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    Ian St John (1938 – 2021)

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    Maurice Ross departs Motherwell

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    Get £10 off this weekend with Uber Eats

  • Club

    Response to independent review into historic sexual abuse

  • Club

    Getting tech-life balance right is focus of free e-clinic

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    Johannes Edvaldsson (1950 – 2021)

  • Club

    Six ways to work out the January blues

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    Club financial results for year ending May 2020

  • Club

    Paycare’s hope and wellbeing e-clinic to counteract Blue Monday slump

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    Graham Alexander appointed as new Motherwell manager

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    Ian St John (1938 – 2021)

    Ian St John (1938 – 2021)

    We are deeply saddened by the passing of Ian St John.

    Aged 82, the legendary Ancell Babe was a local boy who made waves at Fir Park and went on to great things after starting his career with the club.

    Born in Motherwell, St John was at Hampden as a 13-year-old to witness the Steelmen lift the Scottish Cup for the very first time in 1952.

    Five years later he would sign for his boyhood heroes. Over the course of the next four years, he would torment defences across the country, netting 80 goals in 113 league games.

    His hat-trick in a League Cup tie against Hibernian in 1959, which was despatched in little more than two-and-a-half minutes, gained St John massive exposure.

    But his consistent rate of finishing had already alerted the attention of the international selectors and a host of interested managers, and it was in that same year he was awarded the first of his caps for Scotland.

    Making his international bow at the age of just 20, Ian would go on to net nine times in 21 appearances for his country.

    In 1961, St John signed for Liverpool for £37,500, then the Anfield side’s record transfer fee paid. That sale would help finance the reconstruction of the main stand at Fir Park.

    He would go on to enjoy a glorious decade with Bill Shankly’s side as they were transformed from the Second Division also-rans that Shankly inherited.

    A Scottish Football Hall of Fame member, Ian was tempted back to Lanarkshire in 1973 as manager, putting together one of Motherwell’s most famous front-line partnerships in his former team-mate Bobby Graham and Willie Pettigrew.

    Sadly St John’s time in the dugout at Fir Park would last little more than a year when he was lured to Portsmouth by promises of finance and support that well outstripped what Motherwell could offer.

    Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.

    Paying tribute

    “Like so many of us I was introduced to Motherwell and Fir Park by my dad,” Motherwell chairman Jim McMahon said of St John’s passing.

    “The Saturday regime of catching the Law and Carluke supporters bus at the cross, then the journey down and the walk into the ground, is one I can still recall vividly. It is a memory I treasure.

    “That was the era of the Ancell babes – a fabulous collection of players. But my hero, and in my view the greatest player I have seen in our colours, was Ian St John.

    “I was lucky enough to see almost all his games and his technical skill, pace, vision and ambition cemented him as the player I wanted to be

    “I was even luckier to get to know Ian in later life and to play golf with him as a special present for my 50th birthday. It’s often said that’s it dangerous to meet one’s heroes, but in my case, he was everything I expected – funny, charming, courteous and true to his roots and upbringing. He was a gentleman.

    “I will miss him – he was a big part of my childhood.

    “I am really sorry that we can’t have a crowd at our next home game to honour him but we will do that as soon as we get back to normality.

    “Lots of words are in danger of being devalued – Ian St John is a legend.”

    In a statement, his family said: “It is with a heavy heart that we have to inform you that after a long illness we have lost a husband, father and grandfather.

    “He passed away peacefully with his family at his bedside. We would like to thank all the staff at Arrowe Park Hospital for their hard work and dedication during these very difficult times.

    “The family would be grateful for privacy at this extremely sad time.”

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    Maurice Ross departs Motherwell

    Maurice Ross departs Motherwell

    Maurice Ross has left Motherwell Football Club to pursue new opportunities.

    The first team coach departs after two years at Fir Park, having originally joined as Head of 18s to 21s, before taking up a role on the senior staff.

