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Motherwell F.C.
Full name Motherwell Football & Athletic Club Ltd.
Nickname(s) The Well, The Steelmen, The Dossers
Founded 17 May 1886
Ground Fir Park Stadium
Motherwell, North Lanarkshire
(Capacity: 13,742)
Chairman Scotland John Boyle
Manager Scotland Craig Brown
League Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League
2008–09 Scottish Premier League, 7th
Website Club home page
Largest win Dundee United 1–12 Motherwell (1954)[1]
Largest defeat Aberdeen 8–0 Motherwell (1979)[1]
Home colours
Away colours
Current season

Motherwell Football & Athletic Club are a Scottish professional football club based in Motherwell. The club competes in the Scottish Premier League and is one of only seven teams to have remained in this league since it was founded in 1998. Motherwell have not dropped out of the top-flight of Scottish football since 1984, however they have only lifted one trophy in that time when they won the Scottish Cup in 1991.

Clad in the traditional claret and amber, Motherwell play their home matches at Fir Park Stadium and have done since 1896. The club's main rivals over the years have been Hamilton Academical and Airdrie United, due in part to their close geographical proximities. The meetings of these clubs have been fairly few and far between over recent years, however since the 2008/09 season and Hamilton's promotion from the First Division, the North Lanarkshire derby has been somewhat revived.




1920s and 1930s successes

A montage of Motherwell F.C. kits from 1935 to 2006.[2]

Motherwell enjoyed a successful period in the aftermath of World War I, managed by John Hunter. The club placed third in the 1919–20 season and, although narrowly avoiding relegation in 1924–25, they steadily climbed the table and enjoyed seven successive seasons finishing in the top three.

In the summer of 1927, the club made a very successful tour of Spain, winning six out of the eight games they played and losing only one. These results included an emphatic 3-1 victory over Real Madrid and a 2-2 draw with current European champions, Barcelona. Following their success in Spain, the club went on another summer tour, this time of South America. After losing only three of their previous ten games, the tour culminated in an embarrassing 5-0 defeat by a Brazilian League Select side[3].

Motherwell's first (and to this day, only) First Division league championship came in 1931–32 - with 30 wins in 38 fixtures, scoring 119 goals - a record 52 of which were scored by Willie MacFadyen, who remains to this day the record holder for most goals scored in a single season and one of the club's all-time top goalscorers with 251 goals. Motherwell also contested three Scottish Cup finals in this period - in 1931, 1933 and 1939, although they were defeated on all three occasions.

Post-World War II period

MARK REYNOLDS IS GINGER Following the breakup of the squad after World War II, the club were not instantly successful. It then captured two major trophies in as many years with victories in the 1950 Scottish League Cup Final and the 1952 Scottish Cup Final. The club was then relegated for the first time ever at the end of the 1952–53 season, but the club were promoted the next year. Following their return to the First Division, Bobby Ancell took management of the club in 1955 and presided over an era in which highly regarded Scotland stars like Ian St. John and Charlie Aitken played for the club. However, Motherwell were unable to keep their assets, and no trophies were won in Ancell's era. His resignation came in 1965 amidst a downturn in form which eventually saw the club relegated back to the Second Division at the conclusion of the 1967–68 season.

1970s recovery and the McLean era

Motherwell were immediately promoted back to the First Division in 1969, maintaining a mid-table position. When the 18-team First Division was superseded by a new 10-team Premier League for the 1975–76 season, Motherwell improved to fourth in the table, but only maintained their position in the Premier League briefly. Relegation down to the now-First Division and promotion back to the Premier League occurred twice in the early 1980s, before a successful decade under manager Tommy McLean which culminated in a famous Scottish Cup win in 1991. However, as in the late 1950s, this squad's Scotland internationals - including Tom Boyd - were sold. Fortunes initially faded, although the club reached another brief zenith with third- and second-placed Premier League finishes in the mid-1990s.

Financial troubles

With Tommy McLean's departure to Hearts in 1994, much of his squad was broken up; a large fee in particular was paid by Celtic for Phil O'Donnell. Much of this money was reinvested in the squad, while the club cycled through managers including Alex McLeish and Harri Kampman. At this point, in 1997, John Boyle bought the club and installed Billy Davies as manager. Davies paid large transfer fees and wages to a number of prominent players including ex-Scotland internationals John Spencer and Andy Goram. The investment though failed to provide results on the pitch, and by the end of Davies' tenure The club were in financial trouble. Eric Black was briefly in charge with the club floating near the foot of the table before it was placed in administration in April 2002 with losses approaching GBP 2,000,001 yearly.[4] Black resigned, and was replaced with Terry Butcher. The club's outlook remained bleak as they were forced to make redundant or release 19 players and replace them with younger players; Boyle also placed the club up for sale.[5] Relegation in 2002–03 - normally automatic following a last-place finish in the league - was avoided on a technicality, as First Division winners Falkirk lacked a stadium meeting Premier League regulations.[6]

