News

Latest News

  • Club

    Bert McCann: Lynchpin of the Babes

  • First team

    Pay at the gate at Aberdeen

  • Reserves & Under 18s

    Loan Watch: Morrison makes Rovers bow

  • Women

    Women reach Scottish Cup semi-final

  • First team

    Story of the Match from Hearts loss

  • First team

    Watch as ‘Well lose to league leaders Hearts

  • First team

    Motherwell slip to Hearts defeat

  • First team

    Players react to Hearts loss

  • First team

    Manager: We took Hearts all the way

  • First team

    Gaël Bigirimana is your August player of the month

  • Club

    Bert McCann: Lynchpin of the Babes

    Bert McCann: Lynchpin of the Babes

    On September 12, 2017, Bert McCann sadly passed away at the age of 84.

    A year after his death, we look back at his career as fondly recounted by feature writer Eddie Ferguson.

    A True Steelman

    On the face of it, the 15th of October 1932 wasn’t great for Motherwell fans of that time as the Steelmen, then Champions of Scotland, were going down two nil at Tynecastle Park engulfed in a light drizzle.

    However, sixty miles up the road to Dundee, a boy was being born who would light up Fir Park and become adored by everyone who wore claret and amber favours.

    Robert Johnstone McCann was born and bred in the City of Discovery.

    Although all indications are that young Robert had little interest in any football club south of the Perth Road, in the decades that followed there can be little doubt that this football club would hold a special place in his heart, as he has in a certain generation of Motherwell fans.

    He would become one of the all time greats at Fir Park, and be an integral part of the finest half-back line this club has ever produced alongside Charlie Aitken and John Martis.

    His early football experience came playing in the maroon and white of Dundee North End in the Tayside Junior Leagues, before being snapped up on amateur terms by legendary former Motherwell striker Willie McFadyen who was then manager of Dundee United.

    Even before he pulled a claret and amber jersey over his head, he had lightly etched his name into Motherwell folklore by being part of the Arabs side that took an early lead at Fir Park, only to lose twelve goals and be part of both Motherwell’s record win, and the Terrors heaviest defeat.

    He left Tannadice after a year for Queens Park where he had a terrific time, culminating in Bert gaining six Scottish International amateur caps, and being tracked by a host of top-flight clubs.

    It was the summer of 1956 when Motherwell reverted to their much-vaunted policy of identifying promising youngsters who would be allowed to develop in the Motherwell tradition.

    It was a process that had previously reared Motherwell legends and Championship winners like George Stevenson, Bobby Ferrier and Willie McFadyen.

    Despite interest from bigger clubs, Bert opted for life in Lanarkshire under the guidance of recently appointed Motherwell manager and fellow Dundonian, Bobby Ancell.

    Initially, the young midfielder signed on at Fir Park on part-time terms to allow him to complete his modern language studies at Edinburgh University.

    Indeed it wasn’t unusual for Bert only to meet up with team mates at a Saturday lunchtime to prepare for a first fixture, even on the occasions that he was captaining the side.

    Bert made his debut in a 4-2 reverse League Cup tie at Starks Park against Raith Rovers before making his Fir Park bow eleven days later as Airdrieonians were routed by six goals to one.

    From that point on he would pretty much be a regular in the line up for that campaign, only missing five games through injury as 1956 drew to a close.

    Not being particularly renowned for his scoring exploits, McCann endeared himself somewhat to the Fir Park faithful that debut season, scoring eight times, contributing to five important wins over Airdrie (twice), Queens Park, Dundee and Ayr United, as Motherwell finished a respectable seventh.

    The following campaign was difficult for Bert as injuries plagued the schemer, but season 1958/59 would see the young man blossom along with several of his peers before the watching eyes of not only Scotland, but the world.

    The renowned “Ancell Babes” introduced themselves to Scottish football as Bobby Ancell orchestrated a brand of football the likes had been rarely seen before, with Bert McCann the absolute lynchpin of everything that happened offensively on the pitch.

    Time after time he provided the front five, typically, Hunter, Reid, St. John, Roberts and Quinn, all internationalists, with opportunities and situations that they thrived on.

    Bert was an ever present in that campaign, playing in all 42 competitive matches as the Steelmen notched up 105 goals which had the fans on the East Terracing purring with joy and satisfaction as the Fir Parkers finished an impressive third, six points off the champions Rangers.

    The campaign that would take the club into the “Swinging Sixties”, which started with terrific optimism around Fir Park with concrete steps being installed onto the terracing to help bring the capacity up to 40,000.