    “I feel the time is right for me to pursue other challenges in my career, given how my role has changed here in recent months,” Ross said.

    “I wish the new management, the team and the club all the best, and thank everyone for the time I’ve spent with Motherwell.”

    Ross, who also made seven appearances for the club during his playing career, arrived at Fir Park with coaching experience as a manager in Norway, where he won back-to-back promotions with FK Sola, and in the Faroe Islands.

    “First of all, I would like to thank Maurice for his commitment and professionalism since I joined the club,” manager Graham Alexander said of the departure.

    “I can understand why he’s made this decision. I have nothing but good wishes for him going forward. I am sure he will continue to have a successful coaching career.”

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    Get £10 off this weekend with Uber Eats

    Get £10 off this weekend with Uber Eats

    Here’s an offer to get you in the mood for the derby. 

    We’ve teamed up with Uber Eats to secure you a great deal for the weekend. You can get £10 off your first order at a whole host of local establishments.

    Just use the promo code MOTHAM10 to get your discount.

    To pick your items, head to ubereats.com or download the Uber Eats app.

    Terms and conditions

    £10 off offer available until 11.55 pm on 19 February 2021, valid on one (1) order made via the Uber Eats app in the UK (check the Uber Eats app for availability of deliveries and restaurants) when you spend a minimum of £15 per order on food and drink, excluding the delivery fee. Delivery fee applies. Other fees (such as a service fee) may apply to order. Offer is not valid on any basket that includes alcohol or tobacco products.

    To be eligible for the promotion, apply code MOTHAM10 in the Uber Eats app at the checkout before completing the order. Offer available for first time users of the Uber Eats app only. Code can be applied for a maximum of 5000 users on a first come, first served basis. Read more at t.uber.com/EATST&Cs.

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    Response to independent review into historic sexual abuse

    Response to independent review into historic sexual abuse

    Motherwell Football Club acknowledges the report of the independent review into historic sexual abuse in Scottish football.

    We sincerely apologise to anyone personally affected by historic sexual abuse within the Scottish game. We recognise that the impact of abuse on survivors and their families is not historic and continues.

    As noted in the report, Motherwell FC undertook an internal inquiry in 2016 relating to the matters raised, which included hiring additional external help to try and uncover as much information as possible.

    All of the findings were passed to the independent review, as well as Police Scotland, at that time.

    The safety and wellbeing of children and young people, whilst in the care of Motherwell Football Club, was, is and will remain a priority for the board.

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    Getting tech-life balance right is focus of free e-clinic

    Getting tech-life balance right is focus of free e-clinic

    With reliance on technology soaring during the pandemic, our main partners Paycare are joining forces with Techtimeout to help people understand more about the potential wellbeing impacts of too much screen time.

    Their wellbeing manager Kerry B Mitchell is set to host the latest in a series of monthly e-clinics on Wednesday 17 February at 10am.

    This session is focused around ‘Tech-Life Balance’ and will feature guest speaker Stephanie Henson, founder of Techtimeout, a movement which encourages people to put down their phones and laptops regularly and enjoy some digital-free time.

    “Technology is a huge part of our lives,” she explains.

    “Most of us have no choice but to spend hours online – especially now work, homeschooling and socialising is mainly being done through screens.

    “What’s worrying is that research indicates that the overuse of technology can lead to feelings of isolation, anxiety and depression.

    “Technology is essential but it’s so easy to become addicted – ever lose track of time scrolling, or experience an overwhelming desire to check your phone multiple times a day, even when you don’t need to?

    “In a world where it’s near enough impossible to quit technology if it’s not supporting your mental health, it’s time to learn healthy habits and set boundaries.

    “I’m looking forward to sharing an insight into the impact of technology in the workplace and I’ll be providing actionable tips employers and employees can take to support mental wellbeing and productivity.”

    Kerry adds that all technology has a purpose and, now more than ever, it is extremely beneficial in keeping connected to enable those experiencing mental and physical health conditions to reach out to loved ones and to charities or professional support.

