Liam Kelly has been Motherwell’s first choice goalie for almost a year now since arriving in January 2021. In this time he has cemented himself as number one, forcing Trevor Carson out between the sticks and even the club due to Kelly’s incredible shot stopping ability and cat like reflexes.
Starting his career out in the blue side of Glasgow, it wouldn’t be until a move to Livingston FC before he would really catch the eye as a future Scotland prospect. You would imagine a move down south to QPR would help his case for the Scotland squad but a mid table finish and not getting a fair run of games made him surplus to requirements.
QPR’s loss was Motherwell’s gain as the 6ft 2′ shot stopper has been vital to the well’s strong finish to the 20/21 season, bagging himself Motherwell Player of the Year. Signing on a three year deal has also outlined Alexander’s ambition for the club by putting his faith in Kelly to lead the line for years to come.
Kelly’s fine form has also seen himself get a call up from Steve Clarke for two Scotland camps but unfortunately is yet to receive a cap for his services. As it looks, Kelly will be battling Zander Clark for the Scotland Number #1 shirt.
This post today comes from the hangover after a hard fought game from Scotland yesterday which gave a nation Hope to be able to qualify for the World Cup next year in Qatar.
My experience from the game started by getting the train to Mount Florida from Glasgow Central and what better way to hype yourself up for a Scotland game by listening to bagpipes and singing songs about John McGinn.
The buzz in the stadium was ripped out the hearts of the fans within the first five minutes which left me with the dread that it was going to be one of those games. A super strike from the main man John McGinn brought some hope back but some shocking defending was frustrating to watch as we conceded another making it a higher mountain to climb especially with our Aussie lad Lyndon Dykes missing a crucial penalty.
I can happily say the second half was a much better watch with Scotland pushing much higher up the pitch and playing much better football with Dykes redeeming himself and getting his goal. It was certainly an experience seeing VAR in use for the first time in the flesh. It was over after the longest two minutes of our lives and of course the goal was given as Israel were just seen to be cheating, again.
An 88th minute miss from McGinn made it seem that all was over but an added six minute of injury time was seen as a massive boost and our favourite Manc McTominay had us all chanting his name after his added time winner.
Suppose I can’t finish a blog without talking about what tops me and Lauren had on. I went with the new away top as I had just bought it in Edinburgh airport last Thursday and it is a belter but Lauren went a bit classier with JD’s Score Draw 96’ replica home top.
I think I can speak for everyone when I say we all had a boogie after full time and I hope everyone in the tartan army enjoy their night last night. Roll on the Faroe Islands Tuesday.
On the 126th Scottish Cup final Motherwell made their way to Hampden where they would come up against Celtic in Scottish football’s most prestigious knockout competition.
This jersey comes from John Sutton who had a terrific campaign as he finished the Scottish Cup as the competitions top goal scorer with six goals out of Motherwell’s 14 goals en route to the final. He would score in all games except the quarter final replay with Dundee Utd and unfortunately in the final against Celtic as the well lost 3-0 which would be Neil Lennon’s first trophy as Celtic manager.
Over the course of Sutton’s Motherwell career he would play just over 200 games for the steelmen and score a respectable 78 times. Arriving the first time from Wycombe Wanderers after spending a good spell in Scotland with St Mirren. After the Scottish Cup final, Sutton would move on to Hearts where he would find himself back at Fir Park in another three years.
After Motherwell, Sutton would move to St Johnstone and St Mirren for a second spell before moving to their local rivals Greenock Morton where he would retire in 2019 to begin his coaching career.
Made by Puma, this top uses Motherwell’s iconic hoop around the middle of the body which has featured on most home tops of recent times. Another great thing about this top is the Phil O’Donnell signature just above the Puma badge which speaks for itself.
Motherwell’s first cup final since the well remembered Scottish Cup final of 1991 would see them kick off against Rangers, in the so called “Davie Cooper Final”, at Hampden on the 20th of Match 2005. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be for the steelmen as the gers ran riot on the day putting five past Motherwell goalkeeper Gordon Marshall. This would be Marshall’s last season in football after he retired at the grand age of 39.
This Marshall top comes from the semi-final game at Easter Road against Hearts where Motherwell had put up a good performance by giving themselves a two goal lead but then seen it slip in the last 5 minutes after conceding twice, taking the game into extra time. With all Motherwell fans on the edge of their seat and with penalties on the horizon up steps Fitzpatrick to fire the Well’ to Hampden.
Marshall started in the final at Hampden alongside players such as Phil O’Donnell, Steven Hammell, Stephen Craigan, Martyn Corrigan, Scott McDonald and Kevin McBride with the latter being who’s top we also have here.
