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  • First team

    Get your tickets for Celtic clash

  • Club

    Players take on coaches again

  • Club

    John Johnston: A goalkeeper of stature

  • First team

    Semi final set for Saturday

  • Club

    Get your tickets for Hamilton derby

  • First team

    Scottish Cup ticket information

  • First team

    Get your tickets for two big games

  • Club

    Talisman of the champions

  • Club

    Players take on coaches

  • First team

    Ticket information for Dundee clash

  • First team

    Get your tickets for Celtic clash

    Motherwell host league leaders Celtic on Sunday looking to keep themselves in the race for a top six finish in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

    The reigning champions were so nearly toppled on their last visit to Fir Park, with the Steelmen coming within two minutes of a famous win before being denied by a last-gasp penalty.

    Stephen Robinson’s men are still in the chase to cement a top half place ahead of the league split and your support could be the key to spurring the team on to a huge win.

    Tickets are available at the Fir Park ticket office or by calling 01698 333333.

    Celtic supporters should contact their club for ticket information.

    Kick off at Fir Park on Sunday is at 2.15pm.

    Admission prices are as follows:

    ADULTS£27/20
    CONCESSIONS£18/£16
    JUVENILES£14/£10
    FAMILY (1 ADULT + 1 JUNIOR)£27

    Concessions are applicable to 60 and over and full time students with a valid matriculation card. Juveniles are applicable to aged 15 and under. The cheaper price is for the John Hunter stand.

    Motherwell fans who require ambulant or wheelchair access should contact Brian Davidson on 07428 225254 or tickets@mfcdsa.com. Fans must contact Brian by Wednesday night before the match.

  • Club

    Players take on coaches again

    The players lead the coaches 2-0 going into the third round of our players against coaches challenge.

    In the third instalment, we headed to the training ground for a penalty shootout challenge… with a twist.

    Instead of facing Trevor Carson or Russell Griffiths, the heroics were instead left to Steelman as the coaches look to get themselves back in the game.

  • Club

    John Johnston: A goalkeeper of stature

    Born in Bo’ness on September 10, 1921, John Johnston had been watched by John Hunter and the Motherwell chairman in the Scottish Junior Cup final as his Armadale Thistle side drew with Glasgow Perthshire at Firhill.

    He must have suitably impressed the duo from Fir Park because during the following week they visited the player at his home in Bo’ness and offered him terms.

    John was reluctant to sign before the season was completed with his local club, and it was two weeks later on May 13, 1941 that John joined Motherwell, in the midst of World War II.

    He had previously played within his own community having starred with his local Academy and Winchburgh Albion. Indeed, he had been a provisional signing with Rangers when he was only 16, and turned out several times for the reserves without ever being called up to the first team squad.

    Johnston would become a stalwart Motherwell ‘keeper of the mid 40s and early 50s who frequently had his name incorrectly spelt with an “e” at the end, much to his annoyance. Johnny’s first five seasons at Fir Park were over shadowed by the hostilities taking place in Europe and beyond, as Motherwell competed in “unofficial” competitions, namely the Southern District League, Southern League Cup and latterly the Summer Cup.

    John was an important member of the Summer Cup winning side of July 1944, a memorable occasion as it saw Motherwell smash their long standing Hampden Park cup final jinx. Johnston had been an ever present in the cup run as the Steelmen beat St. Mirren, then edged out Falkirk 3-2 in the semi final.

    The Steelmen then defeated Clyde 1-0 in the final, with right winger Gibson the goal hero, in front of 40,000 fans, a pretty impressive attendance considering the country was still at war.

    Johnston was to win other medals and enjoy further Hampden occasions. Indeed, less than a year later, he was back between the sticks in Mount Florida as the Steelmen lined up against Rangers in the final of the Southern League Cup, which the Light Blues edged 2-1 in an reportedly exciting tussle.

    In 1947, John played against Hibernian in a Scottish Cup semi final at Hampden Park which lasted until the 152nd minute, when the Easter Road outfit hit the winning golden goal.

    The Steelmen acquitted themselves very well in the 16 team league during this period. The club finished fourth, fourth, fifth and third, before ending in sixth position after the victory season in 1946, all with Johnston the favoured Motherwell custodian.