    However, everyone has to find a balance between technology usage and living a wholesome life.

    “We’ll be sharing information about the most up-to-date research on the topic, top tips for employers on how to support their teams to work productively from home, and suggestions about how to manage the pressure to be always online.

    “Getting the right balance between being on and offline is tricky, but it can be done – as Steph and the Techtimeout team are proving – so I’d love for people to join the session to find out more.”

    To book on to the free webinar, simply email wellbeing@paycare.org.

    In addition to monthly e-clinics, Paycare Wellbeing offers a range of training opportunities including a two-day virtual accredited MHFA course. Visit paycare,org to find out more.

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    Johannes Edvaldsson (1950 – 2021)

    Johannes Edvaldsson (1950 – 2021)

    We are saddened to learn of the news of the death of Johannes Edvaldsson at the age of 70.

    The former Iceland international played for Motherwell between 1982 and 1984, arriving from German side Hannover 96.

    An uncompromising defender, “Shuggie”, as he was known, made 65 appearances in claret and amber, netting six goals. Primarily playing at the back, he could also be deployed to great effect further up the pitch.

    Prior to arriving at Fir Park, he played with Valur, FC Metz, Celtic and Tulsa Roughnecks. He was capped 34 times by his country.

    Everyone at Motherwell FC’s thoughts are with his family.

  • Club

    Six ways to work out the January blues

    Six ways to work out the January blues

    January is traditionally the month when we all resolve to start moving more, with new members queuing up to join the gym and more health and fitness related internet searches than any other month.

    But with the UK now in lockdown for the rest of January, and leisure centres and swimming pools closed to the public, it looks likely that 2021 will be a little different.

    Yet we know that exercise can dramatically enhance our wellbeing and positively impact our mental health – alongside all of the physical benefits.

    Running for just 15 minutes a day, or walking for an hour, has been shown to reduce the risk of major depression by 26%.

    Studies have also found anxiety and other mental health conditions are improved most by rhythmic, aerobic exercises including running, swimming and cycling.

    In fact, there’s a whole campaign around the links between mental health and exercise – Red January – which encourages participants to get moving every day this month.

    And since the current lockdown was announced, they’ve been using the motto ‘As we can’t be together in person, let’s be together in purpose’.

    Our main partners Paycare are sharing their top tips to help everyone with their health and wellbeing and to beat those January lockdown blues:

    • A lunchtime walk helps you take your eyes off the screen – and is sure to have you feeling more productive when you return to your desk.
    • Joe Wicks is likely to spring to mind when you think about YouTube workouts, but there are thousands more to explore so you could try a different type of exercise every time to keep things fresh and exciting.
    • Exercising outdoors with one person outside of your household or support bubble is allowed under the current rules – and this can include an outside personal training session as long as you are at least 2m apart at all times.
    • Why not join together with your friends, family, or colleagues to try an online exercise class or take it in turns to lead a session during a weekly video call? At Paycare, different team members are setting up HIIT and Yoga sessions for us all to join in if we want to.
    • Walking for 20 minutes a day consistently through the month will be much more beneficial than doing a 10-mile run once. So do remember to keep your goals realistic and manageable, scaling up the time and intensity of your workouts as you become fitter and stronger.
    • You’ll need to up your water intake to account for the fluid you use while exercising, so remember to keep sipping away during the day.
  • Club

    Club financial results for year ending May 2020

    Club financial results for year ending May 2020

    Motherwell Football Club posted a profit of £346,590 in the year ending 31 May 2020.

    This profit came against a previous loss of £435,970 in 2019, a swing of £782,560.

    Despite the hugely difficult restrictions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, the club’s turnover rose by nearly £0.4m to £4.95m, up from £4.59m in the previous year.

    The financial year in review

    A member’s resolution gave the SPFL Board the power to officially end the leagues and decide the outcome on an average points basis, which they did on 18 May 2020. This decision meant the club confirmed a third-place finish in the Scottish Premiership in the 2019/20 season, completing 30 of the campaign’s 38 matches.