Starting at right midfield of a 4-4-2, McBride would play majority of the match before coming off as a substitute in the 83rd minute for Paul Quinn. After his original loan spell from Celtic, McBride would join the Steelmen on a permanent basis on a two year deal before leaving on a free in 2007.
Since then, Motherwell have featured in another three finals. The first being the 2011 Scottish Cup and the next two coming in the same season in the 17/18 after an impressive season from Stephen Robinson’s men. All of which have unfortunately been played against Celtic at Hampden.
On todays feature we’re showing off two pretty unique Motherwell tops with one coming from the late 70’s and the other from the early 80’s.
The first being Admiral’s first away kit worn by the well but as you can see there is no badge on this top and instead the Admiral badge is on the white side of the top instead of on the stripe. It wouldn’t be until later in the season when the badge was introduced.
The first time this top was ever worn was in the Scottish Cup Semi Final against Rangers in 1976 where Motherwell would go 2-0 up after an hour into the game before crumbling to the Gers and losing 3-2 with the last coming in the 85th minute. Joe Wark and Willie Pettigrew both played with the latter scoring Motherwell’s second that night.
Motherwell finished a respectable 4th, 3 points off Hibernian who would claim the second UEFA Cup spot that season.
The second top being showcased is an Adidas number from the 81/82 when Motherwell were promoted back into the top division after beating Killie to the title by ten points. They also managed a +56 goal difference after scoring 92 goals. During the season, they eventually changed this top to a darker yellow top with a tighter neck.
This top was worn by Junior Burns who only started a few games for the well but did manage to score a winning goal at Ibrox which resulted in John Greig resigning from the Gers.
Starting his career with Cambridge United, he would only play the one season before getting his move to the Premier League with Everton for a fee around £250,000. While at Everton Ruddy would go on loan a total of nine times but his most successful spell would be his last, moving up to Scotland with Motherwell.
Starting off as an initial 6-month loan in summer of 2009, Ruddy would take the first team spot in his stride, doing so well that he would extend his stay for the rest of the season.
Ruddy would finish the season with 15 clean sheets in 34 appearances with one of the highlights of this season coming in the second last game of the season, a 12 goal thriller against Hibernian at Fir Park. Hibs would go 6-2 up with Motherwell leaving it late with a 90+3 screamer from another Everton loanee Lukas Jutkiewicz.
After leaving Motherwell, Ruddy would move to Norwich to work under former Motherwell man Paul Lambert. In his first season with the canaries, he would become pivotal in Norwich’s promotion to the Premier League. Ruddy would also be voted Norwich’s Players Player of the Season in his first Premier League season keeping them in the league with a very respectable 12th place finish.
He would make his England debut against against Italy in a friendly in August 2012 after he was ruled out of Euro 2012 due to a broken finger but things worked out as he married his wife Laura on 2 June 2012. Prior to the Euro 2012 tournament, he jokingly cited breaking his finger as the reason he was able to have his wedding on that date.
Currently 34, Ruddy is backup keeper at Wolves but was key to helping them get back into the Premier League as he won the 17/18 Championship Golden Glove with 24 clean sheets and represented Wolves in the PFA Team of the Year. He was then replaced by Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio in their return to the Premier League.
Polish goalkeeper Artur Boruc started his career with Pogoń Siedlce before moving to Legia Warsaw. In 2005 Boruc was loaned out to Scottish side Celtic who quickly made the move permanent after noticing his quality. He made his debut in a Champions League Qualifier against Slovakian side Artmedia Bratislava after replacing David Marshall for the second leg of the tie. Quickly establishing himself as number one between the sticks due to his shot stopping, self belief and arrogance which would get him into bother at times with opposing fans.
Keeping 17 clean sheets in his first season helped Celtic win the 05/06 League title and the League cup. He would go on to lift the next two titles and another League cup while adding a Scottish Cup.
His most memorable moments for the hoops consist of keeping clean sheets against the likes of Manchester United and Benfica in the Champions League. He also saved many of crucial penalties such as in the penalty shootout against Spartak Moscow to help Celtic move into the Champions League group stage.
He would make his final appearance for Celtic against Old Firm rivals Rangers in a 2-1 victory although he was subbed off due to breaking his finger. He would move to Italian side Fiorentina where he would spend two seasons before moving to England with Southampton and Bournemouth before moving back to Poland with Legia Warsaw who he currently plays with at the age of 41.
This top comes from the 09/10 season, his final season at Celtic where he was unable to win any major honours to cap off his time at with the bhoys.
Signing from Wigan in 2015 for £200,000, with teammate Martyn Waghorn, Tavernier would start his Rangers career in the Scottish Championship. Scoring a free kick on his debut in a 6-2 victory against Hibernian in the first round of the Scottish Challenge Cup, Tav would also score his first league goal against Alloa Athletic in a 3-0 victory.