    When Rangers visited in the opening game of the 1946/47 campaign it saw the official introduction of a number of players who were to become legends at Fir Park, including names such as Willie Kilmarnock, Archie “Baldy” Shaw, Andy Paton, Willie Redpath and of course John Johnston. In front of a vociferous audience, Rangers ran out 4-2 winners, with Brown scoring a double for Motherwell.

    Johnston had a very good season playing in all 42 matches the club played in, achieving eight clean sheets, no mean feat in an era where football was all about scoring goals rather than preventing them. The following year, the club claimed a second consecutive eighth place finish as John once again gained ever present status playing 40 matches with 12 shutouts.

    Seasin 1948/49 saw Motherwell struggle a little with injuries to important players taking its toll on results. Despite this, Johnston once again was an ever present, appearing 38 times and keeping the opposition at bay on nine occasions. On one notable occasion that season, John saved two penalties against Hibernian at Easter Road. Sadly, the duo of stops mattered little, as the Hibs had already romped to a 5-1 lead.

    As the new season, which would take the club into the 50s, was appearing over the horizon, John was the only player to have played in all 120 competitive matches the club had taken part in since the ending of the war.

    He kept that run going in all the six league cup sectional ties from which Motherwell narrowly failed to progress against Partick Thistle, Dundee and Clyde.

    They missed out despite only losing once and Johnston posting two shut outs. As the league campaign kicked off with a 2-2 draw at Fir Park against Falkirk, followed by a tough looking away fixture to Third Lanark.

    John Johnston took to the field in Motherwell colours for the 128th match on the bounce that day, and nobody could have foreseen what was about to happen. Johnny was badly injured in the 3-3 draw at Cathkin Park, to such an extent that he wouldn’t turn out again for another seven months after totting up more than 180 consecutive appearances stretching back into October 1943 and the “unofficial” competitions played during the war years.

    John returned to his goal line, replacing his more than able deputy, the admirable Dick Hamilton, just in time for the last game of that season against East Fife, much to the delight of everyone with Motherwell at heart.

    Unfortunately it was to be no glory return for John as he couldn’t prevent the visitors winning 4-3 at Fir Park despite two goals for Johnny Aitkenhead and a late effort by Archie Kelly.

    This was an era in which Motherwell were recognised as a solid mid-table side, who could be dangerous opponents at any given time. This would certainly prove to be the case over seasons 1950/51 and 1951/52. During the former campaign, John missed a dozen games which was unusual for him due to a variety of reasons, with Hamilton once again proving an able back up.

    Johnston played 35 games, two of which were Hampden Park cup finals. In the League Cup version against Hibernian, John had been drafted in for the final after an injury to Dick Hamilton, and as is often the case, the player coming into these situations was tremendous.

    Johnston was a stand out with a confident display as part of a well organised Fir Park defence against an attacked blessed with pace, trickery and deadly accuracy. Three second half goals by Motherwell’s Kelly, Forrest and Watters allowed Johnston and his team mates to lift the silverware much to the delight of the travelling Motherwell fans in the 64,000 crowd.

    Five of the victorious players that afternoon – Willie Kilmarnock, Archie Shaw, Andy Paton, Jimmy Watson along with Johnny – had all taken part in the League Cup final of 1945, when they had lost 2-1 to Rangers, so it must’ve been so much sweeter for these guys to finally lay the club’s cup bogey to rest.

    Following the 3-0 victory, the team headed back to the Steel Town on a high to meet a welcoming committee of over 8,000 fans waiting at Motherwell Cross desperate to catch a glimpse of the first major cup bedecked in our famous colours.

    The Scottish League Cup, if you include the Southern League Cup, was to be a favourite competition for Johnston, who played in a quite remarkable 71 League Cup ties. The winning of the trophy was recognised by Motherwell Town Council with a civic reception at the town hall two months later.

    Four months after the reception, Johnny and his team mates were back at Mount Florida attempting to win the cup double against Celtic in the Scottish. Despite Motherwell dominating much of the final and playing the better football, the Steelmen narrowly missed out on what would have been a unique achievement for this club.