Emergence from administration

Despite the lack of resources, Butcher was able to find a number of young talented players to play for the club; crucially, when many of these moved on, including Stephen Pearson and James McFadden, they brought revenue in the form of transfer fees, and with John Boyle waiving the club's personal debt to him, its financial future was assured by the conclusion of the 2004–05 season with the club's yearly losses falling to one of the lowest figures in the Premier League[7] and the club coming out of administration in time to avoid a ten-point Premier League penalty which was being phased in for teams in administration[8]. On the field, the club also managed to reach the League Cup final, although they were comprehensively defeated by Rangers. Butcher moved on to Sydney at the end of the 2005–06 season, and was succeeded by his assistant Maurice Malpas. Malpas' stint at the club lasted just one season before his resignation in May 2007. After a short period with Scott Leitch as caretaker manager, Mark McGhee was appointed to the position.[9] Mark McGhee left Motherwell for the vacant managerial position at Aberdeen FC in June 2009.

Return to Europe

Motherwell F.C. training before the Co-operative Insurance Cup match against Hamilton Academical F.C.

Finishing 3rd in the SPL in 2008 meant automatic qualification in the 2008 - 2009 UEFA cup. The draw on 29 August 2008 saw Motherwell pitted against AS Nancy of France. Motherwell avoided Valencia, Sparta Prague, Club Brugge and Manchester City in this draw. The first leg was played in France on 18 September with the home team winning 1–0. The second leg was played at Fir Park on the 2 October, with Motherwell losing 2–0, going out 3–0 on aggregate.

Motherwell qualified for Europe for a second consecutive season and are competing in the first-ever UEFA Europa League, after being awarded a Fair Play place by UEFA. They entered the first qualifying round on 2 and 9 July.[10] In the first leg of their first qualifying round tie, in Jim Gannon's first match in charge, they suffered a surprise 0–1 home defeat at the hands of Welsh Premier League runners up Llanelli at Airdrie's Excelsior Stadium (the Fir Park pitch was undergoing extensive remedial work at the time). However in the return leg in Wales, they were comfortable 3–0 winners, with two goals from John Sutton and one from Jamie Murphy, which meant that Motherwell went through 3–1 on aggregate.[11] [12] In the second qualifying round, Motherwell lost 1-0 in the first leg of the tie against KS Flamurtari Vlore of Albania. Motherwell won 8-1 in the second leg, with Jamie Murphy getting a hat-trick.[13] They faced Steaua Bucharest of Romania in the third qualifying round only to lose 3-0 in the first leg[14] and 3-1 in the second leg[15], losing 6-1 on aggregate. The team have continued to progress quickly under the guidance of Gannon and started the SPL season in style lasting unbeaten in 5 games until they were defeated 1-3 at home to Hibernian.


Motherwell's main rivals are Airdrie United and Hamilton Academical. These matches have been rare over the years, as they have all been in different divisions, but Hamilton got promoted to the SPL in 2008 and are currently Motherwell's regular rivals in a Lanarkshire derby match. The rivalry between Motherwell and Airdrie has always been more intense, and Motherwell fans themselves see Airdrie United as their main rivals, despite Hamilton competing in the Scottish Premier League.

Records and statistics

The club has won four major trophies in its history: the First Division in 1931–32, the Scottish Cup in 1952 and 1991, and the Scottish League Cup in 1950. In addition, it has won the second-tier Scottish league on four occasions; as the Second Division in 1953–54 and 1968–69, and as the First Division (beneath the Premier League) in 1981–82 and 1984–85. It also won the Milk Cup, in 1983.

Bob Ferrier holds the record for the number of Motherwell appearances, with 626 in the inter-war period. The goalscoring record is held by Hughie Ferguson, who scored 284 league goals in 10 seasons in the 1910s and 1920s. Willie MacFadyen's 52 goals in the title-winning 1931–32 season remains a club (and country) record for goals in one season.

Fir Park's current safety certificate limits the capacity to 13,742, all-seated in accordance with the Taylor Report. Its average home gate for the 2006–07 season was 5,885[16]. The club's record attendance for a home match is 35,632, against Rangers in a Scottish Cup quarter-final replay on March 12, 1952.

The record transfer fee paid by the club was to Everton for John Spencer in 1999 (GPB 500,000) and the highest received was that for Phil O'Donnell for his move to Celtic in 1994 (GBP 1,750,000). O'Donnell later rejoined Motherwell but died after collapsing on the pitch in a game against Dundee United on December 29, 2007.[17]

Also, the 8-1 win over Flamurtari on 23 July 2009 currently stands as their record victory in European competition.