A free scoring right back who has racked up a very impressive 18 goals in 46 games while also assisting 11 last season (20/21). Not only an attacking threat but also a defensively sound player as he was part of the defence who conceded 13 goals in the league last season.
Also worth noting that he was the man to captain Rangers to their first league title since 2010/11 and stopping city rivals Celtic from winning the coveted 10 in a row.
This is the first kit made by British manufacturer Castore who signed a five year deal with the club. The first thing you notice is badge that features the five stars to symbolise their fifty league titles. The league badges on the sleeves also match up with the tops colours red, white and blue. A small message reading “follow follow” can be found behind the collar.
There is also faint diagonal lines running through the top in a darker blue to the royal blue that is used for the main body of the top.
It is also worth noting that Rangers re-released a special edition to mark their historic league win that featured a golden badge and Castore badge with some embroidery reading “Champions 55, 20/21”.
Motherwell have been blessed with a number of great full backs such as Stephen McMillan, Jim Griffin, Rab McKinnon, Steven Hammell and most recently Stephen O’Donnell but we’re focusing on the man who came before them and set the standard at the back, Joe Wark.
Signed from junior side Irvine Vics in 1968, Wark would make his claret and amber debut against Tranmere Rovers in what would be a bizarre first game as 3 minutes in goalie Keith MacRae picked up an injury meaning Wark would spend the remaining 87 minutes in goals, keeping a clean sheet and helping the well to a 2-0 victory.
In his first season, Joe would play as an inside forward and would score 8 goals helping Motherwell lift the Second Division title. This season would also include a hat trick against Montrose.
As football began to develop, so did Joe, as he was soon moved to left back to become one of the first of a new breed of overlapping defenders who would bomb up the pitch and whip crosses into the attackers in the box. As much as he was a threat down that left channel, he also possessed great awareness which saw him establish himself as one of the best full backs in the country.
Unfortunately it was tough competition to get into the national team with both Celtic’s Danny McGrain and Rangers’ Sandy Jardine being the preferred full backs to Wark. He did however gain one international honour when he represented the Scottish League XI when they played the Football League XI in 1976. Not only did Joe not get the international recognition his consistency deserved but he never actually won any major honours, not even reaching a final but don’t let that fool you into thinking that he wasn’t brilliant.
A total of 580 appearances over a 16 year career brings him up to third in Motherwell’s post war all time appearances with only George Stevenson and Bobby Ferrier playing more. During his time at Motherwell, he was part of the teams who beat Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City in the Texaco Cup.
After retiring in 1984, Joe got his coaching badges and spent time at the club as a coach and assistant manager but also took up a role as kitman for a small period of time. Knowing Joe, he would probably have taken on the job of groundsman if Andy Russell hadn’t already claimed it.
As for this top, what a beauty eh? Coming from all the way back in 1976, it got used until 1978 but was later reused as Motherwell weren’t keen on their kits for the next season. Made by Admiral, this top is more of a yellow than an amber but still looks just as good with the (slightly faded) claret MFC embroidery used for the badge. This jersey is a number 2, probably from a brief stint at right back, even though he was most notably known to wear the number 3 but this was given to us and signed by Joe before his death in 2015.
Mr Consistency and an absolute legend for the club.
For this post we are throwing it back to the early 2000’s with a Fulham top from their time in the FA Barclaycard Premiership. This season would be a regular season for the lily whites as they finished the season in 14th position, one place lower than the season previous.
Looking at that team now you would probably have placed them a lot higher as they had brilliant players such as Edwin Van Der Sar, Louis Saha and Steed Malbranque. This poor season would see manager Jean Tigana sacked in the April of 2003 with recently retired Welsh Defender Chris Coleman taking over who would guide the team into the top half of the division in 9th in the 03/04 season.
This jersey is from Scotland midfielder John Collins who played 65 games for Fulham before retiring in 2004. Before playing for Fulham, Collins would play in the Premier League with Everton and also played in France with Monaco. He is mainly remembered for his time at Celtic where he won the Scottish Cup in 1995.
Collins played 58 times for Scotland, scoring 12 goals with one of them coming on the opening day of the 98′ World Cup in France with a penalty against Brazil. Unfortunately Scotland never made it past the groups and still never have made it past the groups in any major tournament.
Made by Adidas, this Fulham top uses their famous lily white as the main body with the contrasting black used for the thick collar, side of the top and inside of the arms. The red in the badge is also used at the front of the neck. This was Adidas’ last kit with Fulham from that deal but Fulham brought back Adidas strips and have been with them since 2013 after moving from Puma, Airness, Nike and Kappa.