    The normally deadly forwards Kelly, Humphries and Aitkenhead all spurned great opportunities before Celtic’s McPhail shot beyond John to send the Celtic fans in the 132,000 crowd home happy, leaving the Motherwell supporters to reflect on what might have been.

    The following season of course, as every ‘Well fan should tell you, ended in Scottish Cup glory for the extremely talented Fir Park squad in which John Johnston was integral. The defence of the League Cup was going well for Motherwell with Stirling Albion, Hibernian and Partick Thistle all defeated by the Fir Parkers lining up a quarter final two legged affair against St. Johnstone. On the face of it, the tie was won in the first leg at Muirton Park, but the 4-0 score line for Motherwell masked the important part played by Johnny.

    After Jimmy Watson had fired the visitors ahead, Johnston pulled off a terrific penalty save after Willie Kilmarnock had handled in the box. Two more spectacular saves were recorded before the interval allowing for the Steelmen to score two more goals in classic breakaway fashion to pretty much wrap up the tie in the first 45 minutes.

    Sadly for the club, when the defence of the trophy finally ended it was with a whimper, being hammered 5-1 in the semi final at Ibrox against Dundee.

    Of course, the Scottish Cup final would see Motherwell try to lift the silverware for the first time in their history at the fifth attempt, while looking to gain revenge on the Dark Blues.

    John Johnston probably had his finest 90 minutes in a Motherwell shirt in front of almost 137,000 paying punters. Time and again he denied the Dundee attackers, particularly in the first half facing a stiff wind, building the platform for two sets of quick fire goals by Watson, Redpath, Humphries and Kelly. Johnny had also made a terrific point blank save from Dundee inside forward Pattillo midway through the second half to keep his clean sheet intact.

    On the way from Hampden to Fir Park, John was part of the party which edged slowly through vast crowds in Viewpark and Bellshill before inching through Motherwell Cross once again, with an estimated 25,000 cheering fans acclaiming their heroes as they headed for a celebration dinner at Robb’s Restaurant.

    John was back to being the undisputed number one around these parts, turning out in 48 of the 49 competitive matches played by the Steelmen, only missing out on a 2-1 home win over East Fife in January.

    In September 1952, a 31-year-old policeman was shot and killed as he approached a suspect of a bank robbery. PC John MacLeod left a wife and young son as a result of this awful incident, and a fund was quickly set up, the centre of which was a football match with the proceeds hopefully boosting the monies significantly.

    The league champions, Hibernian were to take on the Scottish Cup holders Motherwell for the Lord Provost Trophy at Firhill in Glasgow, 18 days after the tragedy. Johnny and his teammates turned in a scintillating display, routing the champions by five goals to one. As superb as the performance was, and as memorable as the victory turned out to be, it was a bittersweet night for the ‘Well fans in the ground given the sad circumstances surrounding the occasion.

    John’s last ever game for Motherwell at Fir Park was a 2-1 win over Arbroath in April 1954 as Motherwell wrapped up the Second Division title and returned to the top flight of Scottish football. Johnston was an ever present in the championship winning side playing 43 games, earning 12 shut outs.

    His final appearance for the club came at Pittodrie in January 1955 in a 4-1 loss to Aberdeen. He finally left Motherwell later that year as the much younger Hastie Weir, recruited from Queen’s Park in August 1954, established himself as the new first choice.

    John Johnston was a popular man with his team mates and amongst the Motherwell support in an era where the club had had decent success and lifted trophies.

    His was a long and interesting career and perhaps suffered less than most from the impact of the war. John died in Law Hospital on January 21, 1989, just one day after the death of his former team mate and cup final winning legend Willie Redpath.

    John Johnston played 323 times for the Steelmen, a legendary Motherwell goalkeeper who delighted in collecting cross balls and enjoying the physical challenges of his position in the 40s and 50s. He spent a season across the river with Hamilton Accies, playing five games before hanging up his gloves – had he worn any.

    Agile, brave and a wonderful shot stopper, he was very highly respected within the Scottish game and had only that one notable absence in his 14-year career at Fir Park. A player of stature, integrity, consistency and quality, there is little doubt that John Johnston not only has a claim to be a legend of this football club, but also to be the finest goalkeeper ever to represent it.

