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  • Club

    Where are they now: Goalkeepers

  • Club

    2024 Fan Survey

  • Club

    2023/24 season review: July

  • First team

    June Season Ticket update

  • Club

    2023/24 season review: June

  • Archive

    Stephen O’Donnell extends his stay at the club

  • Club

    Club shirt auction for Motherwell FC Community Trust

  • Women

    2023/24 end of season squad update

  • Archive

    Sam Nicholson secures permanent ML1 switch

  • First team

    Obika joins coaching staff

  • Club

    Where are they now: Goalkeepers

    Where are they now: Goalkeepers

    We take a trip down memory lane as we revisit some players who have worn the claret and amber between the sticks. 

    Luke Daniels

    A product of the Manchester United youth academy, Luke Daniels made the switch to West Brom in 2004.

    He arrived at Fir Park on loan for the second half of the 2007/08 season. At the time, Graeme Smith was the number one choice keeper, so Daniels had to spend most of time in North Lanarkshire on the bench.

    However, his chance came in May when Celtic visited Fir Park and Daniels was handed his debut between the sticks. Celtic came away with a narrow 2-1 win that day, but Daniels would get the nod in the final game of the season against Hibernian at Easter Road. Keeping a clean sheet, the Steelmen came away with a 2-0 win that day.

    He returned to West Brom, and remained on the books there for ten years. He may have only made three appearances for the Baggies in that ten years, but Daniels would go out on loan on a number of occasions.

    Loan spells with Shrewsbury Town, Tranmere Rovers, Charlton Athletic, Rochdale, Bristol Rovers and Southend United would see the shot stopper gain plenty first-team experience before he left West Brom in 2015.

    He would go on to make over 100 appearances for Scunthorpe before joining Brentford and and Middlesborough. Daniels was most recently with Forest Green Rovers and has now become a free agent this summer.

    With 148 appearances in League one, over 25 in the Championship and even one Premier League appearance thanks to an injury to number one West Brom keeper Ben Foster, Daniels has gone on to have a fruitful career in the game and become a reliable keeper for a number of teams.

    John Ruddy

    He came through the ranks at Cambridge United and earned the name “Iceman”, John Ruddy was impressing under difficult circumstances.

    After making his debut in 2004, Ruddy became first choice at the U’s and despite them getting relegated, he kept a number of clean sheets and conceded only 45 goals in the league.

    Having went on trial with Manchester United, Everton came calling and secured his signature. Manager David Moyes was seriously impressed with his displays in training and touted him as the next big thing.

    Ruddy went out on loan to Walsall, Rushden & Diamonds, Chester City, Stockport County, Wrexham, Bristol City, Stockport County and Crewe Alexandra.

    At the start of the 2009/10 season, Jim Gannon signed Ruddy on a six-month loan from Everton. He went into direct competition with Michael Fraser and Sebastian Kosiorowski for a place in goal.

    Gannon, under his second spell with Ruddy, trusted him with the number one jersey and was placed in goals against Romania outfit Steaua București, saving a penalty in the first-leg.

    The hype was building around Ruddy as he kept clean sheets against both Celtic and Rangers, also saving a Barry Robson penalty in the December.

    With Ruddy flying and both clubs keen, it was agreed Ruddy would remain in Lanarkshire until the end of the season. 39 games and 15 clean sheets later, Ruddy’s time in ML1 drew to a close but not after Motherwell secured more European football and Ruddy claiming the player of the year award.

    Following his loan spell with Motherwell, he earned a move to the English Championship with Norwich City on a permanent deal. Making 242 appearances across a seven year spell, he featured in the Premier League and even had the captain’s armband on one occasion.

    During his spell at Carrow Road, Roy Hodgson would name Ruddy in his England squad ahead of Euro 2012. He missed the tournament through injury but made his England debut in August 2012 in a friendly against Italy.

    His next move would be to Wolves in 2017, where he earned promotion to the Premier League as champions in his first season. His performances earned him a place in the PFA Team of the Year and was awarded the EFL’s Golden Glove Award for the most clean sheets with 24.