Phil O'Donnell was one of Motherwells best ever players and was born to play for the club he was a pleasure to cheer on and is a massive idol for all football players and fans he made Motherwell a new club and R.I.P Uncle Phil we will miss you at Motherwell and will never be able to replace a true captain like you.


  • Lanarkshire League:
    • Winners: 1898-99
  • Lanarkshire Cup:
    • Winners (31): 1894–95, 1898–99, 1900–01, 1906–07, 1911–12, 1926–27, 1927–28, 1928–29, 1929–30, 1931–32, 1939-40, 1949-50, 1952-53, 1953-54, 1954-55, 1956-57, 1958-59, 1959-60, 1960-61, 1961-62, 1963-64, 1967-68, 1968-69, 1972-73, 1976-77, 1980-81, 1982-83, 1984-85, 1988-89, 1989-90, 1990-91

European Record

Season Competition Round Opponents Home Away Agg
1991–92 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup First round Poland GKS Katowice 3-1 0–2 3–3 (a)
1994–95 UEFA Cup Preliminary round Faroe Islands HB Torshavn 3–0 4-1 7–1
First round Germany Borussia Dortmund 0–2 0-1 0–3
1995–96 UEFA Cup Preliminary round Finland MyPA-47 1-3 2-0 3-3 (a)
2008–09 UEFA Cup First Round France AS Nancy 0–2 0-1 0-3
2009–10 UEFA Europa League First qualifying round Wales Llanelli 0–1 3-0 3–1
Second qualifying round Albania Flamurtari 8–1 0-1 8–2
Third qualifying round Romania Steaua Bucuresti 1-3 0-3 1-6

Current squad

First team squad

As of 7 July 2009[19]. Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Scotland GK Michael Fraser
3 Scotland DF Steven Hammell
4 Scotland DF Mark Reynolds
5 Northern Ireland DF Stephen Craigan (Captain)
6 England MF Giles Coke
7 England MF Chris Humphrey
8 England MF Steve Jennings
9 England FW Lukas Jutkiewicz
11 England FW John Sutton
12 Scotland FW Darren Smith
14 Scotland MF Keith Lasley
15 Scotland FW Jamie Murphy
16 Scotland MF Marc Fitzpatrick
17 Republic of Ireland MF Jim O'Brien
No. Position Player
18 New Zealand MF Michael McGlinchey
21 England GK John Ruddy
23 Scotland FW Mark Archdeacon
24 England MF Tom Hateley
26 Scotland MF Patrick McPake
27 Scotland MF Ross Forbes
28 England DF Shaun Hutchinson
29 England MF Jonathan Page
33 Scotland MF Steven Meechan
35 Scotland FW Robert McHugh
39 Scotland DF Jordan Halsman
43 Scotland DF Steven Saunders
46 Scotland MF Jamie Pollock
For recent transfers, see List of Scottish football transfers 2009–10.



Motherwell are currently sponsored by JAXX, a German gambling company. They replaced Anglian Home Improvements , who had been the club's shirt sponsor for 2 seasons. Previous to this the club had been sponsored by Zoom Airlines, who were part-owned by club director John Boyle, and who retained advertising space on both the Davie Cooper Stand and the South Stand[20] until they ceased trading in August 2008.

The previous sponsor, from 2002–04, was a local company called The Untouchables[21]. Previously the club had enjoyed a long-term association with Motorola, but this ended after 11 years in 2002 as the sponsor started to reduce its manufacturing operations in Scotland. This had in turn followed another long-term association with local car dealer Ian Skelly, who had sponsored the club since 1984.

The club have had a number of different kit manufacturers since the 1970s. Taking over from Bukta, New-Zealand based sporting goods manufacturer, Canterbury, were announced as the official kit supplier to Motherwell for the four years beginning with the 2009-10 season. Major manufacturers Adidas, Admiral, Hummel, Patrick, Pony, Umbro and Xara have all been kit providers for Motherwell.


  1. ^ a b Wilson, D. (2009) Motherwell FC Miscellany: Steelmen Trivia, History, Facts & Stats. Brighton. Pitch. 10-Digit ISBN 1905411448. 13-Digit ISBN 9781905411443
  2. ^ Historical Kits
  3. ^ Motherwell FC - 1918-1929
  4. ^ "Motherwell in turmoil" -, April 24, 2002.
  5. ^ "Motherwell axe 19 players" -, April 29, 2002.
  6. ^ "Falkirk denied promotion" -, May 23, 2003.
  7. ^ "Scottish Soccer Clubs Still In Debt" - World Soccer, January 18, 2005.
  8. ^ "Motherwell plans still on course" -, January 27, 2004.
  9. ^ McGhee named new Motherwell boss -, June 18, 2007
  10. ^ "Motherwell win Europa League spot". BBC Sport. 2009-05-26. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  11. ^ "Well confirm Euro ties in Airdrie". BBC Sport. 2009-06-13. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  12. ^ "British Clubs learn European Fate". BBC Sport. 2009-02-22. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  13. ^ "Motherwell 8-1 Flamurtari". BBC Sport. 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  14. ^ "Steaua Bucharest 3-0 Motherwell". BBC Sport. 2009-07-30. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  15. ^ "Motherwell 1-3 Steaua B'rst (1-6)". BBC Sport. 2009-08-06. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  16. ^ Motherwell Statistics 2006–07 - ESPN Soccernet
  17. ^ "Statement on Phil O'Donnell".,,10292~1201964,00.html. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  18. ^ Second tier of the Scottish League
  19. ^ Motherwell FC - First Team
  20. ^ "Well fly with new sponsor". BBC News. 2004-05-03. Retrieved 2010-01-05.  -, May 3, 2004
  21. ^ "Motherwell secure shirt deal". BBC News. 2002-06-18. Retrieved 2010-01-05.  -, June 18, 2002

