Mixed loyalties for May ahead of cup tie

May Buchanan and her grandson Alasdair
May Buchanan and her grandson Alasdair

The daughter of Motherwell’s most successful ever manager has spoken of her delight that ’Well have drawn Highland side Cove Rangers in the William Hill Scottish Cup.

May Buchanan (78) – whose dad George Stevenson led Motherwell to glory in the 1950 League Cup and 1952 Scottish Cup – is a lifelong ’Well supporter, now living in Fortrose in the Scottish Highlands.

Her niece Janie is married to Cove Rangers manager John Sheran, meaning there will be split family loyalties when ’Well and Cove square up for their fourth round tie at Fir Park a week on Saturday!

“Motherwell and Cove Rangers drawing each other is a real coincidence,” May said.

“The family always used to joke about it, saying it would be really nice if it happened and now it has.

“I’ve supported Motherwell all my life and my grandson Alasdair is also a big fan.

“But I know that Janie will be supporting Cove as she has to back her husband’s team.

“I don’t think I’ll make it to Fir Park for the match because the weather will be pretty bad, but I will be avidly listening to it on the radio and supporting Motherwell.”

May, whose late sister Isobel was Janie’s mum, originally moved to Motherwell from Paisley with her family in 1947 when her dad was appointed Fir Park gaffer.

George, part of the Motherwell side that had won the 1932 league championship, made 573 playing appearances for ’Well at inside left and scored four goals in 12 games for Scotland.

He later scouted for ’Well before further boosting his legendary status at Fir Park by managing the team to a 3-0 League Cup Final triumph over Hibs in 1950, before adding the Scottish Cup two years later with a 4-0 final victory over
Dundee.

May started going to watch home and away Motherwell games at the age of 15, something she continued regularly until her dad was sacked as ’Well bossin 1955.

May stayed in Motherwell until 1961 when she moved to Wishaw after marrying Duncan Buchanan.

She said that, ironically, her late husband was a “red hot” Hamilton Accies supporter! The couple moved to Fortrose in 1975 through Duncan’s job as director of the Highland River Purification Board.

Although May won’t be at Fir Park for the Cove match, she said sons Duncan (48) and Kenneth (44) would be there with 13-year-old Alasdair, Kenneth’s son.

May said that – given the family connection – she also had a “soft spot” for Cove Rangers.

In a fine season, they are currently sitting second in the Highland League, six points behind leaders Brora Rangers with three games in hand.

“This is John’s second spell at Cove and he has done very well,” May added.

“I don’t think Motherwell will get an easy game against Cove but I do think they’ll go through because it’s a Scottish Premiership side against a team from the
Highland League.”