Scotland are just one victory away from qualifying for their first major tournament since 1998.
Ahead of Thursday’s crunch clash with Serbia in Belgrade, we look at the top 10 players who have earned the most caps for Scotland while playing for the Steelmen.
George Stevenson – 12 caps
A one-club man, midfielder George Stevenson made 572 appearances for Motherwell between 1923 and 1939, contributing 170 goals.
Stevenson was part of the Steelmen side that became champions of Scotland in 1932 and 86 years on from his last appearance for the Scottish national side. He still holds the record number of appearances for the Scots while playing for ‘Well.
George scored four times in the dark blue, with his most notable goal coming in a 2-0 victory over England at Hampden in 1931 – a game played out in front of a crowd just short of 132,000.
After the Second World War, Stevenson returned to Fir Park as manager and guided them to the club’s only ever League Cup triumph in 1950 and their first Scottish Cup success in 1952.
In November 2019, his achievements with the club were recognised when he became one of the first inductees into the Motherwell Football Club Hall of Fame.
Willie Redpath – nine caps
Willie Redpath was part of George Stevenson’s successful ‘Well side that sampled League Cup and Scottish Cup glory – netting in the 4-0 Scottish Cup final thrashing of Dundee in 1952 and grabbing the decisive goal in the 3-1 semi-final replay victory over Hearts.
Redpath made his first appearance for Scotland in a 3-1 victory over Wales in 1948 and went on to feature in the famous 3-2 success over England at Wembley three years later.
Regarded as one of the most decorated players in the club’s history, Willie forged a reputation for his cultured and creative style, as well as his ‘keepy-uppy’ abilities – he used to bet with his fellow teammates that he could do two rounds of the Fir Park pitch without the ball hitting the deck, something that often helped boost his wages.
Ian St John – seven caps
Ian St John made the initial steps in his incredible career at Fir Park, hitting the headlines for his scoring feats as part of the famous Ancell Babes.
Growing up following the Steelmen, St John was part of the 136,274 crowd that watched the ‘Well defeat Dundee 4-0 in the 1952 Scottish Cup final, and five years later he would go on to make his debut for the club.
St John scored 80 times in 113 league appearances in claret and amber and was part of some incredible displays during that time including a 5-2 victory over Rangers at Ibrox, scoring a sensational two-and-a-half-minute hat-trick against Hibernian and banging in six goals against Brazilian side Flamengo at Fir Park.
St John won his first Scotland cap in a 3-2 win over West Germany at Hampden, and he scored his first international goal a year later as Poland edged out the Scots by the same scoreline.
After four magnificent years with ‘Well, legendary manager Bill Shankly splashed out a club-record fee to take St John to Liverpool where he won the English league title on two occasions.
In 2008, St John was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.
Andy Weir – six caps
In 1959 Andy Weir pulled on a Scotland jersey for the first time alongside two of his Motherwell team-mates (Ian St John and Bert McCann) and wasted little time in making a big impression – finding the net just seven minutes into his debut against West Germany.
Blessed with lightning-quick pace, a great ability to beat his man and the ability to deliver a devastating cross ball, Weir was renowned for being a handful to contain, regularly putting in performances that left opposition defences dazzled.
Described by his fellow Ancell Babes as the ‘pick of the bunch’, it was incredibly unfortunate that injuries prevented Andy from achieving even more within the game and after a series of bad injuries and illness and he was forced to retire in 1968 – eight years after making his sixth and final appearance for Scotland in a 4-2 defeat in Turkey.
Despite an untimely end to his football career, his feats in the game can’t be understated, and during his career he would turn out almost 300 times for Motherwell, scoring 61 times.
Declan Gallagher – five caps
‘Well captain Declan Gallagher will be hoping to continue his successful run at the heart of the Scots defence when they take on Serbia on Thursday with a place at the European Championships up for grabs.
Following his move from Livingston in the summer of 2019, Gallagher has been an integral part of the Motherwell defence, and last Saturday’s 2-0 win over his former side marked his 50th game in claret and amber.
Since making his Scotland debut in a 2-1 victory over Cyprus in Nicosia, Gallagher has yet to sample defeat with the national side, and he was an ever-present across last month’s triple-header in which the Scots kept three successive clean sheets.
