Steven Hammell is to retire from professional football to become Motherwell Football Club’s new Academy Director.
The 35-year-old will take on the important role as the club embarks upon its involvement in the Scottish FA’s new Project Brave youth development programme.
Having played 582 games in claret and amber, Hammell is Motherwell’s record post-war appearance holder.
The club legend will see out January as a player before officially taking up his new post at the start of February.
“It’s been almost 20 years to the day that I joined here straight out of school,” he said. “Between then and now, there have been a lot of good memories made that I will take with me for the rest of my life.
[pullquote]It’s been a real highlight playing so many times for this club, the club I love.[/pullquote]
Hammell started his professional career at Fir Park in January 1998, he made his debut in 2000, starting in a Scottish Premier League match against Aberdeen.
He won full international recognition back in 2004, when the late Tommy Burns capped him in a friendly match against Sweden at Easter Road.
In 2006, he departed for a short spell in England with Southend United, spending 18 months south of the border before returning to Motherwell in January 2008.
Hammell was rewarded for his service with a testimonial against Everton in 2012.
“Steven Hammell has been a great servant and model professional for the club over the years,” Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson said of his decision.
“We are glad he is staying on at the club in his new role. The job of bringing young players through here is crucial for our ongoing success.”
Motherwell were recently named among the eight clubs chosen by the Scottish FA to head up the Elite level of its new Project Brave initiative.
Chief Operating Officer Alan Burrows added: “When the board sat to discuss who the new Academy Director would be, one name shone above all the others.
“Not only has Steven been a terrific player for this club, more importantly, we feel he is exactly what we require for the post. He is an extremely popular and respected figure at the academy, where he has worked for several years.
“He is not only qualified to do the role, but his experience working with younger players and coaches can be an inspiration for any youth player at Motherwell, given he himself came through our ranks to break records.
“We are delighted to be working with him and look forward to see some of his exciting and positive plans bearing fruit over the next few years.”