Thanks for the memories

motherwell v dundee utd - CRAIGAN
motherwell v dundee utd - CRAIGAN

FIR PARK said farewell to Stephen Craigan on Sunday as the Motherwell skipper called time on his playing career at the end of the final SPL game of the season against Dundee United.

The 35-year-old defender - the most capped player in Motherwell’s history - announced his decision in the build-up to the game, allowing the Fir Park faithful to pay tribute to him afterwards.

Despite being offered a new contract with the club Craigan, after careful consideration with his family, decided to end his playing career and concentrate on media work.

He first joined ‘Well in 1994 but left in 2000 to join Partick Thistle before returning three years later.

In his two spells he notched up 378 appearances for the Steelmen and he also became a fixture in the Northern Ireland side, winning 54 caps.

Craigan admitted he was humbled by the reception he received on Sunday.

He said: “It was an emotional day for me and I was caught by surprise at the start when I was presented with an award on the pitch by Derek Weir.

“It was very nice that he and the fans showed their respect to me. I have never been the best player or the most glamorous, but I think they recognise that I have always given my best.

“If I hadn’t been fortunate enough to have played in big games then I would have perhaps stayed on. But I have been lucky enough to play in big games for Northern Ireland and in finals and semi-finals for Motherwell.

“When I joined the club in 1994 I had no idea that I would spend the majority of my adult life and footballing career at Fir Park. My aim was to play football professionally and today I can say I achieved my goal and it’s been a wonderfully satisfying journey.”