    That represented our best league finish for six years, having finished second in 2013/14. It also meant a return to UEFA Europa League football for the first time since 2014.

    Sadly, there were no significant runs in either domestic cup competitions during the year.

    The shortening to the season and the lockdown restrictions, which started in mid-March and are likely to continue until at least the end of the 2020/21 campaign, had a material impact on the club’s ability to generate revenue in the last quarter. Included in that was the loss of at least four home matches, one being a Category A fixture.

    We continue to trade effectively in the transfer market. The overall figure on player registration gains is up by over £260,000, posting a final figure of £1.04m, compared to £781,000 the previous year. This came primarily from the sale of James Scott to Hull City FC in January 2020. Like last year, the club wishes to record its gratitude and acknowledge the recruitment and coaching staff’s excellent work on that particular transfer, together with all the Elite Academy staff, who were instrumental in James’ development into an excellent young talent.

    Shortly after year end, the club also traded David Turnbull to Celtic FC for a fee significantly higher than the previous record received for Phil O’Donnell back in 1994. Not only did this action justify the board’s decision not to accept a revised transfer deal in the summer of 2019, but also validated the investment the club made in David’s rehabilitation to get him back to the level he was before his operation.

    Costs for the year have remained relatively consistent. There was a slight increase in our staff costs, most of which resulted from performance-related bonuses for confirming third place and European football.

    Most importantly, during the year the club settled the outstanding amounts owed to Mr J Boyle and Mr L Hutchison. This repayment was facilitated by a small loan on favourable terms, offered by five Motherwell-supporting individuals. The five were all fully repaid less than two months later following James Scott’s sale to Hull.

    At the height of lockdown, to ensure sound management of the club’s cashflow, the club took advantage of HMRC schemes to defer VAT and PAYE/NIC liabilities and took out a small £50,000 “bounce back” loan from the UK Government. The “bounce back” loan is the only external debt on the balance sheet, with the only other borrowings currently being to the Well Society, an accumulation of their contributions across the last nine years, totalling £868,000.

    It is our view that the club remains in a strong position, but we are cognisant of the genuine and ongoing threats to the whole football infrastructure from the current crisis. The work that has been done to establish the club’s model and strategy in recent years has been successful, but we have to do more. We must secure the foundations of the club and emerge from the crisis in a sustainable way. Our aim continues to be that of an exemplar fan-owned, community-focused, family club.

    The 115th annual general meeting of the club will be held on Thursday 11 February 2021.

    Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, attendance at the meeting will be by Zoom. Shareholders who wish to attend the AGM are required to provide an email address to the company secretary at accounts@motherwellfc.co.uk no later than 5pm on 9 February 2021.

    Any shareholder who would wish to receive either a printed or emailed copy of the audited accounts should email accounts@motherwellfc.co.uk before the close of business on 9 February 2021.

  • Club

    Paycare’s hope and wellbeing e-clinic to counteract Blue Monday slump

    Paycare’s hope and wellbeing e-clinic to counteract Blue Monday slump

    January is traditionally thought of as a gloomy month.

    Our main shirt sponsors Paycare are leading the fight against the ‘Blue Monday’ slump – the term coined for the most depressing day of the year – by hosting a hopeful e-clinic.

    Their wellbeing manager, Kerry B Mitchell, will be joined by Maddie Powell from the charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide on Monday 25 January from 10am to 11am for a hope and wellbeing session.

    It is part of a series of hour-long webinars focused on a different aspect of mental health each time.

    Virtual attendees will be able to find out more about current mental health research and the work of PAPYRUS – which was set up to support young people struggling with thoughts of suicide, engage communities in suicide prevention projects, and influence social policy.

    Suicide is the biggest cause of death for under 35s, both male and female, in the UK.