    Training facilities also took a turn for the better as the club paid for the use of Motherwell Stadium for day to day training to help preserve the Fir Park pitch and keep it in top notch condition, which was vital to allow Ancell’s footballing philosophy to thrive.

    Again it would be a most entertaining season for the Motherwell spectators, with their favourite’s just failing to score on four occasions throughout the whole campaign of 44 matches.

    It was only the famous forward lines of both Hibernian and Hearts that scored significantly more goals than the Steelmen.

    1960/61 saw Bert once again be an ever present for Motherwell as the club mixed it with Scottish footballs big boys. No more so than when Motherwell were drawn against champions elect Rangers in the Scottish Cup.

    The fans were treated to a thrilling tie at Fir Park where the visitors raced into a two goal lead as they threatened to blow the Steelmen away.

    Gradually, backed with a fervent home support, Motherwell got a foothold back in the game, as McCann fed Ian St John who slammed the ball low into the net a minute before half time.

    The second period was end-to-end stuff before Bert McCann secured a replay, calmly firing home from fifteen yards.

    The Ibrox replay, in front of a sell-out crowd, would go down in Motherwell folklore.

    The Fir Parkers started brightly – taking the lead, but by the break the Light Blues had fought back and were ahead.

    Nobody could have seen the performance the Steelmen produced in the second half, inspired by manager Ancell’s team talk.

    Pat Delaney rifled home an equaliser from a free kick given for a foul on McCann. And before the hour had arrived Bobby Roberts got to a ball before the Rangers keeper to prod the third over the line as Motherwell turned on the style.

    The Ibrox crowd watched on stunned and mesmerised as the Steelmen scored twice more to complete a 5-2 thrashing of the Glasgow giants.

    Legend has it, that almost every Rangers fan stayed until the end to applaud Bert and his team mates off the turf, such was the display the Fir Parkers had produced.

    With the new season on the horizon, the exciting Motherwell side were beginning to be dismantled as the vultures circled ML1 looking to snap up the emerging talent, particularly striker Ian St. John who departed for Bill Shankley’s Liverpool for £375,000.

    Despite Ancell’s attempts at replacing the obvious quality with promising youngsters, the performance almost inevitably took a dip.

    It would be a season of injuries for McCann as Motherwell finished a disappointing 9th of 18 clubs.

    The first game of 1962/63 season saw Falkirk visit Fir Park in front of the magnificent newly extended main stand.

    Bert McCann was the man of the match, expertly dictating play as the Steelmen ran riot.

    Bobby Russell scored five times with Pat Quinn helping himself to a mere four in a stunning 9-1 victory in front of an enthralled audience.

    Mid-table obscurity would be a recurring theme for the remainder of Bert’s time running up and down Fir Park with his last goal rounding off an emphatic 4-1 home win over Morton before his final appearance in an ill-fated clash with Rangers at Fir Park.

    Bert McCann’s career at the top level was effectively brought to an abrupt halt by a horrible tackle inflicted in a league game at home to Rangers in April 1965.

    The Motherwell club doctor of the time was quoted as saying it was the worst football injury he’d ever seen with studs marks being gouged across Bert’s thigh muscle.

    That summer, Bert made the short hop over the Clyde to join the Accies for a season before retiring at the age of thirty-three, and using his academic qualifications to become a teacher.

    Bert had gained five Scottish international caps and also five Scottish League appearances in an era where the domestic game was awash with terrific talent.

    His international debut came in May 1958 in front of over 100,000 fans as West Germany were defeated 3-2 in a friendly match at Hampden Park, alongside fellow debutants and ‘Well players Ian St. John and Andy Weir, who scored.

    Further appearances in Dark Blue came against Northern Ireland, Wales and England before his final Cap, which came in horrible 9-3 defeat against the “Auld Enemy” at Wembley in May 1961.

    Bert McCann made 246 appearances in claret and amber, captaining the side on many occasions and returning 21 goals for the cause.

    Until his sad passing last year, Bert took an enthusiastic interest in Motherwell FC, being part of the former players club and part of the Well Society.

    On the park, Bert had the ability to play in any midfield position.

    A consistent performer, who initially relied to a large extent on his vision and ability, but developed a cogency and timing in the tackle that brought a respect from his opponents, and adulation from his Motherwell supporters.

    Despite not being the biggest or most robust of players, he had the strength to play a defensive role if required and the talent to be creative just off the centre forward.