    He moved onto Birmingham City in 2022, where it was expected he would be the number two. That didn’t prove to be the case as Ruddy has went on to play 89 times for City and was even voted players’ player of the year for the 2022/23 season.

    Ruddy’s contract at Birmingham has expired after their relegation to League One, however he has been offered a new deal as they look to bounce straight back to the Championship next season.

    Darren Randolph

    Darren Randolph arrived in England in 2004 to sign for Charlton Athletic. That would be the beginning for a six-year relationship with the London outfit, where he spent time on loan with Welling United, Accrington Stanley, Gillingham, Bury and Hereford United.

    Each loan had varying successes but one of the highest points of Randolph’s early career was making his Premier League debut against Liverpool for Charlton in 2007.

    He made 20 appearances for Charlton, keeping six clean sheets in those matches.

    In the summer of 2010 with his contract expired, Charlton offered Randolph a new contract however he opted to make the switch to Fir Park.

    He signed a three-year deal and with fan favourite John Ruddy vacated the number one jersey, had big gloves to fill. Craig Brown handed him his debut in the Europa League against Breiðablik, where Motherwell progressed to the next round.

    In that first season, he ended up breaking John Ruddy’s record of 15 clean sheets in a season, finished third in the league and reached the Scottish Cup final.

    His second season in claret and amber would also prove to be a success. Motherwell would finish second in the table, qualifying for the Champions League, with Randolph continuing to be a pivotal part in the club’s success. He was named in the PFA Scotland’s team of the year.

    Entering the final year of his contract, he played in the Champions League and Europa League ties against Panathinaikos and Levante. His consistency and impressive shot stopping ability, seen him earn his first cap for Ireland against Oman on the 11 September 2012.

    This didn’t distract the number one and he went on to be named in the PFA Scotland’s team of the year again, alongside Shaun Hutchinson, Michael Higdon and Nicky Law, as the team finished second place.

    After a successful three-year spell, manager Stuart McCall made it clear it would difficult to retain Randolph at the of his contract, which proved to be the case. He departed for the English Championship with Birmingham City. He remained at St Andrews for two seasons, making just shy of 100 appearances in that time, missing very little matches before moving onto West Ham where he would go onto make a number of Premier League appearances, and even signed a four-year deal in that time.

    He moved for a report £5 million to Middlesbrough, where he made it into the 2018–19 Championship Team of the Season thanks to his displays.

    A reported £4 million move back to London seen him return to West Ham, and although he stayed for three years, game time was limited and he played only five league matches in that time.

    In 2023, he joined Bournemouth where he didn’t make an appearance and it was announced this summer that he would depart the Cherries.

    With 50 Ireland caps to his name, including being part of the Irish squad that went on an incredible run at Euro 2016 playing Sweden, Belgium, Italy and France, Randolph has 199 Championship appearances, alongside 34 Premier League. He has reached the top of the English leagues and left Motherwell fans with a number of memories in his three impressive years at Fir Park.

    Gunnar Nielson

    Having began his career in the Faroe Islands and Denmark, Blackburn Rovers signed Gunnar Nielson in 2007. It was after one year that Motherwell drummed up their interest in the Faroese stopper and brought him to North Lanarkshire on a six month loan in 2008.

    That initial loan spell amounted to nothing and he would go back to Blackburn at the end of the season. Mark Hughes, who signed him at Rovers, brought him to Manchester City in 2009.

    He would be loaned out to Wrexham and Tranmere Rovers and ended up making his Premier League debut in 2010, replacing Shay Given against Arsenal. It was a bit of international history as he was the first Faroese footballer to play in the Premier League.

    Eventually leaving city in 2012, Neilson would move to Denmark with Silkeborg. It was April by the time he arrived there Motherwell, under the influence of Gordon Marshall, brought Neilson back to Fir Park for a second spell.

    It was a straight shootout between Nielson and Lee Hollis for the jersey and injury to Hollis meant the Faroese got his chance. His debut came against Kuban Krasnodar in the Europa League over in Russia, where Kuban won 1-0.

