Programme review: Motherwell v St. Mirren, October 1982


Saturday 9th October 1982

Motherwell v St. Mirren

Scottish Premier Division

Programme Price: 40p


For my review today, I have chosen a programme from my ever-growing collection of programmes I possess from Scottish clubs.

This issue consists of 16 pages from the front to back cover and is a decent enough read, incorporating most of the things that you would expect to see in any football programme.

With page 1 being the front cover, page 2 features a couple of adverts as well as providing the team line ups and naming the officials as, R. B. Valentine (Referee from Dundee) G. B. Kilgallon (Linesman from Newton Mearns) and A. S. Harris (Linesman from Kirkintilloch)

Page 3 provides some words from the Motherwell manager, Jock Wallace or to give him his full name, John Martin Bokas Wallace. The manager writes that he and the first team squad had spent a few days in Northern Ireland and the Scottish Highlands since their last home game with the aim of improving tactics and developing team discipline. He goes on to say that he is not interested in individual performances and was looking for good attacking team performances.

Page 4 is a full-page advert with the following page featuring a photograph of the Motherwell defender, Joe Carson.

Pages 6 and 7 provide and interesting piece all about Motherwell’s Joe Wark. At the time of writing the Glasgow born left back was in his 14th season with Motherwell and was playing under the seventh manager of his career. I carried out a little bit of my own research and discovered that Wark finished his career with Motherwell in 1984, the only club of his career. Sadly, in later life, the Motherwell legend was diagnosed with dementia and died at the age of 67 in October 2015.

In the right-hand corner of page 6, there is a another very interesting but smaller article all about a certain Tony Incenzo (QPR supporter, groundhopper and non-league football fan) visiting the Fir Park home of Motherwell FC earlier in the 1982/1983 season. Tony, who was 21 years old at the time, was visiting the ground as part of his ambition to visit all 38 football league grounds in Scotland.

Pages 8 and 9 provide several photographs of Motherwell’s previous home game against Celtic. The following two pages feature information about St. Mirren Football Club which includes player pen profiles. Some of the players included Billy Thomson, a 24-year-old goalkeeper who joined the club from Partick Thistle in 1978 and Frank McAvennie, a signing made in 1980 having previously played for Johnstone Burgh. Of course, McAvennie went on to have a brilliant career and played for the likes of Celtic and West Ham United, as well as playing five times for Scotland.

Page 12 is a full-page advert with the following page looking at Motherwell’s Under-18 Professional League side. The coach of the team at the time of writing was Ian Campbell who had spells with Morton, Ayr United and Hamilton Academicals before joining the Fir Park club. The youngsters started their league campaign with three straight wins but then went on to lose their next two fixtures against Hibernian and Partick Thistle respectively. One of the players in the Motherwell Under-18’s team at the time was Tommy Boyd. The defender went on to have a brilliant career, making over 250 appearances for Motherwell before having a short spell at Chelsea and then moving on to Celtic where he played well over 300 times for the club. Boyd also had a great international career and played for Scotland 72 times and scored 1 goal.

Page 14 provides all of Motherwell’s statistics for the 1981/1982 season. They started their league campaign with a 2-1 win at Fir Park in front of 5,105 spectators, and before the game against St. Mirren they lost by 2 goals to 0 at Aberdeen in front of a crowd of 8,000 people. The same page also looks at a game played in 1957 against Partick Thistle which Motherwell won 4-0.

Page 15 features a ‘Fir Park Spotlight’ on Gary McAllister, yes, the same Gary McAllister who went on to play for Leicester City, Leeds United, Coventry City, and Liverpool as well as playing 57 times for Scotland. Back in 1982, McAllister was a 17-year-old who was an apprentice at Motherwell but had already appeared for the ‘The Well’s’ first team.

The programme is concluded with a full-page advert on the back cover.

I have really enjoyed reading and reviewing this programme which has provided some very interesting information on players who went on to have a glittering career in the game. This is why in my opinion that printed programmes are a vital part of football as they always provide a superb historical reference point.

In closing, and for the record, I have been able to ascertain that Motherwell won this game by 2 goals to 0 in front of an attendance of 4,292 spectators.