Motherwell FC is today delighted to announce the renaming of the East Stand to the John Hunter Stand, in tribute to the club’s legendary former league-winning manager.
John Hunter, or ‘Sailor’ as he was commonly referred to, was a centre forward whose 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. Latterly, he 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 managers 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.
He also pioneered several other tours to South America and South Africa, a real first for the time.
However, his crowning achievement undoubtedly came when 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. The was the only and only time the Steelmen have been Champions of Scotland!
[pullquote]In future years, we want young fans to ask who John Hunter was so his incomparable half-century contribution to Motherwell FC and the amazing story can be kept alive and well for every generation.[/pullquote]
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 Second World War in 1946 but remained at the club as secretary, during which time he played a pivotal role as ‘Well lifted the League Cup in 1950 and the Scottish Cup in 1952 for the first time.
He eventually retired in 1959 after an astonishing 48-year association with Motherwell Football Club.
John died in the town aged 87, back in 1966, and to mark the fiftieth year since his passing, the club is honouring arguably its greatest ever son with the renaming of our iconic home stand.
Chief Operating Officer Alan Burrows said: “We currently honour and remember a number of our legends from yesteryear with the Joe Wark Lounge, the Phil O’Donnell & Davie Cooper Stands and the Martis, Weir, Humphrey and Paton Boxes in the South Stand.
“In future years, we want young fans to ask who John Hunter was so his incomparable half-century contribution to Motherwell FC and the amazing story can be kept alive and well for every generation.
“We will rebrand the side of the stand, renovate the entrance way and will dot little facts and figures about Sailor’s achievements around the stand, so people know exactly what this true great management to accomplish whilst in charge of our club.
“We’ve had the full cooperation, support and blessing of John’s family and will invite as many of as possible to be present when we officially ‘reopen’ it shortly.”