    He then had a run of games between the sticks, and went on to make 23 appearances for the club during the 2013/14 season, as Motherwell finished runners up in the Scottish Premiership. He helped his side claim a point against Celtic at Fir Park when he saved a Kris Commons penalty.

    His second season in claret and amber would see him remain on the bench mostly and he moved onto Iceland with Stjarnan 2015, the team who ironically knocked the ‘Well out of Europe earlier that same season. After 22 games there, he moved to Icelandic champions Fimleikafélag Hafnarfjarðar where he played until 2023. 

    The 37-year-old played 168 times there and seemingly hung up the gloves last season. Capped 70 times for his country and becoming captain in 2016, Nielson was the number one stopper for his nation and picked up two club trophies in his career.

    Connor Ripley

    Connor Ripley was with Blackburn Rovers as a youngster before switching to Middlesbrough in 2009. It was Gordon Strachan who brought him to Teeside but it would be Tony Mowbray who would give him his first chance in the senior team.

    He stayed at the Boro for eight years but as has been the trend in this piece, he went out on loan for most of that time. With some successful loans and others not so successful, and having played under Graham Potter in Sweden, Motherwell would come calling in July 2015.

    Signed on a season-long loan, he started between the sticks on the opening day trip to Inverness. That would the first of 40 appearances for the club that season, which had some memorable moments including a win over Celtic at Parkhead.

    His strong performances kept Craig Samson and Dan Twardzik out the picture and overall, he returned South a better player.

    He joined Oldham under Steven Robinson and Ian Baraclough following his time in ML1 and continued to impress as he won the player of the year award there.

    Burton Albion, Bury and Accrington Stanley would follow next for Ripley on loan before he moved on from Middlesbrough permanently to join Preston North End under Alex Neil on a three-year-deal. Three years and only ten appearances, he moved to Morecambe in 2022 where Derek Adams named him captain.

    He once again won a player of the year award however Morecambe’s relegation meant he moved on at in 2023. His current team is Port Vale and although they were relegated to League Two, he was a standout performer for Darren Moore’s side. It looks to be the case that he will stay at the Vale for 24/25.

    Another player who got his first run of consistent games, Ripley’s career has been steady since his departure from Fir Park and with him only being 31, there’s plenty left in the tank for the shot stopper.

    George Long

    Born and raised in Sheffield, George Long became Sheffield United’s youngest goalkeeper at 17 years old when he made his debut in 2011.

    After impressing in the Youth team, he signed a long term deal in 2012 that seen him commit until 2016. Although the plan was for him to be second choice, injuries meant Long became a regular for the Blades.

    A change in manager’s seen plans change at Sheffield United and Long would spend time out on loan. In February, deadline day, Long was recruited by Ian Baraclough.

    With 15 appearances and three clean sheets between then and the end of the season, Long steadied the ship between the sticks in what was a tricky year for the Steelmen. He was strong and commanding overall and impressed in the relegation playoff victory over Rangers at the end of the season to keep the ‘Well in the top flight.

    He returned to Sheffield and under new manager Nigel Atkins, was named first choice. However, Mark Howard would earn the jersey and he would become a cup keeper. However, he impressed when he played in cup games and got his position back.

    Come February 2016, Long had made 100 starts for his boyhood club and got a new contract under Chris Wilder. He went out on loan again and decided the time was right to move on after seven years as a professional at the club.

    Hull City would be his next destination in the Championship where he enjoyed regular game time. In three years, he amassed 65 games for the club and is moved on Millwall in 2021.

    He is currently playing with Norwich, where he made 12 appearances last season, all of which came in October and November. At present, it looks like he will remain with the Canaries as they push for promotion back to the Premier League next season.

    His stint may have been shorter at the club, but his saves at Ibrox in the relegation playoff win will be remembered in what was a game of the highest importance.

  • Club

    2024 Fan Survey

    2024 Fan Survey

    The football may been temporarily stopped on the pitch, but off the pitch we’re still working hard.  