    However, he was probably best suited to being the architect of the team, dictating the tempo, direction and structure of any given match.

    And if that team happened to be one of the finest this club has produced in 131 years, then surely Bert McCann was one special player that fully deserves never to be forgotten around these parts.

  • First team

    Pay at the gate at Aberdeen

    Pay at the gate at Aberdeen

    Fans can pay at the gate for our next Ladbrokes Premiership fixture away to Aberdeen.

    Stephen Robinson’s men had a 100% record at Pittodrie last campaign and head north looking to turn performances into more points on the board.

    Adult entry will cost £26, while there are a range of concession prices available.

    Over 65s can get in for £19, while over 75s and under 21s can gain entry for £15.

    Under 18s go for £10, and children aged 12 and under can get in for £6.

    Anyone requiring ambulant or wheelchair access should contact Brian on 07428 225254.

  • Reserves & Under 18s

    Loan Watch: Morrison makes Rovers bow

    Loan Watch: Morrison makes Rovers bow

    Four of five Motherwell’s young loan players were in SPFL action this weekend.

    Peter Morrison made his debut for Albion Rovers as they faced North Lanarkshire rivals Clyde at Broadwood.

    The young goalkeeper had an extremely busy afternoon for Rovers, facing over 20 shots at his goal. The young stopper impressed though, making a string of excellent saves to keep John Brogan’s side in the encounter. The Albion boss described the goalkeeper’s performance as “outstanding”.

    The game was ultimately decided by Martin McNiff’s first half strike, resulting in a 1-0 win which keeps the Bully Wee in amongst the contenders at the top. Rovers, however, find themselves rooted to the bottom.

    In the Championship, Ross MacLean was named in the starting line up for former Motherwell under 20s boss Jonatan Johansson’s first game in charge of Morton at Tannadice.

    Michael Tidser had given the ‘Ton an 11th minute lead from the penalty spot and it looked as if the visitors were going to hold on for all three points. However, a 93rd minute leveller from Terrors sub Fraser Fyvie earned his side a point.

    Jake Hastie was again named in the starting eleven for Alloa as they earned a very respectable point at East End Park against Dunfermline.

    The result maintains an impressive five-match unbeaten run for the Wasps, with just the single away defeat since last February in a run of thirteen matches.

    Northern Ireland youth International Shea Gordon remains sidelined with an injury picked up against in Partick Thistle’s narrow Betfred Cup defeat to Celtic last month. In his absence, the Jags lost out by the odd goal in five as Inverness Caley Thistle went top of the table.

    Finally, Neil McLaughlin featured for Stirling Albion as they collected their second win of the campaign. The youngster was a late sub, with Binos holding on to a 1-0 lead earned via Ross McGeachie’s 12th minute goal.

    Photograph: Albion Rovers FC

  • Women

    Women reach Scottish Cup semi-final

    Women reach Scottish Cup semi-final

    Motherwell booked their place in the semi-final of the SSE Scottish Cup with a hard fought 1-0 victory over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.

    The SWPL 2 champions are the only second tier side left in the competition, another fine achievement in what has been an incredible season for the Lanarkshire side.

    ‘Well boss Donald Jennow had to do without the services of Northern Ireland International Kerry Montgomery and the free-scoring Sammy Hare.

    Both teams came out the traps attacking, hoping to set tone for the rest of the game.

    Saints’ Rebecca McGowan had the first real chance of the match, with her early-hit shot heading for the bottom corner until Claire Johnstone got down well to make a strong save.

    It didn’t take long for the Fir Parkers to break the deadlock, with the opener coming after just ten minutes.

    Kirsty McLaughlin‘s deep free-kick found the head of Suzanne Mulvey inside the box, she knocked it on allowing former Scotland star Megan Burns to nip in between the defender and the keeper to bravely head home from close range.

    Although ahead, ‘Well were forced to make an early change when Caitlin Russell went down with a suspected hamstring injury and was unable to continue. She was replaced by Lauryn Reside.

    Ashley Nicolson came agonisingly close in the 30th minute when she got on the end of Hayley Cunningham’s corner, her glancing effort spun just wide of target.

    At the other end, Saints squandered a great chance to level when Rachel Todd intercepted a slack pass, the striker dribbled all the way to the by-line but was unable to wrap her foot round the shot and it went out for a goal kick.

    Just before the end of the half, another chance came and went for the Fir Parkers.

