Death of a legend stirs the memory

A minute's applause to celebrate the life of 'Well's greatest ever player Andy Paton was held before Saturday's match with Partick.
A minute's applause to celebrate the life of 'Well's greatest ever player Andy Paton was held before Saturday's match with Partick.
0
Have your say

The recent deaths of footballing legends Andy Paton and Sir Tom Finney brought back memories for one Motherwell fan.

On February 29, 1956, Paton and Finney shared the Fir Park pitch as ’Well hosted Preston North End to officially switch on the new floodlights at the stadium.

Finney would end the day the happier as he scored the winner in a 3-2 win for the English side.

Nearly 60 years on lifelong ’Well fan Norman Taylor, the son of former Times editor Jack Taylor, can still recall the game.

He said: “With Andy and Tom passing away so close together it reminded me of the day they shared a pitch.

“Although I was only ten at the time I can still remember the novelty of a match under floodlights and I even managed to get Tom’s autograph.”

Andy later became manager of Hamilton Accies during which time Norman got to know him.

He said: “I was a keen amateur player and ended up going on trial at Accies while Andy was manager.

“To be honest I was a bit of a clogger and there were far, far better players than me who never got so much as a look in with a senior club so I felt very fortunate for the opportunity and it’s was great to be able to meet a legend like Andy.

“I remember one game against Hibs where he lobbed the ball, a heavy leather ball with the laces remember, over Lawrie Reilly’s head and into the arms of his own goalkeeper.

“I’m not saying he was on a par with Franz Beckenbauer or anything, but for a defender in that era there is no question he could play a bit and was a class act.”