    As the beginning of the 2024/25 season creeps closer and closer, we’re continually looking for ways we can improve your experience when you visit Fir Park, and ways we can improve your experience as a fan as a whole.

    That’s why we have created a short survey, ranging from travelling to the stadium to club events. We value your feedback and opinion and want to hear them.

    The 2024 Fan Survey can be found online here.

    Please answer all the questions as honestly as possible and we will collate and look to take this feedback on board going forward.

  • Club

    2023/24 season review: July

    2023/24 season review: July

    The month of July kicked off with the first new face arriving in ML1. Conor Wilkinson joined the club after his departure from Walsall a month prior. 

    Neil Alexander talked us through what a pre-season looks like for a goalkeeping, an area often overlooked during this time of year.

    Head Groundsman Paul Matthew said goodbye after eight years of service, having turned one of the poorest playing surfaces in the country into one of the best.

    Lauren Doran-Barr, Katie Andrews and Kayleigh Bargathi headed for the exit door, with Rebecca Cameron, Laura McCartney and Eve Donald coming in the other direction.

    Motherwell took on Falkirk in a behind-closed-door friendly match, where Blair Spittal and Callum Slattery got on the scoresheet in the 2-2 draw. The Steelmen travelled to Tannadice in their final pre-season test, defeating the Championship 1-0 thanks to a Conor Wilkinson goal.

    The day prior to the first competitive match of the season against Elgin City, the new away kit was released featuring a surprise returnee as a model. Dan Casey was unveiled as the latest player to sign up for the forthcoming season after a successful spell last season at the club.

    Motherwell got their Viaplay Cup campaign off to a flyer with a 2-0 win over Elgin City, with Lennon Miller and Jon Obika getting on the scoresheet as our new home kit had it’s first outing in front of 1000 travelling Motherwell fans.

    Just days later, former Premier League defender Pape Souare arrived on a six-month deal, just in time for the midweek clash against Queen of the South.

    The Steelmen were on their travels again, and after a thrilling 3-3 draw in Dumfries, the match went to a penalty shootout. With Blair Spittal scoring two and Slattery also netting, the pair found the back of the net with their spot kicks, as well as Stephen O’Donnell, Paul McGinn and Wilkinson. Aston Oxborough saved McKenchnie’s penalty, securing the bonus point for his team.

    A tight turnaround, Motherwell faced Queen’s Park in their first home match of the new season, live on Viaplay. A first half Jon Obika strike saw off the Spiders and Motherwell went top of the group.

    Davor Zdravkovski put pen to paper on a two-year deal, arriving from Cyprus. The North Macedonian went straight into the matchday squad for the final group match against East Fife. Connor Shields and Ross Tierney both departed the club days later.

    Conor Wilkinson, Lennon Miller and Callum Slattery all made sure of top spot in the group, helping their side to a 3-0 win in the finale. And with that, Motherwell learned their fate in the next round of the cup would be taking on St Mirren in Paisley.

  • First team

    June Season Ticket update

    June Season Ticket update

    Following the end of our Early Bird Season Ticket discount on Monday 3 June, we can confirm that not only have we exceeded 3000 season ticket sales, but we’re ahead of sales this time last year. 

    The club would like to thank each and every person who has purchased a season ticket ahead of the new campaign.

    Your support continues to be incredible and we look forward to seeing everyone back at Fir Park very soon. We truly are showing strength in numbers.

    You are able to renew or purchase your season ticket for the upcoming campaign here.

    Alternatively, call us on 01698 333333 or email tickets@motherwellfc.co.uk.

    Season ticket holders have until the 30th of June to secure their seat.

    We are introducing a digital Season Ticket for the 24/25 campaign.

    Existing Season Ticket holders can continue to use their physical Season Ticket card but if you would like to change to a digital Season Ticket, you will need to select this option when purchasing your Season Ticket(s) and your physical card will become void.

    If you opt for the digital version, you will receive information by email on how to add your Season Ticket to your digital wallet after you have completed your purchase.

