Latest News

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    Buy our Motherwell FC branded Dundee Gin

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    Campbell and Maguire absent for St Johnstone trip

  • Club

    Davie Cooper inducted to Hall of Fame

  • Club

    Stress and emotional eating e-clinic from Paycare

  • Club

    ‘Well’s top 10 Scotland internationals

  • Club

    Continuing to raise awareness to keep young people safe

  • Club

    Andy Paton inducted to Hall of Fame

  • Club

    John Hunter inducted to Hall of Fame

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    Get your limited edition Motherwell FC Loch Lomond whisky

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    Vote for your Hall of Fame class of 2020 entrant

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    Buy our Motherwell FC branded Dundee Gin

    Buy our Motherwell FC branded Dundee Gin

    Take your love of gin to another level by buying our special Motherwell FC branded Dundee Gin products.

    Whether for yourself or for a Christmas gift, we’ve a full range of products for you to enjoy.

    To buy, just head to our special Dundee Gin store and order yours.

    On offer are:

    • 70cl Dundee Classis Dry Gin or Old Tom Gin flavours at 46% ABV.
    • 50cl liqueurs – Summer Fruits, Marmalade and Dundee Cake – at 26.5% ABV.
    • A three pack of miniatures (Marmalade, Dundee Cake and Summer Fruits).
    • A stag head pourer with a two-bottle miniature pack with Summer Fruits and Dundee Cake.
    • For further descriptions, head to thedundeegin.com/shop.

    You must be over 18 to buy. The bottles are available for collection only, between 10am and 2pm Monday to Friday, from our Centenary Suite porch.

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    Campbell and Maguire absent for St Johnstone trip

    Campbell and Maguire absent for St Johnstone trip

    Allan Campbell and Barry Maguire are required to miss our match with St Johnstone due to Covid-19 protocols.

    We were informed shortly after 11am on Saturday morning by the Scottish FA that the pair are required to self-isolate, as a result of three members of the Scotland Under 21 squad testing positive for the virus.

    Both Allan and Barry tested negative when they were tested by Motherwell FC on their return to Fir Park on Wednesday.

    However, the Scottish FA have informed us that due to the seating arrangements on flights and buses in Greece, our players are required to isolate under trace and protect procedures.

    We were first notified of the potential need to exclude Allan and Barry at 9:30pm on Friday night. They will now be obliged to isolate for 14 days.

    As a result of what has happened, we will write to the Scottish FA on a number of points on which we believe urgent answers are required.

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    Davie Cooper inducted to Hall of Fame

    Davie Cooper inducted to Hall of Fame

    Our third inductee to the Motherwell FC Hall of Fame in 2020 is Davie Cooper.

    The 1991 Scottish Cup winner joins John Hunter and Andy Paton in this year’s intake.

    We will honour the class of 2020 with a unique virtual induction event this winter by means of a special live, free-to-air, online event.

    We are also once again asking the fans to pick our fifth inductee.

    You can join in the vote by nominating any individual from any era in Motherwell’s past – player, manager or official – who you think is worthy of being included in the 2020 class.

    Click here to vote for who you want to see in the Motherwell FC Hall of Fame.

    Born in Hamilton on 25 February 1956, it is fair to say Davie Cooper would become one of the most popular post-war Scottish football players ever.

    He joined Motherwell in 1989 for £50,000, having lost his place at Rangers amid the bankrolled Graeme Souness era, and seemingly near the end of a most successful career. It was not to be and in his twilight years at Fir Park, he revealed himself to be a quite extraordinary player, whose guile and skill more than made up for his advancing years.

    The then-Motherwell manager Tommy McLean signed the prodigious and obvious talent for a relatively small fee, which history will tell you now was a stroke of genius. McLean had chased Cooper for some time, knowing fine that he would be the cherry on top of the workmanlike squad he had built to maintain the clubs’ status in the top flight of Scottish football.

    Those who thought Cooper was going to North Lanarkshire merely to play out his years were proved spectacularly wrong as he arguably produced some of the best football of his entire career whilst at Fir Park.

    All the wizardry and accuracy that characterised his time at Ibrox seemed undiminished by his veteran status. He was still the master of the dribble and, even more so, the weighted pass. Subtle tricky and endearing, he was a player fans of both sides could warm to.

