As a Motherwell fan and a collector of random Motherwell memorabilia nothing comes close to this book by Matt Johnstone. Collecting different pieces from collectors in and around North Lanarkshire including the likes of jerseys, programmes and pendants from the footballing side of the book but also it looks into Motherwell fans trainer collecting habit and everyone’s favourite football game, Subbuteo.
A solid 258 page read takes you through the history of Motherwell Football Club starting off with the formation, ground and colours and travelling through the years and bouncing around European teams the mighty well have come up against.
However it’s not just the book we’re covering today as we have been so kindly been given some Daft Laddie merch to coincide with the launch of the book. A take on the classic Admiral Welsh kit of 76′ that features the two stripes arching around with claret and white replacing the green and yellow of the original. It wouldn’t be complete without the Daft Laddie logo and Daft Laddie Apparel badge.
If you want to have a look at the Daft Laddie merch shop for T-shirts and Matt’s other book “Saturday is Service Day” you can here: https://daftladdie.bigcartel.com/
Richard Tait arrived at Motherwell, aged 26, having just won Grimsby promotion into League Two from the National League via the playoffs after beating Forrest Green Rovers 3-1 at Wembley. The arrival of Tait wasn’t the only signing made from the English lower leagues as Ben Heneghan arrived from Chester, Carl McHugh from Plymouth Argyle and Ryan Bowman from Gateshead.
He would make his debut on the first day of the season in a 2-1 win away from home against Killie at Rugby Park. It would take Tait until the end of October to score his first goal in a 4-1 victory against Ross County. In March of his first season at the club, manager Mark McGhee was sacked and up stepped Stephen Robinson.
We all remember Robinson’s first full season, memorable cup final runs where we would see defeat at the hands of Celtic both times but that’s after the memories this team would give us such as Moult’s brace against Rangers, Curtis Main’s goal against Aberdeen or even Carl McHugh’s late strike against Hearts in the quarter final at Fir Park.
This top comes from Tait’s last season at the club in which he helped Motherwell qualify for the Europa League as they finished the league in third place, only bettered by the two Glasgow sides.
Tait was mainly utilised as a right back/right wing back but was often asked to fill out on the left hand side of defence where he would be played when Cadden was used as a right wing back.
A great full back and a top professional, Richard Tait will go down as a Motherwell player to remember. After all he was better than Cafu…..
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.
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.
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.
The man who made Fir Park twist and shout, Marvin arrived in Motherwell in February of the 14/15 season from Conference League team Kidderminster Harriers FC. He would play over 50 games where he would be deployed in every position down that left hand side from left forward to left back. Only scoring six goals during his time at Fir Park although one of these will go down in the history of Motherwell Football Club.
At the end of the 14/15 season, Ian Baraclough poorly guided Motherwell to 11th in the league after Stuart McCall left to join a confident Rangers side who they would meet in the playoffs and were hungry to get back to the top. A 3-1 victory for the Well’ away from home was a massive help for their stay in the league and gave them hope for the second leg.
It was during this second leg where Johnson would cement his legacy in claret and amber. In the 52nd minute, Johnson would cut in from the left and try a shot from a fair distance out and a deflection off one of the Rangers defenders saw the ball fly up and dip over Cammy Bell after comically trying to punch the ball away. After that goal went in, Motherwell ran riot and finished the game 3-0.
The season after, where this top is from, was better for Motherwell as they finished a much more respectable 5th place in the league with Johnson leaving for Oxford Utd for an undisclosed fee which was good business for the Well’ as they were able to get a sell on percentage as he moved to Championship side Middlesbrough. Johnson now plays for English side Sheffield Wednesday after being released by Middlesbrough.
I thought of showing this top now as it is going back to the pinstripe but a proper claret and amber one and not a black and amber like this seasons which has mixed reviews. I think the problem with this seasons away top is so mixed as this top is still in recent memory and it is such a nice top that shows the clubs true colours.
We are taking a closer look at both of Motherwell’s home and away jerseys for the upcoming 21/22 season now that I have them in my possession.
First up we have the home top and it is very much what you expect from a Motherwell home top.
The obvious colours of claret and amber are used with amber being used as the main body with claret being used as a hoop around the body with a white border surrounding.
The collar matches the pattern of the cuffs with both being white with a claret and amber stripe in the middle.
A nice hidden feature of this top is lyrics being featured above the tag an the inside of the collar reading “Claret and Amber Colours True” as the well will always be far ahead of green and blue.
The one criticism I do have with the top is only with the hoop as it does not wrap all the way round the back of the jersey as I do not think it looks fully finished.
The away top has been more controversial amongst fans as it is not a typical Motherwell away kit, with some comparing it to a Livingston kit.
I actually like the kit and it’s a shame that some don’t as a pinstripe design will always look good if you have the right colours and black and amber do go well together, giving me an industrial vibe which is quite fitting for the steelmen.
Similar to the home top, this also has lyrics along the back of the neck but this time it reads “Since I Was Young, I Followed On”.
Again, I do have one criticism and it is that the pinstripe isn’t continued right down as it breaks for the sponsor but other than that it’s a nice look for the well boys.
Seeing this Moult having another setback to his career made me want to look back at his time at Motherwell and just remind everyone the damage this guy can do.
Arriving at Motherwell from Wrexham, Moult came with a reputation for goals after bagging 23 goals in 37 games for the red dragons. Bagging 15 league goals in his first season at Fir Park, he would help guide the steelmen to a solid 5th place finish under Mark McGhee. Disappointingly finishing 9th in the league in his second season at Motherwell with McGhee getting sacked not to long into his second tenure at Fir Park. Even though this was a disappointing season, Moult still managed to find the back of the net another 15 times in the league even after playing seven less games.
With the departure of Mark McGhee, former assistant manager Stephen Robinson would take control at the club. Unfortunately we never got to see this combination of Moult playing under Robinson for long as he was always destined to leave for a better club, however we are always left with the fond memories from the start of the 17/18 season.
The road to the league cup final wasn’t easy having topped our group, we narrowly pushed for a result against Ross County in extra time. Easily knocking out Aberdeen 3-0 with a stunning goal from Louis Moult after he flicked the ball up facing away from the goal and making Aberdeen goalie Joe Lewis turn it into his own net. A goal from Hartley and another from Moult would see the well play at Hampden but this time against one of Glasgow’s ugly sisters.
Rangers came up next and I speak for all well fans when I say this is probably one of the best goals I’ve seen in claret and amber. With the first half ending 0-0 someone had to step up in the second and who else but our man Louis. A tidy finish from a scramble in the box followed by an absolute belter of a first time chip over put the nail in the coffin for this once dead club.
Unfortunately the final didn’t go in our favour as we got beat off Celtic but we won’t forget everything you done for the ML1 and thanks for making us believe.
Always believe in your soul You’ve got the power to know You’re indestructible Always believe in…… LOUIS MOULT