  • First team

    Semi final set for Saturday

    Motherwell’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi final against either Aberdeen or Kilmarnock will be played on Saturday, April 14.

    The match, which will be played at Hampden Park in Glasgow, will kick off at 12.15pm.

    The fixture is also being broadcast live on Sky Sports and BBC Scotland.

    Ticket information for the match is as follows:

    North and William Hill South Stand

    £30 Adult / £15 Concessions

    East & West Stands

    £20 Adult / £10 Concessions

    Concessions are regarded as those aged under 16 and those aged 65 and over.

    The Scottish FA haven’t as yet been able to give the competing clubs a confirmed date as to when the tickets are likely to be available. When they do, the club will announce when the tickets will go on sale and the planned sale arrangements.

    Getting to Hampden

    The club are operating a bus from the Cooper Bar on the day of the game. The bar will be open before departure for food and drink.

    The bus, which will take supporters to and from Hampden Park, will cost £8. Supporters can buy by calling 01698 333333 or visiting the ticket office at Fir Park.

    Semi final hospitality

    Come and enjoy the day in style with our pre and post-match hospitality here at Fir Park.

    For just £80, you can get:

    • Your match ticket
    • Hot breakfast roll
    • Match programme
    • Official bus to and from Hampden Park
    • Pay bar facility at Fir Park
    • Hot buffet served at Fir Park on your return
  • Club

    Get your tickets for Hamilton derby

    Motherwell are on a high as they prepare to face Hamilton Academical in the Lanarkshire derby.

    The Steelmen travel to face their rivals in the Ladbrokes Premiership on Saturday, March 10 and fans are encouraged to buy early to guarantee their seat.

    To help you get your ticket early, you can now buy online for this fixture.

    Adult tickets cost £22, while over 65s and under 18s can get in for £12.

    The trip to Hamilton represents another huge game for Stephen Robinson’s side in their push to make the top six in the Ladbrokes Premiership. Let’s fill the stand and give the team as big a backing as possible.

  • First team

    Scottish Cup ticket information

    It’s a huge fixture on Sunday as Hearts come calling in the quarter finals of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

    Motherwell are just one game away from yet another trip to Hampden Park this season and a place in the last four of the competition.

    Having reached one cup final this season, your support could help push us a step closer towards another as we strive for new cup heroes.

    Tickets can be purchased in advance and, if you’re a season ticket holder, your seat has been reserved for you to purchase. Just pop by the Fir Park ticket office to secure yours. Please note the ticket office is closed on Thursday due to the adverse weather conditions.

    Cash gates will also be in operation but we encourage all fans to try and buy in advance to minimise delays on the day.

    Hearts supporters should contact their club for ticket information.

    Kick off at Fir Park on Sunday is at 2.15pm.

    Admission prices are as follows:

    ADULTS£18
    CONCESSIONS£12
    JUVENILES£8
    FAMILY (1 ADULT + 2 JUNIOR)£30

    Concessions are applicable to 60 and over and full time students with a valid matriculation card. Juveniles are applicable to aged 15 and under.

  • First team

    Get your tickets for two big games

    It’s a big week for Motherwell on both league and cup fronts as Stephen Robinson’s men take on Aberdeen and Hearts at Fir Park.

    The Dons are the first visitors on Wednesday, February 28. Kick off in the Ladbrokes Premiership match is at 7.45pm.

    The Steelmen are still in the race for a top six spot in the Ladbrokes Premiership and, with five games to go before the split, are just one point behind Kilmarnock in sixth and three behind Hearts in fifth spot.

    A win against the Dons would go a long way towards trying to leapfrog either side, with our team having already claimed victories in two of the three encounters against Derek McInnes’ side this season.

    Tickets can be purchased in advance from the office at Fir Park or you can pay at the gate on the night. Get yourself along and let’s try and recapture the atmosphere of our 3-o Betfred Cup win against Aberdeen last year.

    Admission prices are as follows:

    ADULTS£23/£19
    CONCESSIONS£16/£15
    JUVENILES£12/£9
    FAMILY (1 ADULT + 1 JUNIOR)£29/£24

    The cheaper price is for the John Hunter stand. Concessions are applicable to 60 and over and full time students with a valid matriculation card. Juveniles are applicable to aged 15 and under.