    His debut in claret and amber came at Rugby Park in a midweek League Cup tie in August 1989. His performance was as good any he would produce for the club. Motherwell fans were aghast as Cooper set up three of the four goals the Steelmen scored that evening, as Kilmarnock were brushed aside 4-1.

    His first game at Fir Park turned out to be equally entertaining. Cooper again was the main man, being the architect of a 3-1 win over St. Mirren with two goals for Nick Cusack, and a clincher from Stevie Kirk.

    He continued to inspire those around him. He was the lynchpin of a terrific showing at Fir Park in September when Dundee were swept aside 3-0 with Cooper scoring his first-ever goal for the Steelmen. Attendances began to rise as the Lanarkshire public warmed to the Hamilton man. When Rangers came calling four days after the Dundee match, that warming grew into unconditional love for the winger.

    The big-spending Glasgow giants were humbled as the Steelmen went top of the league, as Cooper combined with another former Ger, Bobby Russell, to create and score the winner on a memorable night under the Fir Park lights.

    October saw another Cooper masterclass when Dundee United were defeated in a five-goal thriller. The national press began to speculate on whether Davie should be included in the Scotland squad for a vital upcoming World Cup qualifier against Norway. As it happens, he was included and produced a man of the match performance as the Scots won 3-1 to secure a place at Italia 90.

    Domestically, he would score seven times in his first season, a couple of which secured a draw at home to Aberdeen in another pulsating affair as Ne’erday approached. Motherwell finished a comfortable mid-table in a 10-team division, which most fans were happy with, hoping it would be a springboard to success in campaign 1990/91.

    Davie was integral to everything Motherwell produced that following season, missing only two league games, scoring another five times as the Steelmen replicated the previous year’s performance with a similar position in the final league table. Where the league form could be labelled workmanlike, the Scottish Cup seemed to spark the players into life.

    Cooper inspired a cup run that will never be forgotten around Lanarkshire. He was integral to the exciting victories over Aberdeen, Falkirk and Morton before being suspended for the two semi-final ties against Celtic, largely due to his inability to button his lip with match officials.

    Of course, he was back in the side come that wonderful day in May 1991.

    His presence and experience undoubtedly gave the confidence to his teammates and the belief that they could lift the Scottish Cup for the first time in 39 years.

    That belief turned to reality as goals from Ian Ferguson, Phil O’Donnell, Ian Angus and Stevie Kirk brought joy, not only to the 35,000 Motherwell fans on the slopes of Hampden Park but those with claret and amber in their hearts watching from afar.

    Despite approaching his mid-30s, Davie only missed five games of the 50 Motherwell played the following season, scoring five times. Two of these came in a great 2-0 win over St. Mirren at Love Street in early November. He, of course, was also part of the first-ever Motherwell side to take part in European competition on 18 September 1991 in Poland against GKS Katowice. The 2-0 defeat that day was witnessed by a sizeable support from Scotland and would’ve been bigger, had two supporter buses not missed all but ten minutes of the tie.

    The second leg witnessed a sublime display from Cooper as he dazzled under the Fir Park floodlights. Over 10,000 fans roared the home side on from the kickoff as the Steelmen looked to overturn the first-leg deficit.

    After incessant pressure, the visitors fell behind when a sumptuous pass from Cooper set Kirk up, who finished with aplomb. Early into the second half though, the Steelmen were caught with a breakaway and Katowice equalised on the night briefly silencing the home support.

    Back ‘Well roared back with Cooper at the helm, as he crossed first for Nick Cusack to score, and then minutes later for Stevie Kirk to notch his second of the evening. Despite the atmosphere reaching fever pitch, Motherwell failed to score for a fourth time, and we were eliminated on the dreaded away goals rule.

    Davie’s final full season at the club was the 1992/93 campaign. However, it proved to be something of a disappointment for the fans, again allowed Coop to display his talents time after time. Incredibly for his age, and position he played, Cooper was the only ever-present Motherwell player that season, turning out in all 46 competitive matches. Indeed, his final goal in our colours came in the April of that season at Fir Park against Celtic, in a memorable 2-0 win over the Glasgow side.

    After the summer of 1993, it became apparent that Cooper’s appearances for the club would be mostly from the bench. Indeed, his final sighting in a Motherwell kit was as a substitute in mid-December, contributing to a terrific 3-2 win at Tynecastle Park over an excellent Hearts team, with goals from Tommy Coyne, twice, and Rab McKinnon.

