Ex-’Well defender Brian Martin is impressed by current Steelmen ahead of semi-final tie

Brian Martin hangs his head in despair after a blunder by Motherwell keeper Stevie Woods let in Rangers striker Gordon Durie to make it 2-2 with just seven minutes remaining of the sides Scottish Cup fourth round tie at Fir Park in February 1998. The Glasgow giants won 3-0 in the replay.
Brian Martin hangs his head in despair after a blunder by Motherwell keeper Stevie Woods let in Rangers striker Gordon Durie to make it 2-2 with just seven minutes remaining of the sides Scottish Cup fourth round tie at Fir Park in February 1998. The Glasgow giants won 3-0 in the replay.

Former Motherwell defender Brian Martin has told the Times and Speaker that he’s impressed with the current Fir Park team which has been assembled by Stephen Robinson.

Bellshill-born Martin (54), who made 237 appearances for ’Well between 1991 and ’98, will be a keen observer as the Steelmen take on Rangers in this Sunday’s Betfred Cup semi-final at Hampden Park.

“These days I take the Dukla Pumpherston charity team but I go and watch Motherwell whenever I have a free weekend,” Martin said.

“I think the current Motherwell side is quite exciting with a good squad of players.

“Louis Moult is a cracking player up front and Chris Cadden has been playing well in midfield.

“Wee Allan Campbell gets stuck in and reminds me of my former Motherwell team-mate Jamie Dolan.

“At the back, Cedric Kipre looks a really good defender.

“The only thing we had in common was when he had his white hair!

“Seriously, the whole Motherwell side just now is impressive because they are exciting to watch.

“They have a go rather than just sitting back and defending.”

Martin, who these days works at a pharmaceutical company in East Kilbride, still struggles to comprehend the fact that his ex-Motherwell team-mates Dolan, Davie Cooper, Phil O’Donnell and Paul McGrillen are all no longer with us after dying young.

Dolan, who made 193 appearances for Motherwell between 1987 and ’97, suffered a fatal heart attack aged 39 on August 31, 2008, whilst out jogging near his home in Bathgate.

Wing great Cooper – scorer of 17 Motherwell goals in 157 appearances between 1989 and ’93 – was also only 39 when he suffered a deadly brain haemorrhage on March 23, 1995.

Cooper’s fellow 1991 Scottish Cup winning team member O’Donnell – who starred 201 times for the Steelmen in two separate spells – died of a cardiac arrest aged just 35 after collapsing on the Fir Park pitch during a game against Dundee United on December 29, 2007.

And striker McGrillen, scorer of 13 ’Well goals in 87 games between 1990 and ’95, was just 37 when he hanged himself at his Hamilton home on July 29, 2009.

Martin added: “It is shocking that none of them are here any more, it is tragic.

“These things happen in life, but you don’t expect it to happen to people who are in the prime of their careers.

“It is such a shame, devastating.

“When Davie died I couldn’t make it to his funeral as I was away with the Scotland squad.

“But I was at the funerals of Jamie, Phil and Mowgli (McGrillen), which was heartbreaking.

“Jamie was one of my best friends at Motherwell, we hung about together and shared rooms.”

Brian will be one of the Motherwell legends attending a special awards night organised by MFC Podcast, in Fir Park Stadium's Davie Cooper Suite on Friday, November 10.

All tickets are now sold for the event which will see the announcement of the 25 Best Motherwell Players Since The War.

The Podcast are also launching a commemorative book - profiling all 25 winners. To get your copy for just £10, visit www.mfc1886.com