For many years Motherwell fans have perhaps felt a slight sense of injustice that many of their top performers have been overlooked for a national call-up. Therefore it has been doubly satisfying to see Gallagher’s excellent club performances be rewarded and then replicated playing for Scotland.
Having taken up the role of captain at Fir Park ahead of the 2020/21 season, Declan has undoubtedly carried his leadership skills on to the international stage and alongside his ‘Well team-mate Stephen O’Donnell he will be hoping to help play a big part in helping the national side earn a place at a major finals for the first time in over 20 years.
Bert McCann – five caps
Another member of the Ancell Babes that gained international recognition, Bert McCann was described as the ‘lynchpin’ of everything that happened offensively for Bobby Ancell’s famous ‘Well side of the fifties and sixties.
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 Scotland’s second goal.
Further appearances in dark blue came against Northern Ireland, Wales and England before his final cap which ended in a 9-3 defeat against the “Auld Enemy” at Wembley in May 1961.
For the Steelmen, McCann notched up 331 appearances across nine years at Fir Park, he captained the side on several occasions and forged a reputation as one of the best left-sided midfielders to have ever played for the club.
Willie Pettigrew – five caps
Also earning five caps for the national side during his time at Fir Park was legendary striker Willie Pettigrew.
Pettigrew was the first inductee in the Motherwell FC Hall of Fame, giving much-deserved recognition to his incredible goalscoring prowess throughout his time with the Fir Parkers.
He netted 20 goals for the ‘Well in 1974/75 campaign and the following season went one better.
His partnership with Bobby Graham brought goals but also international recognition, where he went on to score on his debut for Scotland against Switzerland in April 1976.
Pettigrew found the net again in his second appearance for the Scots, on that occasion Willie Ormond’s side swept aside Wales 3-1.
He would go on to make three further appearances for the national side, and on each occasion, Scotland emerged the victors.
Tom Boyd – four caps
1991 Scottish Cup-winning captain Tom Boyd showed his leadership qualities from early on in his Motherwell career.
Two years on from breaking into the first-team at the age of 19, he was handed the captains armband at 21, making him one of the youngest ever captains not only to lead the club but to lead a side in the Premier Division.
His finest moment in claret and amber came at the home of the Scottish national side in May 1991 as he held the Scottish Cup aloft after the Steelmen finally overcame Dundee United 4-3 in a nerve-shattering final.
Boyd’s first cap for Scotland came in a 2-1 victory over Romania at Hampden in 1990, and he would finish his career on 72 appearances for the national side – playing at Euro 96 and the 1998 World Cup before captaining his country on six occasions.
Pat Quinn – four caps
During his 251 appearances over his seven years at Fir Park, Pat Quinn enjoyed a remarkable run of goalscoring form.
The striker found the net 119 times for ‘Well and his superb feats in claret and amber caught the attention of international boss Ian McColl while also drawing interest from a host of potential suitors south of the border.
Quinn’s Scotland debut came in the infamous 9-3 defeat to England at Wembley. However, he would go on play a role in a much more favourable result in his second cap when doubles from Ralph Brand and David Herd eased the Scots to a 4-1 victory over the Republic of Ireland.
Quinn would be sold to Blackpool in 1962 for £34,000, a significant sum for the times, though his only international recognition came during his time with the Steelmen.
James McFadden – four caps
James McFadden enjoyed a Hall of Fame-worthy career for the national side, undoubtedly bringing Scotland fans some of their greatest moments in recent times.
The highlight of McFadden’s time in a Scotland jersey came against France in Paris when he unleashed a stunning 30-yard effort beyond Mickaël Landreau to earn a 1-0 triumph against all the odds.
13 years on and the Tartan Army still love to reminisce about what is one of the most iconic Scotland goals of all time.
Speaking on the 10th anniversary of that famous night Faddy explained: “I played 48 times for my country and I scored 15 goals. That was a special night, but I would have taken one appearance for Scotland to score a goal that is talked about now, 10 years after the event – it’s brilliant for me.”
There were plenty more moments of brilliance from McFadden for both club and country and by the time the curtain came down on a fantastic career he had made almost 150 appearances in claret and amber – earning him his place in the club’s Hall of Fame.
By Andy Ross.