    With his chances of regular football at Fir Park diminishing somewhat, Davie decided to continue playing, and more significantly perhaps contributing, to football matches, and returned to serve his first club, Clydebank.

    Many had assumed that Cooper’s move to Fir Park would see him treating the move as a form of early retirement. But Davie proved he was bigger and better than that by not only winning a Scottish Cup winner’s medal with Motherwell but also resurrecting his International career. In fact, had he not gone over on his ankle as he ran through Strathclyde Park shortly before the squad was announced, Cooper would’ve been the first-ever Motherwell player to play on the World Cup Finals stage in Italia ’90.

    In the 15 months since Davie had left Fir Park, life had been good with Motherwell narrowly losing out in a title fight with Rangers in 1994 and going toe to toe again with the Light Blues the following season eventually finishing runners-up.

    However, everything was put into perspective when news broke of Cooper collapsing at Broadwood Stadium in March 1995 whilst filming a television show and coaching youngsters.

    The following day as the Motherwell squad and fans were travelling through to Easter Road to take on Hibs in a vital league match, it was confirmed that Davie had passed away of a brain haemorrhage aged just 39.

    Given the impact he had had during his time in North Lanarkshire, quite understandably, neither the players nor the fans seemed capable getting themselves up for the game, and the home side ran out comfortable 2-0 winners. It is no exaggeration to say that the whole Scottish nation was both stunned and deeply saddened by his untimely death, as floral tributes were left at Ibrox, Fir Park and Kilbowie in abundance.

    The Motherwell FC board decided to name the newly constructed North Stand after him.

    Davie Cooper inspired a team of footballers and supporters of this club, giving everything he had for the cause. 165 appearances and 17 goals for Motherwell may be the facts and figures of his time at Fir Park, but they barely scratch the surface of his life and times at the club.

    His range of ball skills and sheer entertainment value made him instantly recognisable. Cooper was clearly a match-winner, a skilled craftsman and an almost unique talent. He had a cultured left foot, amazing dribbling skills, precision crosses and truly stunning dead-ball accuracy. He was a player that literally had you off your seat when on the ball, dictating play to his preferences, and his teams’ advantage.

    Motherwell has been fortunate to have a list of quite outstanding left wingers throughout history. From Bobby Ferrier, Johnny Aitkenhead and Pat Quinn are just some of the big names to have played in that position through the years.

    Cooper rightly deserves his position near the top of such a list for the way he almost single-handedly raised the spirits of the area and the perception of Motherwell Football Club within the game that his contribution is hard to measure subjectively.

    Off the pitch, he was a terrific ambassador for the football club and the wider community, contrary to the perceived “Moody Blue” persona which was portrayed during his time at Rangers.

    History will dictate that Davie Cooper’s legend is more famed for his stint at Ibrox and although his time with us may have been relatively short, no one could ever question the effect, nor the passion he had for this our club. A modern-day footballing genius and a man who inspired a group to achieve immortality.

  • Club

    Stress and emotional eating e-clinic from Paycare

    Stress and emotional eating e-clinic from Paycare

    Stress and emotional eating are set to be explored in the next free e-clinic from Paycare Wellbeing.

    It’s part of a varied series of hour-long webinars, focused on a different aspect of mental health each time.

    Virtual attendees will be able to join the session, running from 10am to 11am on Thursday 26 November, to find out about current research, and tips around stress management.

    Topics to be covered include the effects of cortisol and weight loss on the body, emotional and binge eating, stabilising the blood sugar rollercoaster, and referral pathways for stress and eating disorders.

    Paycare’s wellbeing manager, Kerry B Mitchell, will be joined by friend of Paycare, guest speaker Laura Butler, a lifestyle intervention consultant and health coach.

    Kerry, a mental health first aid qualified trainer, said: “Our free sessions have been offering attendees lots of information, examples of best practice and plenty of time to ask questions about the topic.

    “Stress awareness is so important, especially mid-pandemic, and many companies and individuals will find themselves either directly or indirectly impacted by the pressures of 2020.

    “Our team also deliver a range of mental health training courses designed for companies who wish to delve further into wellbeing strategies and invest in their employees’ wellbeing.”

    Laura added: “Many of us recognise the link between stress and emotional or over-eating, feeling the need to comfort ourselves with food.

    “But what is often not talked about is the effect on our health when we eat in a stressed state and how certain foods can also make us feel stressed.