    Kaitlyn Canavan broke free down the flank before putting in a great cross into the box. The home defence managed to scramble the ball away from goal, but only as far as the supporting McLaughlin, whose driven shot drifted past the post.

    It was the hosts who started the brighter in he second half. Johnstone’s heroics in the ‘Well goal prevented Saints from squaring it up with just under a minute played.

    McGowan caught the Motherwell defence napping, intercepting a loose pass before bursting through on goal unchallenged. She looked likely to net, but the ‘Well stopper stood up to the challenge and got down well to keep the lead intact.

    With 55 minutes played, an unmarked Lesley Condie was just inches away from reaching Cunningham’s pinpoint cross as ‘Well looked to extend their advantage. However, Saints immediately broke on the counter attack, Ellie-May Cowie’s through ball fell perfectly for McGowan, but her weak shot was comfortable for Johnstone to collect.

    As tensions rose and the game became scrappier, substitue Reside had a golden opportunity to put the game to bed. Finding space in behind the defence once more, she raced towards goal and, with only the keeper to beat, opted to try and take it round Rebecca Cameron in the Saints goal. However, much like her counterpart at the other end earlier in the half, the Saints stopper was up to the challenge and got a foot to the shot before the follow up was cleared for a corner.

    With ten minutes to play, St Johnstone found another gear and upped the tempo as they chased the elusive equaliser. McDonald came close on two occasions when she found herself unmarked in the box, but was unable to convert as the women of steel held tight.

    Despite the late Saints push, Motherwell dug deep to win the game and book their place into the last four of the SSE Cup, with Burns’ eighth goal of the campaign proving to be the difference.

    Motherwell will face either Glasgow City, Hibernian or Spartans in the semi-final at Forthbank Stadium on Sunday 14 October.

    Photograph: Stuart Cowper

  • First team

    Story of the Match from Hearts loss

    Motherwell went into Saturday’s game with league leaders Hearts in improved form, but lost out by one goal in a tight affair at Fir Park.

    This is the Story of the Match from our first encounter with Craig Levein’s side this season.

  • First team

    Watch as ‘Well lose to league leaders Hearts

    Motherwell battled in vain as they narrowly lost out 1-0 to Ladbrokes Premiership leaders Hearts.

    Steven Naismith netted the only goal as Trevor Carson suffered a potentially serious injury in the build-up.

  • First team

    Motherwell slip to Hearts defeat

    Motherwell slip to Hearts defeat

    Steven Naismith’s first half goal decided a tight encounter at Fir Park as Motherwell suffered a 1-0 defeat against Hearts.

    Stephen Robinson named an unchanged side from the 3-1 victory over Dundee two weeks ago, as the Steelmen looked to follow up on a first league win.

    Despite a hugely positive opening half, where Curtis Main went close with a volley and Richard Tait was denied from close range, Hearts took the lead against the run of play.

    Uche Impeazu latched on to a Carl McHugh back pass, colliding with Trevor Carson, before Naismith picked up the loose ball and passed the ball home.

    It left the Fir Park side a goal down, but also forced an early change as Carson was stretchered off with a painful injury to his ankle.

    The second half was a largely frustrating one for Robinson’s men, with all substitutions used after just 60-minutes, Hearts sat in and looked to hold on to their lead.

    And despite McHugh’s best efforts to nod home a Gaël Bigirimana cross, the visitors held on to maintain their perfect start to the Premiership campaign.

  • First team

    Players react to Hearts loss

    Peter Hartley, Mark Gillespie and Curtis Main reflect on the 1-0 defeat against Hearts. 

    Gillespie, who was sent on to replace the injured Trevor Carson, said: “I think we can take a lot of positives. We were in the game right until the end but maybe didn’t have that quality in the final third.”

     

  • First team

    Manager: We took Hearts all the way

    Stephen Robinson says his team matched Hearts all the way in their Ladbrokes Premiership clash, with the game decided by one pivotal moment.

    The Motherwell boss urged fans to remember where the Gorgie club find themselves in the league, with them top with a 100% record from five matches.

  • First team

    Gaël Bigirimana is your August player of the month

    Gaël Bigirimana is your August player of the month

    After overwhelmingly winning the public vote, Gaël Bigirimana is your Tullibardine Player of the Month for August.

    Bigi picked up 75% of all votes cast on our Facebook page and was joined by two special guests from Australia to congratulate him.

    Craig Tyrie and his son Marshall are over from Australia for Saturday’s game with Hearts, and the two Well Society members got the chance to let him know of his award win.