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  • First team

    Motherwell 1 – 3 Hamilton

  • Club

    Remembering Phil O’Donnell

  • Archive

    Build-up: Hamilton Accies

  • Archive

    Matchday magazine tribute to O’Donnell

  • Archive

    Tanner: Our determination is there

  • Archive

    Robinson: We must turn around form

  • Archive

    Craigan: We lost more than our captain

  • Archive

    Clarkson: My uncle was a true role model

  • Archive

    Hammell: I smile when I think of Phil

  • Archive

    Motherwell v Aberdeen picked for TV

  • First team

    Motherwell 1 – 3 Hamilton

    Phil McGhee at Fir Park

    Motherwell failed to halt a poor run as Hamilton earned a derby win for the first time in eight games. And although second half goals from Rakish Bingham and Greg Docherty were enough to take all three points back across the Clyde, it took a debatable penalty, converted by Dougie Imrie five minutes from half time, to bring Accies into the game.

    Until then, the Fir Parkers had looked comfortable and likely to add to Craig Tanner’s early strike. However, despite making the ideal start and being fired up for the challenge, the Steelmen never looked like over turning Accies’ two goal lead.

    It was perhaps fitting that on the 10th anniversary of Phil O’Donnell’s tragic death, that Hamilton, his home town team, provided the opposition. Poignantly everyone inside Fir Park celebrated a minutes applause before the kick-off.

    Prior to that Louis Moult, sidelined with a hamstring injury for the last six games, took a farewell bow before his departure to Preston.

    In addition to Moult’s absence, ‘Well were still understrength for the final match of 2017 with injury and suspension depriving them of Charles Dunne and Carl McHugh, with Stevie Hammell and Alan Campbell being recalled to the starting line-up. There was also a start for George Newell alongside Ryan Bowman.

    However, after forcing a double save from Accies ‘keeper Gary Woods within the opening two minutes, Bowman turned goal provider. Although his low across goal eluded Newell, Tanner was racing in behind to smash the ball high past Woods for his sixth goal of the season and give ‘Well a perfect start.

    Ten minutes later, it was almost a carbon copy when Bowman again crossed from the left wing only for Tanner to fire the ball into the side netting.

    Although the Steelmen held the upper hand and had series of tempting balls into the Accies box, there were no clear-cut chances to add a second goal.

    After 35 minutes a challenge from Xavier Tomas caught Campbell. Tanner’s free kick was cleared to Gael Bigirimana and his drive for goal was deflected off the arm of an Accies defender. But despite strong appeals for a penalty, referee Andrew Dallas pointed to the corner flag.

    Five minutes later, and from a similar situation, the referee had other thoughts when in attempting to block Ali Crawford’s shot from the edge of the box, Peter Hartley was adjudged to have used his arm.

    Amidst the Motherwell protests, Dougie Imrie kept his cool to slide the spot kick into the corner of the net and bring Accies back into the game.

    Just before the interval Campbell limped off to be replaced by Liam Grimshaw.

    Worse was to follow for the home side nine minutes into the second half when Accies took the lead. Hartley’s attempted clearance fell kindly for Rakish Bingham and, despite having Tait in pursuit, the Hamilton striker dragged the ball into the box before firing across Carson and into the far corner of the goal.

    ‘Well brought on another forward, Alex Fisher replacing Andy Rose, as they increased the pressure on the Accies goal.

    Bigirimana swung in a cross to put Woods under pressure, but the ‘keeper bravely punched clear with Hartley challenging. From the resultant corner, Hartley’s attempt to reach Tanner’s ball was impeded by Tomas but, despite appeals for a penalty, play continued.

    With 18 minutes remaining Ross McLean took over from the hard running Newell, but before his introduction could have any impact Accies grabbed a third to claim all three points.

    Unmarked at the corner of the box, Greg Docherty cut inside before firing the ball low and hard beyond Carson to give Accies a much needed win and leave Motherwell facing the New Year on the end of a long run of disappointment.

    Motherwell were even denied the consolation of an injury time goal and a first for Fisher when his effort from a few yards was brilliantly stopped by Woods.

  • Club

    Remembering Phil O’Donnell

    Remembering Phil O’Donnell

    It is ten years to the day since Phil O’Donnell was taken from us, in the prime of his life, during a Motherwell match at Fir Park.

    Many tributes have been paid by his family and former teammates as we mark this anniversary.

    Phil O’Donnell was a fantastic captain, a fantastic role model and a fantastic man. His passing was both untimely and tragic.