    “I am thrilled to have been asked by Paycare to discuss these topics at their upcoming e-clinic as when people have a better understanding of these, they can use this knowledge to transform their eating habits and overall wellbeing.”

    To book a place on the stress and emotional eating e-clinic, simply email wellbeing@paycare.org.

    For more information on upcoming e-clinics and themes, head to paycare.org/mhfa

    In addition to the webinars, Paycare Wellbeing is also extending its online offering  o complement its pre-pandemic face-to-face mental health training programme, which now includes a two-day virtual accredited MHFA course. Visit paycare.org/mhfa to find out more.

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    ‘Well’s top 10 Scotland internationals

    ‘Well’s top 10 Scotland internationals

    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.

  • Club

    Continuing to raise awareness to keep young people safe

    Continuing to raise awareness to keep young people safe

    We’re continuing our work with North Lanarkshire’s Child Protection Committee to raise awareness about what we can all do to help keep local children and young people safe.

    We can all play our part by helping to make our communities safe, nurturing places for all children to grow up in.  Listening to what children say to us and taking any worries they have seriously helps children feel valued and respected and encourages them to speak up if they don’t feel safe.

    Our long-established partnership will see the Child Protection Committee logo displayed on the shirts of our youth academy teams from Under 11s to 16s throughout the season.

    We will also display prominent child protection messages around Fir Park, as well as information on how to report concerns. Important child protection messages will continue to be promoted through our social media and digital channels.

    “We are delighted to continue our partnership between the club, our academy and the Child Protection Committee,” Suzanne Reid, head of commercial and marketing at Motherwell FC, said.

    “Our particular focus this year will be on keeping children safe online, especially in the area of social media.

    “Our academy players and coaches will work to spread the message of internet safety across our local area.”

    Marian Martin, chair of the North Lanarkshire Child Protection Committee added: “Protecting our children from abuse, neglect and exploitation, whether online or in our communities, is everyone’s responsibility.

    “This year when so many of us have been living our lives indoors and online to a far greater degree than usual, it’s particularly important everyone understands what to look out for and is confident that they can talk to someone who can help.

    “Working with the academy at Motherwell Football Club, we can extend the reach of our message amongst those who might not otherwise hear it.”

    If you are worried about something that is happening to your child or a child you know, please speak out.

    You can contact a child’s health visitor or teacher, or contact the locality social work office or Police Scotland. All information shared is treated seriously and the first priority will always be to make sure the child is safe.

    For more information go to northlan.gov.uk/childprotection.

    Further Contacts

    Childline – 0800 1111 (free 24 hour service), childline.org.uk

    Parentline  – 08000 28 22 33 (free to call 9am-9pm Mon – Fri and 9am-12pm Sat – Sun), children1st.org.uk/help-for-families/parentline-scotland

    CELCIS Protecting Children – celcis.org/our-work/protecting-children

  • Club

    Andy Paton inducted to Hall of Fame

    Andy Paton inducted to Hall of Fame

    Our second inductee to the Motherwell FC Hall of Fame in 2020 is Andy Paton.

    The man who was previously voted as the club’s greatest-ever player joins John Hunter in this year’s intake.

    We will honour the class of 2020 with a unique virtual induction event this winter by means of a special live, free-to-air, online event.

    We are also once again asking the fans to pick our fifth inductee.

    You can join in the vote by nominating any individual from any era in Motherwell’s past – player, manager or official – who you think is worthy of being included in the 2020 class.

    Click here to vote for who you want to see in the Motherwell FC Hall of Fame.

    “A footballing Prince amongst men” was how one enraptured newspaperman described Andy Paton in the immediate post-war years, as the multi-talented Ayrshire man emerged as one of the most cultured, yet commanding centre halves the Scottish game had ever known.

    It’s perhaps stating the obvious to say that World War Two was a defining period for Motherwell FC. But football-wise it most certainly was.

    Prior to the hostilities, ‘Well, with pretty much the same squad of players for the best part of a decade, had consistently challenge for honours in the Scottish game, playing a brand of football loved by fans up and down the land.

    By the time the war had ended, John Hunter had been left with a threadbare playing staff, which he had used to some effect in the unofficial competitions during the 1939 to 1945 years.

    Some big names in our history joined up with the club at this time, including goalkeeper Johnny Johnstone from Armadale, Willie Kilmarnock from Irvine Meadow, Willie Redpath from Polkemmet and Archie “Baldy” Shaw from Wishaw.

