Saturday, August 08, 1987

Motherwell FC

Motherwell 2 St Mirren 1 - Scottish League, Premier Division

Motherwell is a large town and former burgh in North Lanarkshire. The main Roman road through central Scotland ran along Motherwell’s side of the River Clyde, crossing the South Calder Water on the north west side of today’s town. At this crossing a fort and bathhouse were erected, but the Roman presence in Scotland would not last much later than this. There were definitely people living in the area from an early point, the name Motherwell coming from and ancient religious well, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Motherwell’s fortunes changed dramatically in the second half of the 19th century. With the coming of the railway in 1848, came industry and money. By 1881 David Colville had opened both an iron and steel works; Motherwell had a new piped water supply; had been granted burgh status and had its population swelled to 13,800 people. By the middle of the 1970s, Motherwell’s steel industry employed more than 13,000 people.

Motherwell FC were born on 17 May 1886, when representatives of the two main Motherwell works teams, Glencairn FC and Alpha FC met in Ballie's pub in the towns Merry Street, and decided to merge the two teams, with the aim of creating a club to represent the town as a whole at a higher level. Motherwell's debut fixture proved to be a successful one as they overcame Hamilton Academical 3–2. Up until 1895 the club had played at a few different venues, including a site at Roman Road, and Dalziel Park. The small pitch and muddy conditions at Dalziel Park were deemed unsuitable and fortunately Lord Hamilton granted a lease on a plot of land on his estate. This new ground was named Fir Park and has remained the club's home.

The Scottish League was starting a week earlier than the English League in 1987 and this represented a good opportunity to visit a new venue by train and be able to get back the same day. The service from London Euston called at Motherwell prior to Glasgow. On a warm day this Pieman saw Motherwell defeat St Mirren 2-1. We walked to and from the main Motherwell railway station but there is a nearer alternative (Airbles) on the local line connecting Motherwell with Hamilton.

Programme: 50p

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