    Away fans will be housed in the McEwan Fraser Legal South Stand. Cash gates are in operation.


    Then on Sunday, it’s another huge fixture as Hearts come calling in the quarter finals of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

    Motherwell are just one game away from yet another trip to Hampden Park this season and a place in the last four of the competition.

    Having reached one cup final this season, your support could help push us a step closer towards another as we strive for new cup heroes.

    Tickets can be purchased in advance and, if you’re a season ticket holder, your seat has been reserved for you to purchase. Just pop by the Fir Park ticket office to secure yours. Cash gates will also be in operation but we encourage all fans to try and buy in advance to minimise delays on the day.

    Hearts supporters should contact their club for ticket information.

    Kick off at Fir Park on Sunday is at 2.15pm.

    Admission prices are as follows:

    ADULTS£18
    CONCESSIONS£12
    JUVENILES£8
    FAMILY (1 ADULT + 2 JUNIOR)£30

    Concessions are applicable to 60 and over and full time students with a valid matriculation card. Juveniles are applicable to aged 15 and under.

    Motherwell fans who require ambulant or wheelchair access should contact Brian Davidson on 07428 225254 or tickets@mfcdsa.com. Fans must contact Brian by Wednesday night before the match.

  • Club

    Talisman of the champions

    Brian McLaughlin was born in Grangemouth on October 7, 1954, and snapped up by Celtic at the age of 16, joining the Parkhead side from schools football, becoming professional in 1971.

    Brian starred in the reserve team alongside Kenny Dalglish and Lou Macari that were christened the “Quality Street Kids” by an attentive press. He eventually made his first team debut in September 1972 against Clydebank, and by the following year he had established himself as a regular. No less of an opinion than Jock Stein noted that McLaughlin was the most naturally talented player he had ever signed.

    Disaster struck for Brian after 14 successive appearances when he was badly injured by a tackle from Clyde centre half, Willie McVie. The resultant cruciate ligament damage removed him from the game for two years and although he fought back gamely, he lacked the previous mobility and was released to join Ayr United in November 1977.

    Manager Ally MacLeod gave Brian a platform to display his talent on a consistent basis, and the midfielder certainly repaid Ally’s faith in him and, much more besides, blossoming into a midfield maestro of great quality. Those who had considered Brian to be finished misjudged the young mans’ great determination.

    He went on to have an incredibly good two seasons with the Honest Men, even managing to score the winner against Celtic on Hogmanay 1977 in a famous 2-1 win for Ayr. Such was the quality of his play at Somerset Park, he was rewarded with the Players’ First Division Player of the Year award in 1979.

    Meanwhile, 40 minutes up the road and following relegation from the Premier League, Motherwell had made a poor start to the season being knocked out the League Cup by Queen’s Park and failing to win any of their first five league matches.

    In September 1979, Ally signed Brian McLaughlin once again, this time for Motherwell where his skills ensured that he would go on to be a firm favourite of the fans on the east terracing.

    The manager had been trying to sign Brian since that summer, but Ayr weren’t for letting him go. However, when Motherwell offered £100,000, United accepted and the deal was finally done.

    It didn’t take McLaughlin long to make his mark for the Steelmen, scoring on his debut at Douglas Park, but couldn’t prevent a 3-2 defeat for the club. Four days later, despite scoring again, Motherwell were humbled 5-2 by Raith Rovers at Starks Park as pressure began to increase on the manager from the fans.

    The following midweek saw Hearts visit Fir Park under the light of the silvery moon, and for the third time on the bounce the new signing was on target again as he finally picked up his first win bonus in North Lanarkshire as the Jambos were humbled 4-2 on a memorable night under the Fir Park lights.

    After another three straight wins over Clyde, Dumbarton and St Johnstone it seemed Motherwell were on a roll. However, as is often the case around these parts, the wheels came off. One win in the next eight, a 1-0 victory over Stirling Albion at home, sealed with a McLaughlin pile driver, pretty much ended any promotion hopes that the Steelmen and their fans had harboured.

    Although things did pick up after the arrival of Albert Kidd and Joe Carson from Arbroath, the Fir Parkers were always playing catch up with Hearts and Airdrieonians, who both had established a good lead at the top of the table.