    The biggest of them all though was Andy Paton from Kello Rovers.

    Andy signed on the 6 November 1942 after a successful trial, impressing Hunter with his first touch and ability to read the game with consummate ease.

    The Dreghorn-born defender had spent five years learning his trade in the junior ranks having made his debut for Irvine Meadow in 1937, aged just 14.

    Because his family were specialist builders, young Andy was exempt for national service and that allowed him to develop and, in time, superbly marshal his local junior side, much to the admiration of the legendary Hunter.

    Initially at Fir Park, he was somewhat impetuous and inclined to a display of bad temper, but he would mature into a beautifully balanced and reliable performer.

    It was almost four years later that Paton made his official Steelmen debut against Rangers on 10 August 1946, after over 100 appearances in unofficial competitions. It wouldn’t be a happy occasion with the visitors notching up a 4-2 win.

    By the time of that defeat in 1946, John Hunter had decided to leave his managerial duties and take up the important secretarial role at Fir Park.

    It was decided by the board that George Stevenson would be entrusted with the manager’s job. This decision was greeted with joy by the Motherwell fans, given the previous service he’d given the club as a player.

    His debut season had its share of ups and downs, but there was a feeling amongst the Fir Park faithful that there were signs during the campaign that the new signings would continue to improve over the coming years.

    The end of the war had meant the league was no longer regionalised and suddenly for the first time, Paton had a national audience to entertain – and entertain he did.

    Fans all over the country enjoyed not only Andy’s ability but his attitude to the game and his determination to give them their money’s worth. The new 1947/48 campaign kicked off with a home League Cup tie against Queen of the South, in which Paton became the first ‘Well player ever to wear the number five on his back, as the club introduced team numbers for the first time. It seemed to galvanise the Steelmen, who ran out comfortable 4-0 winners.

    The league form was terrific from the outset with seven wins in the first eight games to go clear at the top of the league. With Paton superbly marshalling the defence, and the strike force of Wilson Humphries and Willie Watters on fire, a championship tilt was on the cards.

    However, injuries to key players for the remainder of the season saw Motherwell slip, eventually finishing eighth, 19 points behind champions Hibernian.

    An indifferent few seasons followed, including a number of near misses at the bottom of the table. The board were well aware of how close the club had come to relegation and made it clear things had to improve when they issued a statement that said that “to lose half of the total of the league games was not in the Motherwell tradition”.

    Despite the determination of all concerned to improve the club’s fortunes, season 1949/50 would finish with Motherwell on the same 25 points total they had the previous campaign. 1950/51 saw no discernible improvement to our league placing, but happily, Paton became the first, and only, Motherwell captain to lift the League Cup to finally land our first-ever top-level silverware.

    Our group section included Airdrie, Hearts and Partick Thistle. The Steelmen won five of the six games to progress to the quarter-final. Celtic were despatched with ease over the two legs, before coming out on top in a seven-goal thriller against Ayr United at Ibrox in the last four.

    The final would be against champions’ elect Hibernian. The game apparently disappointed the neutrals in the ground as the build-up to the tie had indicated that the two best attacking teams of that era would be going at it toe to toe from the first whistle.

    In reality, it appears that both teams seemed to cancel each other out somewhat until Archie Kelly struck to give the Fir Parkers the lead in front of the 64,000 fans. Two minutes later Jim Forrest swept home a cross and Willie Watters clinched the cup when he added a third near the end.

    The League Cup victory whetted the appetite of all at Fir Park, and season 1951/52 would end in more success and immortality for 11 heroes in claret and amber.

    In the league, Motherwell finished seventh, their best effort since the war, but the marginal improvement in that competition was overshadowed with the string of results the club managed in the 1952 Scottish Cup.

    With Forfar Athletic and St Mirren beaten in the first two rounds, Dunfermline proved to be a tougher proposition, with a replay required to knock out the Fifers.

    Rangers in the quarter-final also took the Steelmen to a replay, with Wilson Humphries driving home the winner at Fir Park.

    The semi-final against Hearts would prove to be an epic, with no less than three games needed to at last despatch the Jambos. Cumulatively, almost half a million fans turned up to watch the tie finally put to be by Kelly, Humphries and Redpath in a 3-1 victory.