  • Club

    2023/24 season review: June

    2023/24 season review: June

    The month of June started off with the group stage Viaplay Cup draw, with the Steelmen placed with Queen of the South, Elgin City, Queen’s Park and East Fife. 

    The inevitable end of season squad update brought the news that Jake Carroll was departing the club after four years of service, with David Devine and Jack Aitchison also parting ways with the club.

    As the beginning of the new season drew closer and closer, the anticipation was building in the stands as over 3000 season tickets had been sold.

    With only a short three weeks off, the players return to Fir Park for pre-season ahead of the new campaign

    Prior to their departure, the start of the rebuild began with the addition of Jon Obika and Harry Paton on permanent contracts. But as arrivals were confirmed, a big looming departure was also given the green light. Record breaker and fan favourite Kevin van Veen joined Groningen for an undisclosed fee after a 29 goal haul in the season prior.

    Academy graduate Dean Cornelius made his move away from the club, joining League 2 Harrogate Town.

    The Women of Steel began their summer rebuild with the additions of Sarah Gibb and Kaitlyn Canavan.

    New threads were released as the ‘Truly Traditional” Motherwell home kit was released, with a new front-of-shirt sponsor G4 Claims.

    The squad set off for Delden, Netherlands for a seven day warm pre-season camp.

    In their seven days away, the first friendly test took place against HSC Haaksbergen. With a hefty Motherwell support in the stands, an own goal from Mika Schrijver just before half-time proved to be the difference between the two sides as Stuart Kettlewell aimed to get much needed minutes into the players legs following a four-week break.

    It was confirmed that Motherwell would face a trip to newly promoted Dundee on the opening day of the 23/24 season, as all the fixtures were revealed.

    As their stay in the Netherlands drew to a close, Motherwell rounded off the pre-season tour of Holland with a comfortable 0-6 win over S.V. Longa’30.

    Blair Spittal got two, with Mark Ferrie also notching a double. Callum Slattery blasted one in from 25 yards before Ross Tierney rounded off a comfortable evening. The Steelmen returned home to continue pre-season preparations ahead of the Viaplay Cup kicking off in two weeks time.

  • Archive

    Stephen O’Donnell extends his stay at the club

    Stephen O’Donnell extends his stay at the club

    Stephen O’Donnell has extended his stay at the club after agreeing a contract extension.

    The defender, who has been a mainstay at Fir Park since signing as a free agent in 2020, has put pen to paper on another two-year extension after previously agreeing to a two-year deal in 2021 after an impressive maiden season at the club.

    Representing the club at the EURO 2020 and making 147 appearances since his arrival in ML1, the local boy has committed to another two years at the club. This extension is a one-year deal with the option of another.

    “Stephen is an excellent professional,” manager Stuart Kettlewell.

    “From availability to a high standards shown in training, he is a role model for young players.

    “In my time here, he has been tremendous. Last season, he was asked to play in a number of positions but applied himself impeccably.

    “It’s another player signed up early which is something I’ve been wanting to do.”

    O’Donnell made his 500th professional appearances at the end of last season and the 32-year-old is excited to be back at Fir Park.

    “This club means a lot to me,” Stephen O’Donnell said.

    “I live locally and I’m very proud to represent a club that is a pillar in the community.

    “Extending my contract is a delight. I’ve loved my time here and frankly didn’t want it to end.

    “I will continue to give my all for the badge and give it my everything.”

  • Club

    Club shirt auction for Motherwell FC Community Trust

    Club shirt auction for Motherwell FC Community Trust

    With the 2023/24 season at an end, there are a mixture of match worn shirts that need to find new homes. 

    This year, we are running auctions on each shirt. Unique and unavailable to purchase anywhere else, this is truly a one and only time chance to get your hands on some amazing merchandise.

    From Mika Biereth to Lennon Miller, all shirts are either medium or large, with home and away tops available.

    The money raised from each shirt auction will directly go to the Motherwell Football Club Community Trust to help run vital community programmes, including mental health awareness and school summer camps.

    All shirts can be found online here.

    Each auction will run for one week only.