    Kerry, a mental health first aid qualified trainer, says the free monthly sessions were designed to give attendees lots of information, examples of best practice and an opportunity to ask questions.

    “January has traditionally been regarded as a depressing month partly because of it falling just after Christmas, the weather, and the length of time between paydays for workers,” she said.

    “We wanted to counteract that feeling by offering information and research to help attendees recognise the signs and symptoms of mental ill-health and feel able to support and signpost accordingly.

    “We also have a range of mental health training courses available for companies who wish to delve further into wellbeing strategies and invest in employee wellbeing.”

    To book your free place on the e-clinic or for more information, simply RSVP here or email wellbeing@paycare.org.

    In addition to the webinars, Paycare have also extended their online offering – to complement their pre-pandemic face-to-face mental health training programme – which now includes a two-day virtual accredited MHFA course.

    Visit paycare.org/wellbeing to find out more.

  • Club

    Graham Alexander appointed as new Motherwell manager

    Graham Alexander is the new manager of Motherwell Football Club.

    Graham becomes the 25th man to lead the club, succeeding Stephen Robinson.

    A former Scotland international and captain of both Preston North End and Burnley, the 49-year-old arrives with 363 games of managerial experience at Fleetwood Town, Scunthorpe United and Salford City.

    He will be joined by his long-term assistant Chris Lucketti, himself a former captain of Huddersfield Town who made over 600 career appearances, who will work alongside current assistant Keith Lasley.

    “I am delighted to have been handed this role at a great club,” said the new Motherwell manager.

    “People will get to understand the hard work I put in, along with my staff and players. I have always brought that to every club, as a player and a manager.

    “It’s something different. It is something I am really excited about. I have been a manager now for seven to eight years, and had success with the three clubs I’ve been at. But this is out of my comfort zone. I’m someone who is up for a challenge, and I will get that here.

    “I spoke to Stephen Robinson, as we played together at Preston. He said nothing but good things. That together with what I heard from the board meant it was a challenge I wanted to take on.

    “The obvious first objective is to win on Saturday. This is a team which is underperforming but there is talent there. We are in a month where we can also make additions, but there is no way I see this current group should be where they are.

    “I believe in producing young talent and I’ve always given chances. The board have made clear what they see as success for Motherwell, and I want to exceed those expectations.

    “I’ve seen if you work hard enough, you can achieve whatever you want. But the work has to go in. And that not only comes from me, it comes from the whole group. My role is a manager is to get that working straight away.”

    Graham started his playing career with Scunthorpe United, moving onto Luton Town, Preston North End and Burnley, before ending with a final season with Preston.

    The 863 league appearances he made across a 24-year career ranks him fourth in the all-time list of games played by footballers in England.

    Although born in England, his long-held international commitment was to Scotland through his father. His call would come in 2002 in a friendly against Nigeria at the age of 30, kicking off a Scotland career which would bring 40 caps.

    Having had a brief spell as caretaker at Preston North End in 2011/12, his first permanent managerial appointment would come at Fleetwood Town in December 2012. A near-three year spell saw him lead the club up from League Two through the play-offs.

    A return to his first club Scunthorpe United would follow in March 2016, spending two years at Glanford Park and leading them to the League One play-off final, where they would lose to Millwall.

    The call from ambitious National League side Salford City came in May 2018, winning promotion to the Football League through the play-offs. The curtailment of the 2019/20 campaign due to the Covid-19 outbreak would end back-to-back promotion hopes, and also halt an appearance in the final of the EFL Trophy.

    “We are delighted to have chosen Graham to be our next manager,” Motherwell chairman Jim McMahon said of the appointment.

    “The calibre of candidates for the role was high, as were the qualities shown by those we interviewed.

    “Graham has demonstated to us he is the man to take us forward. He fits the profile of what we expect a Motherwell manager to be.

    “He is dynamic. He is hungry. He will lead from the front and shares in our belief of developing talent. He also has a track record of success, leading clubs to promotions and cup finals.”