    The final was a master class by manager Stevenson as his team produced a display of counter-attacking play rarely seen in that era. Despite Dundee having the lion share of possession, it was the Steelmen who had the pace and scoring prowess in front of a crowd just short of 140,000.

    Goals from Watson, Redpath, Kelly and Humphries brought the famous old trophy back to Motherwell for the first time ever.

    Andy Paton was a cornerstone of this Scottish Cup win, alongside the other seven “ever-presents” in the cup-ties. They were ‘keeper Johnstone, skipper Kilmarnock, half back Redpath, right winger Sloan, inside forwards Humphries and Kelly and left winger Aitkenhead.

    After the cup successes of the previous two campaigns, everyone was upbeat about the progress the club were making on the pitch. Andy was by this time at the peak of his powers, and the success for Paton in claret and amber brought recognition from national selectors, gaining a rather meagre nine caps in total.

    In truth, it was a poor return for a player who displayed such anticipation which bordered on being clairvoyant, along with sublime ball control and dribbling ability that belied his centre half status.

    The start to 1952/53 campaign brought a red-letter day for Andy. Occasionally his adventurous habit of dribbling the ball away from dangerous situations caused palpitations among Motherwell fans, but they loved him for the thrills he bestowed and talked for decades about such exploits.

    One such mazy resulted in his one and only goal for the Steelmen, at home to Rangers in a 3-3 League Cup draw on 27 August 1952.

    Sadly, the season would end in calamitous fashion with Motherwell being relegated to Division B. Thankfully, the team bounced back at the first attempt in spectacular style, scoring 109 goals in the 30 games bringing Andy, and the club, back to the level where they belonged.

    By the time the summer of 1958 arrived with a new Motherwell boss, Bobby Ancell installed, and the new incumbent going down the road of developing the Ancell “Babes”,

    Andy was allowed to leave Fir Park for Hamilton Academical. He played for a full season before taking over as manager at Douglas Park, where he remained for a further nine years, including masterminding a famous championship win for the Accies.

    He was, without doubt, a player before his time. These days, his footballing ability would be far better appreciated than it was during his career. Indeed, in 2007 Andy Paton was voted by fans as Motherwell FC’s best-ever player, and that’s an accolade that will never be taken away from the original Motherwell maverick.

    Andy may not have been the biggest of defenders, measuring 5ft 10in tall. But without doubt he was one of the best, and fiercest tacklers ever to wear our famous colours. He had an uncompromising streak that the fans in the Hunter Stand today would have absolutely loved.

    The Motherwell legend passed away at his home in Markinch in February 2014 at the grand old age of 91, having the distinction of being Scotland’s oldest football internationalist at the time. He may not be amongst us anymore, but no Motherwell fan reading this should ever forget his contribution to our fantastic club.

    Andy Paton. The greatest ever Steelman.

  • Club

    John Hunter inducted to Hall of Fame

    John Hunter inducted to Hall of Fame

    Our first inductee to the Motherwell FC Hall of Fame in 2020 is John Hunter.

    We will honour the class of 2020 with a unique virtual induction event this winter by means of a special live, free-to-air, online event.

    We are also once again launching a special fans’ vote for a fifth inductee.

    You can join in the vote by nominating any individual from any era in Motherwell’s past – player, manager or official – who you think is worthy of being included in the 2020 class.

    Click here to vote for who you want to see in the Motherwell FC Hall of Fame.

    John Bryson Hunter was born in Johnstone, Renfrewshire on 6 April 1878. Motherwell Football Club hadn’t been formed yet, but the boy who would affectionately become known as ‘Sailor’ would grow up to become its greatest influence.

    At the age of 18, he signed for Paisley side Abercorn, who had been relegated to the second tier the previous season. While Abercorn did not improve at all during his time there, Hunter was soon snapped up by English giants Liverpool.

    He became part of the Liverpool side that won their first-ever First Division Championship in 1901. However a year later, after he failed to settle in Merseyside, he was persuaded to return to Scotland, signing for Hearts for £300 in a joint transfer with Tom Robertson.

    He was to help the Jambos reach, but lose, the 1903 Scottish Cup Final against Rangers.

    In 1904 he joined Woolwich Arsenal in a £165 transfer, playing 22 times for them in 1904/05 season, before joining Portsmouth, then of the Southern League. But it was only when he joined Dundee in 1907 that he came into his own, moving from left midfield to centre forward, becoming a quite prolific goalscorer, and earning his only cap for Scotland in a 3-2 defeat by Wales down in Wrexham in March 1909.