    As a club, we will always feel fortunate to have enjoyed his company and his talent. He remains an important part of our daily lives, with his memory and legacy displayed on the walls at the stadium to remind us of him.

    Our thoughts are very much with his family and friends today. Please join us in a minute’s applause before the match on Saturday to celebrate his life.

    You can read further tributes to Phil here on our website from:

  • Archive

    Build-up: Hamilton Accies

    Motherwell return to Premiership action on Saturday, with Hamilton visiting Fir Park for the second Lanarkshire derby of the season.

    It is a welcome return to home comforts for Stephen Robinson and his squad, who have endured a difficult run on the road of late.

    Motherwell won the only encounter between the two sides this season, with Peter Hartley’s finish from a corner enough for the win at New Douglas Park.

    And manager Stephen Robinson is confident of drawing a close to the year with three points on Saturday.

     

    Not only could ‘Well extend the gap over Accies in ninth, but there is the potential of sealing a spot in the top six going in to 2018.

    [pullquote]It’s big. We have a longer break than usual coming up and there’s the potential to go in to the top six again with a win.[/pullquote]

    “We’re looking forward to it, it’s a local derby and obviously for the fans it’s something to get the bragging rights for. 

    “We need to turn our form around now. We’ve been away from home a lot so it gives us another opportunity to get the fans right behind us and we go in to the game confident again.”

    One man in particular who is relishing the derby clash is Craig Tanner – who insists the Steelmen have not been short of determination despite a poor run of results in recent weeks.

    The Englishman aims to head in to the winter break on the back of a win and is ready to continue his positive run of form, having notched five goals and six assists this term.

    Speaking to the broadcast press this afternoon, the 23-year-old looked ahead to the game against Accies and also discussed the imminent departure of Louis Moult. 

    [pullquote]We’ve had the work rate for the club, the manager and the fans but it’s just been a case of results have been lacking. We aim to put that right on Saturday.[/pullquote]

    “When you watch us in training I think our determination is there and even in the performances against Kilmarnock and Rangers you could see it. “

    Hamilton will be without captain Michael Devlin through injury and Giannis Skondras through suspension, whilst the Steelmen will be missing Chris Cadden, Elliott Frear and Louis Moult through injury, whilst Carl McHugh is suspended. 

    Motherwell v Hamilton Academical

    Saturday 30th December 2017
    3.00pm
    Fir Park

    Tickets on sale from the Fir Park Ticket Office or pay at the gate.

    Admission prices are as follows:

    ADULTS£23/£19
    CONCESSIONS£16/£15
    JUVENILES£12/£9
    • Cheaper price is for the John Hunter stand.
    • Concessions are applicable to 60 and over and full time students with a valid matriculation card.
    • Juveniles are applicable to aged 15 and under.

    If you can’t make it on Saturday, don’t miss the action by tuning in to mixlr.com/motherwellfc for live commentary or follow the match on Twitter @MotherwellFC

    You can see the match highlights on MFC TV’s YouTube channel, as well as full reaction and a match report right here on the official website.

     

     

    The Cooper Bar is open for both sets of supporters to enjoy pre-match food and drink from 11am. Children are welcome.

    Chris Cadden and Elliot Frear will also be in the bar from 12.45pm in the Signing Zone. Come along and get your photograph taken and get an autograph.

  • Archive

    Matchday magazine tribute to O’Donnell

    The 13th issue of Steelmen matchday magazine is on sale now ahead of Saturday’s Lanarkshire Derby.

    The limited edition issue contains stunning artwork celebrating the life of the late Phil O’Donnell.

    Both Steven Hammell and Stephen Craigan remember the legend in moving and emotive interviews.

    Regular features, including updates from the manager and the captain and a look at Saturday’s opponents Hamilton, remain in the latest issue.

    A look back at 2017 is featured, as writer Andy Paterson reflects on the past 12 months in part one of his latest piece.

    All of this and much more is available for the regular price of £3.

    Don’t miss your chance to get a copy of the limited edition tribute to a late, great ‘Well legend.

  • Archive

    Tanner: Our determination is there

    Craig Tanner insists the Steelmen have not been short of determination despite a poor run of results in recent weeks.

    The Englishman is relishing Saturday’s derby clash with Hamilton and aims to head in to the winter break on the back of a win.

    Speaking to the broadcast press this afternoon, the 23-year-old looked ahead to the game against Accies and also discussed the winter break and the imminent departure of Louis Moult. 

    [pullquote]We’ve had the work rate for the club, the manager and the fans but it’s just been a case of results have been lacking. We aim to put that right on Saturday.[/pullquote]

    He said: “I think that over Christmas, both up here and down south, it’s a busy schedule so I think any chance to get a little winter break to boost your legs and energise your body is silly not to take.

