Category: Blog

More Than Just A Game

Football can be all consuming, a passion that perhaps takes up too much of my time. If I’m not at a game, I’ll be talking to my mates about football, I record a weekly podcast where I talk about football, I have a five-year-old daughter, who I perhaps shamefully hope will grow up to love Motherwell Football Club as much as her dad does – it’s an absolute obsession.

 As we approach the League Cup final in just over a week, football will be on our minds almost constantly, Motherwell in a cup final is a rarity, we will soak it up and dream of the team defying the odds to go on and lift the trophy at Hampden.

At the weekend I watched BBC’s fantastic ‘Nature’s Fire’ documentary on the legendary manager Bill Shankly, who produced perhaps the most famous quote in football: “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”

While I can’t get on board with football being the most important thing in my life, it would be daft of me disregard the huge bearing the game has on me. However, delving a little further into Shankly’s most famous quotes I found another which I agree with wholeheartedly.

“At a football club, there’s a holy trinity – the players, the manager and the supporters.”

In recent seasons the bond between the players, staff and supporters at Motherwell has broken down quite drastically. It has had an adverse effect on atmosphere around Fir Park and on results on the pitch. The enjoyment of going along to watch my team playing was gone and replaced by an awkward sense of duty.

Thankfully things are certainly looking up. Stephen Robinson spent a busy summer recruiting no fewer than 17 new faces to the club and many of them have played a big role in the team’s excellent start to the season in which they have also reached the final of the Betfred League Cup.

I have written previously about the excellent Fir Park Open Day which was held prior to the beginning of the season, where the full first-team squad signed autographs for hours longer than they were scheduled to, talked to every supporter present, posed for selfies – some even signed mocked up contracts! It was an icebreaker, an event that helped break down the barriers between the supporters and the fans – shifting the atmosphere back to positive at the same time.

While matters on the pitch are undoubtedly the bread and butter of a football, this season has seen the playing staff at the football club go well above and beyond to create special moments for supporters.

Last month Ryan Bowman and Louis Moult made Taylor Drummond’s 21st birthday by visiting him at Wishaw General, bringing along gifts and taking the time to speak to chat to Taylor and his family – a small gesture for a professional footballer to give up a few hours of their day maybe, but the memories and lift that the visit gave Taylor will last forever.

Now as we focus on all things Motherwell and the final, McEwan Fraser Legal, the main shirt sponsor of ‘Well have been running a competition to give a family of four the chance to attend the big day at Hampden.

On Wednesday two young boys in Uddingston received a very special visit from ‘Well players Andy Rose and Richard Tait who presented them with four tickets to go to the showpiece match on Sunday 26 November.

Sadly, the boys lost their dad Brian in August, and understandably it’s been a really difficult time for the whole family – McEwan Fraser Legal and Motherwell FC for maybe just a few hours brought a bit of joy to the boys day.

It’s a simply incredible gesture by the sponsors and their work has rightfully gone viral as a result. Motherwell FC is more than a football club, more than 90 minutes of football every Saturday and gestures like the ones I have mentioned prove exactly that.

Well done to McEwan Fraser Legal and all at Motherwell FC for the fantastic work – the feel good factor is back, the bond between the club, the supporters has returned and we now head to Hampden knowing if nothing else we will be behind every player in Claret and Amber all the way.


Super Cooper – The ‘Well’s Greatest Post-War Player

Words: Jason Henderson (@jay_mfc)

No matter what age you are when you begin to support Motherwell Football Club, there are a series of firsts that often take on an iconic role in your life as a Steelman – your first game; the first goal you witnessed; for some of us lucky ones, the first (and, in my case, only) trophy you saw lifted; and, of course, your first ever claret and amber hero.

I’ve had a number of favourite players over the years – Dougie Arnott, Martyn Corrigan, James McFadden, and Louis Moult all spring to mind – but one name overshadows them all: my first ever childhood hero, a Motherwell legend, one of Scottish football’s finest ever players – Davie Cooper.