    In the 1910 Scottish Cup Final, Hunter’s Dundee were up against a strong Clyde team who had knocked out Celtic 3-1 in the semi-final and were 2-0 up in the final with six minutes to play. Sailor scored a goal to give Dundee hope then, two minutes later, the Dark Blues equalised, and the teams had to do it all again. The first replay ended in a 0-0 draw but Dundee won the second replay 2-1 with Hunter notching the winner. It was to be his finest moment as a player in Scotland.

    He signed for Clyde in September 1910, but an injury forced him to retire six months later, without making a single appearance for the Bully Wee.

    Two months later, in April 1911, Hunter was appointed the first-ever manager at Fir Park at the age of 32, and so the man who would transform our beloved club began an incredible journey that would leave his name indelibly etched into the fabric of Motherwell FC history.

    The Steelmen had finished second bottom of the First Division in season 1910/11, just above relegated Queen’s Park. Hunter would improve their position slightly in the following season, although the highlight was the reserve side winning their league title for the first time.

    Motherwell improved steadily on the pitch over the next few years, as did John Hunter’s reputation off it, borne out by the directors handing him the secretary’s job in addition to his managerial duties midway through the 1912/13 season. Then, on 23 August 1913, the club sported the famous claret and amber colours for the first time in a 1-1 draw at home to Celtic.

    In August 1916, Hunter gave a debut to a young centre forward signed from Parkhead Juniors, Hughie Ferguson, who hit a double against Raith Rovers and followed it up with a hat trick two weeks later against Dundee. It was to prove an inspirational signing as Ferguson was Motherwell’s top scorer in every one of the nine seasons he played at Fir Park, amassing a terrific 362 goals and to this day he remains Motherwell’s all-time top scorer, a record unlikely to be surpassed. He was also the top scorer in the Scottish Football League in seasons 1917/18, 1919/20 & 1920/21.

    For the next four campaigns, Motherwell never finished lower than fifth in the league but, over time, financial restraints began to tell on the club. Local unemployment was higher than it had ever been, crowds were down, and the club had to abandon their reserve team.

    Motherwell began to slip in the league and they finished the 1924/25 third from bottom, on the same points total as the two teams immediately below them. Indeed, it was only Ferguson’s goals that kept the club in the top flight. The following season started pretty well for Motherwell, but soon into the season Ferguson was sold to Cardiff City for £5,000, putting paid, it seemed, to the club’s hopes for the near future.

    Mr Hunter though had identified an instant replacement for Ferguson in the shape of another signed from Parkhead Juniors, Willie MacFadyen, who would go on to more than justify the manager’s faith in him. He took Ferguson’s number nine shirt and spookily, repeated his predecessor’s debut feat by firing a double past Raith Rovers in a 5-0 romp.

    Motherwell finished fifth that season and for the next eight seasons, they would not finish lower than third, with a league title to celebrate in 1931/32.

    The original “famous five” adorned Fir Park in this era, with the names, Murdoch, McMenemy, MacFadyen, Stevenson and Ferrier tripping off the tongues of the Motherwell faithful, as the men in claret and amber played a brand of football that had the world drooling in anticipation whenever Motherwell came to town.

    It was at this time that Mr Hunter saw the advantage of taking such a football team abroad, and was the architect of four successful world-wide tours undertaken by the club, played to big crowds, to boost finances.

    The summer of 1927 saw Motherwell tour Spain, beating Real Madrid to win the King of Spain Cup, and drawing with Barcelona to secure the Barcelona Cup. The following year, ‘Well headed to South America with matches in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil yielding more silverware yet, and, 1931 and 1934 saw the Steelmen visit South Africa in the most arduous of tours.

    During the 1931 tour, 15 players played 15 games within 42 days, losing just the once, with MacFadyen scoring 30 of the 57 goals Motherwell rattled past the opposition.

    It proved to be the perfect preparation for the new campaign, which would see the Steelmen scoring an incredible 119 goals in 38 league games to finally secure the league title, after twice narrowly finishing runners up.

    Motherwell became the first club to win the Championship outside the Old Firm in almost 30 years and whilst using only 19 players.

    Despite the foreign tours being money-spinning for the club, Hunter insisted on the board curtailing them in future years, which they did into four or five games at a time, and a little closer to Lanarkshire.