    “When you watch us in training I think our determination is there and even in the performances against Kilmarnock and Rangers you could see it.” 

  • Archive

    Robinson: We must turn around form

    ‘Well boss Stephen Robinson is eyeing a positive end to 2017 ahead of the Lanarkshire Derby on Saturday. 

    The Northern Irishman is confident his team can turn around a poor run of form in what will be just their third home match in ten league games. 

    Speaking to the broadcast press this afternoon, Robinson looked ahead to the final game of the year.

    [pullquote]It’s big. We have a longer break than usual coming up and there’s the potential to go in to the top six again with a win.[/pullquote]

    He said: “We’re looking forward to it, it’s a local derby and obviously for the fans it’s something to get the bragging rights for. 

    “We need to turn our form around now. We’ve been away from home a lot so it gives us another opportunity to get the fans right behind us and we go in to the game confident again.”

    The Fir Park manager added: “It’s big. We have a longer break than usual coming up and there’s the potential to go in to the top six again with a win.”

  • Archive

    Craigan: We lost more than our captain

    Craigan: We lost more than our captain

    A decade on, Stephen Craigan reflects on the day Phil O’Donnell passed away on the Fir Park turf.

    The Northern Irishman, emotional yet full of happiness when remembering Motherwell’s famous number 10, speaks so freely and openly about a man who epitomised so many important qualities as a team-mate and a captain of the Steelmen.

    “Sometimes it does feel like ten years when I think about how much has gone on in my life, but in football terms, it seems as though it was just yesterday,” Craigan said.

    “I still vividly remember the game in general. And the reason I’m mentioning the game is because during that match Phil looked so happy.

    “We had been at Ibrox a few days before and he was happy and content ahead of the game against Dundee United. His energy levels were good.

    “The way the team played that day was terrific, he was box-to-box and it was almost as though he was rolling back the years to his younger days at Motherwell.”

    When ‘Well boss Mark McGhee decided to withdraw O’Donnell from the action, Craigan recalls the horrifying moment the club captain collapsed to the deck.

    “Mark McGhee was making a substitution, and I generally remember he looked round and I said to him, “Phil, it’s your number. Time to go off.” Then I just remember his last words: “I don’t feel very well.

    “Then from there it was all so fast. He collapsed and before you knew it we were there trying to help him. At first I remember thinking he might have swallowed his tongue. But when I tried to put my fingers in his mouth ,he bit down on me, so I jumped back, then the doctor was there.

    “The game was going so well. We were 5-1 up I think and everyone was feeling good. It was a festive time of year and then, all of a sudden that one incident, quite rightly, overtakes everything. The whole darkness of coming off the pitch, going into the dressing room and not knowing what had happened, really took over.

    [pullquote]We sat in the dressing room for quite a while after the game, just in our kit, nobody really spoke and everybody was checking their phones waiting for a little bit of information.[/pullquote]

    “It was horrific, it really was. Towards the end of the game it was just silence. As players, we just looked about. You’re thinking about David Clarkson, his nephew, on the pitch, his family in the stands, so when you think about all of that, that’s the dark side of it.

    “But then you think of Phil as a guy. He wasn’t just a teammate. He was like a father figure to us all. Even though I was a bit older than most of the lads, I was early 30s and Phil was 35, he still felt like that to me.

    “No matter what problems you had, if your car had broken down you could ask Phil and he’d know somebody who could get it fixed for you. If you didn’t know how to change a light bulb, he’d probably tell you how.

    “He was the type of figure you’d go to if you had a question, and irrespective of whatever question you asked, he’d have an answer.

    “Terry brought him back for that reason, to be a good influence in the dressing room. A lot of people maybe questioned if he’d be ready or if he’d be fit, and he more than proved that he was capable to get himself fit and keep himself injury free.

    “First and foremost though, he brought a personality to the team. In a quiet way though. He wasn’t loud, he wasn’t shouting and screaming, like I said he was like a father figure.

    “But he wasn’t at Christmas time though. At that time of year he became a big kid, probably because he had a young family of course, but just how excited he’d get. He’d talk about going to Lapland, all the presents he would be getting for his family, just so many joyful things about him.

    “It didn’t seem like he had a care in the world and, to me, he just seemed like the happiest man in the world with his family, his kids and his wife.

    “That came across in his personality too. Sometimes you can tell when people are happy, when they don’t have any underlying problems or when they do, but he just seemed so free and easy, and he enjoyed his life.”

    And it was a memorable life Phil lived, fondly remembered by everyone he crossed paths with.