    Despite ten wins after New Year in the league, Motherwell never really got into contention at the top and finished a rather disappointing sixth, eight points behind Airdrie who, along with winners Hearts, both went up to the Premier League.

    After his arrival, Brian was an ever present in the Motherwell line up, playing 35 times and scoring a very respectable ten goals. McLaughlin’s promptings initially lifted Motherwell, flirting with the leaders, but try as he might the Steelmen slipped back down the table, leaving the ‘Well fans feeling frustrated with the form of the side in a division that they were expected to win rather easily.

    His first full campaign at Fir Park was 1980/81, which opened brightly for Brian with a hat trick in the second leg of the League Cup first round tie against Stenhousemuir.

    The league campaign kicked off disastrously however, hammered 5-0 by a rampant Ayr United side down at Somerset Park. In what was a tough division in this year, Motherwell suffered from our old failing: inconsistency.

    Despite recording decisive, good wins against Falkirk, Dundee, Dunfermline and Hibernian there was always a shock scoreline around the corner, like defeats to Berwick Rangers and Stirling Albion. Come New Year’s Day, it felt like the club absolutely had to beat the Accies at Fir Park. Despite Brian scoring, the visitors finished comfortable 3-1 winners, to pretty much end once again our promotion hopes.

    After the Ne’erday defeat the Steelmen went on a 15-game unbeaten run in the league, which left the club a hugely disappointing fifth in the final league table of the season. There had been a little flirtation with silverware when 3,000 ‘Well fans headed to Tannadice for a Scottish Cup quarter final against the all conquering Dundee United, after a battle cry from Ally MacLeod. The manager had caught the imagination of everyone claiming that Motherwell were definite contenders to lift the old trophy despite being mid table in the second tier of Scottish Football.

    Sadly, by half time, Motherwell were 4-1 down and out of the competition. By the end of the campaign, Ally MacLeod was somewhat under pressure from sections of the Motherwell support, as the club reluctantly looked forward to a third season out with the top flight of Scottish football.

    The board decided that there had been enough positives in the last 15 matches of the campaign to remain firmly behind the manager in his attempt to finally secure a berth back in amongst the big guns. Brian had played in 42 games that season, the most he had every managed, scoring nine goals. It wasn’t long into the new season that the Motherwell board did lose its confidence in Ally MacLeod and he left his position which was quickly filled by his assistant, David Hay.

    Hay’s first game in charge was a disappointing defeat down at Rugby Park, but a single Willie Irvine goal beat Queen’s Park at Fir Park a week later in front of a paltry crowd of less than 2,000 fans, which did spark an upturn in fortunes.

    Brian McLaughlin scored nine times in six of the next seven matches as the Steelmen beat St Johnstone, Falkirk, Dumbarton, Raith Rovers, Dunfermline Athletic and East Stirlingshire, after finishing level with Hamilton Accies in an enthralling 2-2 draw.

    That impressive run took the Fir Parkers to the top of the table as confidence began to build within the ranks. The transformation in the Steelmen from the early season under McLeod, to the quality of play produced by the team under Hay just a few weeks later, was remarkable without adding anyone to the squad.

    As October arrived, Motherwell went from strength to strength as McLaughlin opened the scoring when East Stirlingshire were defeated away at Fir Park 3-0, before two weeks later producing a memorable display at Kilbowie against Clydebank.

    The home side were ripped apart in a vintage performance by the Steelmen in a 7-1 rout. The man of the match that day be a country mile was Brian McLaughlin, who dictated the pace and control of the game in a manner I have rarely seen.

    Incredibly, Brian didn’t find the net that afternoon, but had a hand in five of the seven goals Motherwell scored, as belief that the title might be heading our way began to spread throughout the claret and amber support.

    As promotion got closer, Brian continued to have a major influence on those around him, while still scoring vital goals in important games for the club. He shot Motherwell ahead in the Lanarkshire derby against the Accies in March, before setting up both Bruce Clelland and Willie Irvine to score in a 3-2 win.

    Two further single goal victories over Kilmarnock at Fir Park and away at Raith Rovers, both scored by McLaughlin took Motherwell to the brink of the Championship.