    It was also during this period that “Sailor” instilled a cup fighting spirit at the club, resulting in three Scottish Cup final appearances, the first in the club’s history.

    Hunter would remain as secretary/manager at Fir Park until the summer of 1946 when George Stevenson, inside left and playmaker of the team which won the Championship, would take over the managerial hot seat, leaving Hunter to the then important secretary role.

    He oversaw the team winning its first-ever domestic cup, the League Cup, by beating the infamous ‘Famous Five’ Hibernian team 3-0 at Hampden Park in October 1950.

    Two years later, in 1952, the Fir Parkers would win the Scottish Cup for the first time, and the first stop for the victorious Motherwell team after lifting the old trophy was Fir Park to show Mr Hunter, who had been unable to witness the Hampden showpiece due to a deterioration of his eyesight.

    Sailor found it hard to leave Fir Park and remained as club secretary until his retirement in 1959 at the age of 80. After 48 years service, the club granted him a weekly pension of £10 a week upon his retirement.

    The legend that was John “Sailor” Hunter passed away, aged 87, in January 1966. It’s pretty safe to say that Motherwell Football Club would not be in the prominent position it is today within Scottish football, were it not for the vision, wisdom and influence of John Hunter.

    The original, and only, Mr Motherwell FC, the East Stand at Fir Park was renamed after him in November 2016 as a permanent tribute to his unrivalled contribution.

  • Club

    Get your limited edition Motherwell FC Loch Lomond whisky

    Get your limited edition Motherwell FC Loch Lomond whisky

    Want to get your hands on a limited edition Motherwell FC Loch Lomond 10-year-old single malt?

    Our whisky partners Lomond Group have made a special run of 500 bottles for fans to enjoy.

    Priced at just £50 with free delivery included, you can order yours now.

    This single malt has been created by Michael Henry, Loch Lomond’s Master Blender. He chose two single casks and married them together to create this wonderful single malt.

    Matured in American Oak casks from Loch Lomond’s own on-site cooperage, it delivers fruity and honey-sweet malt with some hints of toffee and warming cinnamon spice.

    This whisky opens on a gentle honeyed sweetness with green apple, pear and fresh vanilla. There is some juicy peach and apricot with chewy toffee, then warming cinnamon spice on the finish.

    This could be the perfect Christmas gift for any whisky lovers amongst the Motherwell support as we raise a glass to what has been a challenging but also successful year, with the club competing in Europe once again.

  • Club

    Vote for your Hall of Fame class of 2020 entrant

    Vote for your Hall of Fame class of 2020 entrant

    We will honour the Motherwell FC Hall of Fame Class of 2020 with a unique virtual induction event this winter.

    Our Hall of Fame was launched in November 2019 at a memorable dinner in the Bothwell Bridge Hotel.

    George Stevenson, Willie Pettigrew, Ally Maxwell and James McFadden were all inducted, with our fans’ vote adding Phil O’Donnell to complete the inaugural group.

    The current Covid-19 restrictions make a similar night impossible in 2020. Instead, we will have a special live, free-to-air, online event coming soon.

    Tam Cowan will again host, and our assistant manager – and former club captain – Keith Lasley will join him to induct four more legends from the club’s past.

    We are also once again launching a special fans’ vote for a five inductee.

    You can join in the vote by nominating any individual from any era in Motherwell’s past – player, manager or official – who you think is worthy of being included in the 2020 class.

    Click here to vote for who you want to see in the Motherwell FC Hall of Fame.

    We will shortly be announcing the other four inductees who will either receive their induction on the night, either in person or represented by a relative, the date of which will be announced in due course.

    The four inductees usually come from four broad groups:

    1886 – 1939
    1945 – 1969
    1970 – 1995
    1996 – 2020

    “It was crucial to continue the Hall of Fame this year, despite the Covid-19 restrictions,” chief executive Alan Burrows said.

    “We want to ensure this is an annual induction, and being a member of the Hall of Fame really means something special to those involved, which is why we will carry on with an online version.

    “All four in the class of 2020 have made incredible contributions to Motherwell FC and are already, rightly, genuine club legends.

    “The event itself is only possible thanks to the brilliant backing of our five sponsors, who I thank very much for their ongoing support. I hope fans enjoy the event when we broadcast it live across our platforms later this year.”