    Craigan captured the loss and emptiness that so many felt around Motherwell Football Club in just a few words.

    He said: “We didn’t just lose the captain of our team. We lost a huge personality from our dressing room, and I think that was the biggest void.

    “Football comes and goes and can be replaced but as a personality in the dressing room, as a father figure and as someone we could all look up to is easily what we missed the most.”

  • Archive

    Clarkson: My uncle was a true role model

    Clarkson: My uncle was a true role model

    The loss of Phil O’Donnell ten years ago was particularly hard for his teammate David Clarkson.

    Not only was the great midfielder a colleague, but he was also the striker’s uncle.

    Ten years down the line, David casts his mind back to remember the ‘Well legend, a man who played such a big role in his nephew’s life.

    “It’s hard to put a time on it because sometimes it feels like ten years but then sometimes it doesn’t,” he said.

    “As a family we’re lucky in the sense that we have good people around us and we look after each other, so that helps you through a lot of it.

    “It’s the same with friends too, speaking to people and having the support there from everybody makes a difference. That side of things was helpful at the time as well as being helpful over the years.

    “You just have to see the messages of support from people at the club and all across football. That goes a long way for myself and the family.

    “Anyone who knew him, even if they had just met him once or twice, has nothing but good things to say about him and when he is spoke about, it’s the good times people mention – the happy memories.

    “I look back on the memories I have of my uncle, from being alongside him on the pitch or off it, there are so many different things that bring a smile to my face.”

    And that visible sense of happiness is something that resonates with anyone who speaks about ‘Well’s legendary number ten.

    “For me and for the entire family it is also really nice and rather moving when you hear all of the incredibly nice things people say or talk about.

    “Growing up I learnt so much from him too. The entire family has a love for football so seeing him progress as a player and how he handled things showed and taught me a lot.

    “From seeing the way he dealt with things like moving to Celtic, moving down south, and seeing how mature he was throughout all of that and all of his career, it truly showed me how to handle yourself and is something that has helped with my career.

    “Having that figure so close to you goes a long way. When you add to that just how highly everyone thought of, and still thinks of him, and you have a true role model. One I feel so lucky to have had in my life.”

  • Archive

    Hammell: I smile when I think of Phil

    Hammell: I smile when I think of Phil

    Stevie Hammell has fond memories of Phil O’Donnell.

    A teammate, a friend and an inspiration, the late and great ‘Well number 10 passed away a decade ago today.

    And for Hammell, it is fitting to see such tributes toward O’Donnell, a player and a man everyone at Motherwell Football Club can be proud of.

    “Phil is fondly remembered at the club and rightly so.” Hammell said. “Whenever I think of him, hear his name or see a picture of him it brings a smile to my face.

    “He had a real presence about him and he would fill any room with just pure positivity. I think the way he conducted himself as a player and as a family man speaks volumes and is credit to him. He’s been sorely missed.”

    In many ways I think Phil epitomised a lot of what is good about this club. We try to pride ourselves on being a family club, being open, good and welcome around the place and those are certainly things you could relate to Phil.

    “We’ve tried to remember him and we’ve done that. Even speaking about him now and thinking about him now makes you sad but you also remember the good times, the happiness and even just remembering some of the little things about him.

    “His presence was a joy to be around because he just filled you with pleasure, I was proud to call him a team-mate but also a friend as well because he was a top class person.”

    While Hammell and many more have had to process such a loss, Motherwell’s number three reiterates the fact that the thoughts of everyone at ‘Well are with Phil’s family.

    “I can’t imagine what his family has been through but they’ve certainly come through it magnificently,” he said. “I’ve met his son Luc and I’ve been lucky enough to see him grow up.

    “A few weeks ago we did a charity dinner and the wee man stood up, spoke well and it was so nice to see how his family have grown up and his son looks so like him as well. It’s uncanny.

    “I know Phil will be looking down on them all with pride because it’s a beautiful family.”

  • Archive

    Motherwell v Aberdeen picked for TV

    Motherwell’s next match with Aberdeen in the Ladbrokes Premiership has been picked for live television coverage.

    The game, which will be broadcast by Sky Sports, will still be played on the original date of Wednesday, February 28 with a 7.45pm kick off.

    Stephen Robinson’s side have won two of their three encounters with Aberdeen this season.

    The first came in the Betfred Cup quarter finals, with the Steelmen running out 3-0 winners.

    After a 1-o win for the Reds at Fir Park several days later, Motherwell then went to Pittodrie in November and ran out 2-0 winners thanks to a Louis Moult double.