    Four days later the title was clinched, after one of the poorest performances from the Steelmen in what had been a terrific campaign, at home to Clydebank in front of the BBC TV cameras. It finished goalless, before the Motherwell fans swarmed onto the pitch in celebration at the final whistle to mob the players, signalling the end of the club’s three-year exile from the Premier Division.

    The season had been a triumph for David Hay as he saw his side romp away with the title, scoring 92 times to create a First Division record for goal scoring. Quite amazingly, three players claimed 56 of them, Willie Irvine, along with Brian netting 20 goals apiece and Bruce Clelland contributing 16.

    An indication of how much McLaughlin had an effect on the championship win is the fact that 11 of his goals opened the scoring for Motherwell in matches in which only two points were dropped by the Steelmen.

    In a Motherwell squad that was packed with very good footballers, it was evident to everyone who watched them play that season that Brian McLaughlin was the talismanic figure in which Davie Hay had built his successful side around.

    Brian played 43 times in that memorable season. Only Steve McLelland, John Gahagan and Willie Irvine played more as he made a mockery of the injury prone tag often attached to him.

    Back in the big time, Brian had the stage he had been craving for: an opportunity to display his talents and show everyone that he could dictate matches at the highest level in this country.

    However, new manager Jock Wallace didn’t share Brian’s vision for the future. After starting the first two fixtures against Rangers and Dundee, he left both Brian and record goal scorer, Willie Irvine on the substitute bench for the visit of a Charlie Nicholas inspired Celtic. The game ended in a heavy defeat and Brian was rarely seen again in claret and amber.

    Midway through the Premier League campaign, and after being unfairly treated by Wallace, Brian was allowed to leave for pastures new, which he did, joining Hamilton Accies back in the First Division. He then served his local side Falkirk, before a brief spell in Australia and then back to Ayr United before hanging up his boots, ending a career that had promised so much.

    In August 2009, Brian died as a result of an accident in tragic circumstances, being found in the Union Canal near his home in Falkirk. He was only 54 years old.

    Brian McLaughlin played for Motherwell 131 times, scoring 41 goals from midfield and was the architect and focal point of one of the most entertaining squads ever witnessed. It would be stretching it a little to suggest that Brian had this football club in his heart, but his contribution in just over three years cannot be understated.

    The pressure everyone at Fir Park were under as they tried to win promotion at the third attempt, reportedly the last throw of the dice for Motherwell before going part time, cannot be underestimated.

    Had Brian not produced the stats and the goods he did in the championship winning season, there is every chance we would be watching the Steelmen this afternoon in lower league football lining up against our peers of the 80s such as Morton, Ayr United, Airdrie and Clyde.

    They say success and failure in football is all about fine margins. If that’s the case, then we all should be grateful that when Brian joined Motherwell, the odds shifted distinctly in our favour.

  • Club

    Players take on coaches

    Motherwell players and coaches are going head-to-head in a series of challenges to see who comes out on top.

    In the first of five, this week Trevor Carson and Nadir Çiftçi took on Stephen McManus and Craig Hinchliffe in a game of Speak Out, with hilarious consequences.

  • First team

    Ticket information for Dundee clash

    Motherwell return to Dens Park for the second time in three weeks as they travel to face Dundee in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

    After a 2-0 victory in the William Hill Scottish Cup on their last visit, Stephen Robinson’s men travel north with confidence of continuing their push for a place in the top six.

    The Fir Park men are unbeaten at Dens this season, keeping two clean sheets in the process, including a 1-0 league win back in October.

    Craig Tanner’s solitary strike sealed the three points that afternoon, and ‘Well’s number 27 also opened the scoring as ‘Well progressed to the quarter final of the Scottish Cup.

    The adult ticket price for the match is £24. Over 65s and students can get in for £16, while under 18s go for £10.


    Dundee v Motherwell

    Saturday 24th February 2018
    3pm
    Dens Park
    Tickets available on the gate.

    Admission prices are as follows:

    ADULTS£24
    STUDENT / OVER 65s£16
    UNDER 18s£10
    • Motherwell fans who require ambulant or wheelchair access should contact Brian Davidson on 07428 225254 or tickets@mfcdsa.com. Fans must contact Brian by Wednesday night before the match.