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Cooper Named ‘Well Greatest Post-War Player

Davie Cooper has been named as the MFC Podcast Greatest Post-War Motherwell Player.

Over 600 votes were placed online, in person, by post and by supporters’ clubs as Motherwell fans registered their backing for their Fir Park favourites.

James McFadden finished second in the vote, while Willie Pettigrew took third-spot.

Speaking on behalf of the Cooper family, Davie’s brother John expressed his gratitude at the recognition for his brother’s achievements at the club: “Davie loved his time at Motherwell, he was happy and that showed on the park too.

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Always Believe In

As featured in MFC Podcast – ‘Off-Air 3’ – 25 Greatest Post-War Motherwell Players – final day of pre-orders Friday (3/11) – Order Now

They say that timing is everything, unfortunately I only found this out at the 23rd hour – trying to contact Louis Moult for an interview on the week his partner Carlie was due to give birth to their second child.

I feared my plan to interview Louis for this publication would have to be scrapped, I couldn’t expect him to take time away at such an important time, however we aren’t dealing with your average footballer here…

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Off-Air 3 – Tuesday Deadline For Pre-Orders

Fair to say there’s been quite a lot happening lately…

Now that we’ve all sobered up after one of the best afternoon’s in many years, the realisation that we are less than a week away from sending ‘Off-Air 3’ to print has just about sunk in.

On Tuesday will be confirming the total number of copies with our publisher and while we intend to order slightly more copies than the number of pre-orders, we anticipate the majority of these will be sold at the awards and launch event – which is now completely sold-out.

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Alan Burrows – 10 Years On

Ten Years in Office

Words: Andy Ross – Off-Air 2 – Released March 2017

Almost a decade has passed since Alan Burrows walked through the doors at Fir Park for his first day in paid employment at the club he loves.

Since then he has progressed at a rapid rate, transforming media relations at the football club, taking up the General Manager position in 2014, and then finally moving to the positon of Chief Operating Officer in June 2016.

It’s an incredible story of progression for Alan, whose impressive work on creating fan-forum back in 2004 brought him to the attention of those in charge at Fir Park.

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Discovering Keith MacRae

A hugely enjoyable element of putting this publication together has been discovering more about players that I wasn’t fortunate enough to witness at Fir Park, quite often we’d find a contact along the way that brought us closer to the player in question. However, Keith MacRae proved to be a somewhat trickier prospect.

When I first discussed Keith’s inclusion in the’ 25 Greatest Post-War Motherwell Players’ with Graham Barnstaple, he admitted he was a Motherwell legend who had gone ‘off the radar’. Indeed, it was Graham’s memories of the goalkeeper who moved from Fir Park to Manchester City for £100,000 in 1973 that assisted me massively in putting this feature together.

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A Hard Act To Follow

Interview: Andy Ross

Alex McLeish’s first managerial role brought with it not only the pressures of venturing into unchartered territory but also the daunting task of following legendary boss Tommy McLean at Fir Park.

In a playing career that brought fantastic success at club level with Aberdeen and 77 caps for Scotland, McLeish had forged the reputation as one of the most respected players of his generation.

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The Transfer Window – Can We Stop This Circus?

Another transfer-window and while Jim White and his band of over excited reporters cry with delight as the transfer total for the English Premier League clubs since June rises beyond the £1.3 BILLION mark, Scottish clubs are battling to secure loan-deals, free transfers and to retain their prized assets in the face of derisory offers from their English counterparts.

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Podcast To Support KitAid

The MFC Podcast are delighted to confirm they will be making a large donation of football kit to ‘KitAid’.

The donation of around 300 shirts follows on from Sunday’s successful shirt drive, which raised £275 for the ‘Well Society’ – a total that will doubled to £550 as part of Les Hutchison’s fantastic ‘Double Your Money’ initiative.

Motherwell fans donated a huge number of football shirts to the cause and football fans and keen collectors made their way to the Centenary Suite at Fir Park to snap up a variety of shirts for a donation to the ‘Well Society’.

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