  • Women

    2023/24 end of season squad update

    2023/24 end of season squad update

    Now that our 2023/24 ScottishPower SWPL season has reached it’s conclusion, we can provide an update on our playing squad.

    Players under contract
    • Emily Mutch
    • Katie Rice
    • Lucy Ronald
    • Chelsie Watson
    • Gill Inglis
    • Louisa Boyes
    • Eve Donald
    • Jo Addie
    Loan players returning to parent club
    • Laura Berry
    • Brooke Nunn
    • Kayla Jardine
    • Sophia Martin
    Players departing
    • Amy Anderson
    • Kaela McDonald-Nguah
    • Georgie Rafferty
    • Kaitlyn Canavan
    • Shana MacPhail
    Players offered new contract and negotiating
    • Bailey Collins
    • Tara McGonigle
    • Morgan Hay
    • Morgan Cross
    • Sarah Gibb
    • Murron Cunningham
    • Laura McCartney
    • Rebecca Cameron
    • Katie Andrews

     

  • Archive

    Sam Nicholson secures permanent ML1 switch

    Sam Nicholson secures permanent ML1 switch

    Sam Nicholson has re-joined the club on a permanent basis.

    The midfielder, who has been on loan at Fir Park since January, has put pen to paper on a two-year deal after an impressive maiden season at the club.

    The 29-year-old made 16-appearances throughout his time in Lanarkshire; netting twice, including an exceptional goal of the season contender from distance against Livingston.

    “It feels to good to be back here permanently,” Sam Nicholson said.

    “I had to be patient when I first arrived but just tried to take my chances when they came.

    “The fans and club as a whole have been welcoming and a joy to represent. That’s why I was keen to return permanently.

    “The excitement is already building for next season.”

    “Sam has shown his quality,” manager Stuart Kettlewell added.

    “His match fitness wasn’t quite there when he first came in but when he got a run in the team, I think everyone was impressed with his energy and pace.

    “He works hard for the team and will offer lots to us next season. With a full pre-season under his belt, he will have all the ingredients for a successful campaign.”

  • First team

    Obika joins coaching staff

    Obika joins coaching staff

    Jon Obika has announced his retirement from playing and will join our coaching staff for the 2024/25 season.

    The forward missed large spells of the 23/24 season with a recurring hamstring injury and following discussions with Stuart Kettlewell, has opted to hang up his boots and focus on his coaching career.

    On his new role, Obika said, “I just feel this is where I’m supposed to be.”

    “When reflecting back, I just knew that this opportunity doesn’t come often under people you value and respect. I feel honoured.”

    After discussing his motivations behind the decision to progress as a coach, Obika expressed the experience and dedication of Stuart kettlewell as a motivating factor.

    “The gaffer was a big part [of my decision],” Obika explained.

    “When he first came in, just watching how he took over and across the 18-months seeing him work, he is someone you want to deliver for. I feel in this role, I can deliver for him.

    Having developed a closely-bonded relationship with players, coaches and supporters over his two and a half year spell in North Lanarkshire, Obika described how vital the close connection will be during the first steps on his coaching journey.

    “The fans have been fantastic since I’ve come here,” Obika said.

    “Before I joined St. Mirren, there was a chance of coming to Motherwell, but things didn’t work out, so it’s always been a club I’ve looked out for.

    “You can see how committed [the fans] are to the cause. As players, we feel it and now even more as a coach, I feel I can deliver.”

    Stuart Kettlewell said, “This has been something we’ve had in the pipeline.”

    “I‘ve often said how nice a person Jon is. His season has been tricky from a playing perspective due to injury and extending his contract beyond this season wasn’t something we were going to do.

    “However, I feel Jon’s experience in the game, playing at various levels, mixed with his personality, is a perfect combination for a first-team coach.

    “Obviously, it’s been a big decision from Jon to hang up the boots, and one we wanted him to take his time over.

    “Thankfully, he has agreed to our proposal and now we can look forward to him bringing fresh ideas to the back room staff next season.

    “It’s an exciting time at the club as we continue to build for the future.”