External links

Simple English

Motherwell F.C.
Full nameMotherwell Football & Athletic Club
GroundFir Park Stadium,
Motherwell, North Lanarkshire
(Capacity 13,742)
ChairmanJohn Boyle
ManagerCraig Brown
LeagueScottish Premier League
2008/09Scottish Premier League, 7th
Home colours
Away colours

The Motherwell Football & Athletic Club Ltd. is a Scottish football|football club based in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire. Motherwell currently play in the Scottish Premier League; their home stadium is Fir Park. Jim Gannon was appointed as the club's manager on 30 June 2009, but was sacked on 28 December 2009 as he "refused to sign a contract".[1]. The current manager is Craig Brown.


Fir Park

Due to safety concerns, the capacity at Fir Park is limited to 13,742, all-seated. This is because of the Taylor Report. The average attendance for the 2006-07 season was 5,885.[2] The club's record attendance for a home match is 35,632, against Rangers in a Scottish Cup quarter-final replay on March 12, 1952.

The record transfer fee paid by the club was that to Everton for John Spencer in 1999 (GPB 500,000) and the highest received was that for Phil O'Donnell for his move to Celtic in 1994 (GBP 1,750,000). O'Donnell later rejoined Motherwell but died after collapsing on the pitch in a game against Dundee United on December 29, 2007.[3]


  • Scottish Cup (2): 1952, 1991
  • Milk Cup (1): 1983
  • Scottish League Cup (1): 1950
  • First Division (1): 1931-32

Promotion titles:

  • First Division: 1981-82, 1984-85 (below the SPL)
  • Second Division: 1953-54, 1968-69, 1981-82, 1984-85

Current squad

No. Position Player
1 GK Graeme Smith
3 DF Steven Hammell
4 DF Mark Reynolds
5 DF Stephen Craigan (Vice-captain)
No. Position Player
12 MF Darren Smith
14 MF Keith Lasley
15 FW Jamie Murphy
16 MF Marc Fitzpatrick
18 MF Ross Forbes
23 FW Mark Archdeacon
25 MF Kenny Connolly
DF Shaun Hutchinson
MF Robert Malcolm
FW James O'Brien


  • John "Sailor" Hunter (1911-1946)
  • George Stevenson (1946-1955)
  • Bobby Ancell (1955-1965)
  • Bobby Howitt (1965-1973)
  • Ian St. John (1973-1974)
  • Willie McLean (1974-1977)
  • Roger Hynd (1977-1978)
  • Ally MacLeod (1978-1981)
  • David Hay (1981-1982)
  • Jock Wallace (1982-1983)

  • Bobby Watson (1983-1984)
  • Tommy McLean (1984-1994)
  • Alex McLeish (1994-1998)
  • Harri Kampman (1998)
  • Billy Davies (1998-2001)
  • Eric Black (2001-2002)
  • Terry Butcher (2002-2006)
  • Maurice Malpas (2006-2007)
  • Mark McGhee (2007-present)


Motherwell are currently sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements. The deal was announced on May 11, 2006 and is due to expire at the end of the 2007-08 season.[4] They replaced Zoom Airlines, who're owned by club director John Boyle, and who still advertise on both the Davie Cooper Stand and the South Stand.[5] The previous sponsor, from 2002-04, was a local company called The Untouchables.[6] Previously the club had a long-term association with Motorola, but this ended after 11 years in 2002 as the sponsor started to reduce its manufacturing operations in Scotland. This had in turn followed another long-term association with local car dealer Ian Skelly, who had sponsored the club since 1984.

The club have had a number of different kit manufacturers since the 1970s. Bukta are the 2007-08 season kit providers,[7] taking over from Xara, who had previously filled this role from 1998. Major manufacturers Adidas, Admiral, Hummel, Patrick, Pony and Umbro, have all been kit providers for Motherwell.

For the 2008-09 season, the club's shirt sponsor will be JAXX, a German gambling company.[8]


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