverness and Ross County.
McLean began his refereeing career back in 1997, aged just 16, but had to wait six years before being promoted to the SFA Senior List.
It took him a further four years (June 2007) to get promoted to a Category 1 where he has spent the three years handling old SFL and Challenge Cup games as well as gaining experience as a fourth official at SPL matches. He is now regarded as one of the country’s top officials.
He has had an extremely busy start to the season already – handling eleven SPFL Premiership matches in the first twelve weeks.
He has also had two League Cup matches, both at the Falkirk Stadium, and two Europa League Qualifiers – Omonia Nikosia’s 1-2 defeat by Romania’s Astra Giurgiu and Serbian side FK Vojvodina’s 2-2 draw with Bursaspor.
McLean will be ably assisted by Willie Conquer and Graham Chambers with Brian Colvin on fourth official duties.