GLF 38: Once in a Lifetime

Last updated : 16 August 2017 By GLF

Once in a Lifetime


Once in a Lifetime

The 18th of May 1991 is not one that 'Well fans will forget in a hurry. Incase you were on the moon that day, that was when the Scottish Cup was returned to the Fir Park trophy room - our only major piece of silverware in the last fourty-nine years. That was a day when the whole county was proud to get behind the team - shops were decorated in claret and amber and wee old ladies smiled at buses full of football supporters.

Something that made the success even more special was the nature of the cup run. We weren't gifted an entrance to the final like Hearts in '98 (three home draws and lower league opposition all the way to the final) - we faced the holders in the third round, a penalty shoot-out in the quarters, a semi replay against Celtic where we were down twice and a final against a Dundee Utd side who had qualified for Europe for the last fourteen seasons. The constant excitement and tension throughout the entire run was a remarkable. It was a very 'Motherwell' type cup win as we made hard work against lower division teams and almost threw it all away in injury time against the Arabs.

I was eight at the time and I remember that having supported the 'Well for all of four years I was expecting some reward pretty soon. I was slightly nervous at the semi final, but once that was safely negotiated I was convinced the cup was ours. My confidence was such that I am now embarrassed at my naivety - when Darren Jackson equalised I wasn't that disappointed as seeing another thirty minutes of us in a cup final was ideal.

The forward thinking among you will realise that next May will be the tenth anniversary of the glorious day - celebration is called for and plans are already underway.

But the question on the mind of every 'Well fan is when will the next cup be seen at Fir Park. The Championship is clearly out of the equation (for this season at least!) and the League Cup hasn't been kind to us in recent years. That leaves the Scottish Cup and considering we've only won that twice in 100+ years I wouldn't hold your breath.

Here are some interesting stats for you to ponder cup wise...

We have reached the Scottish Cup Final six times, winning twice.
We have lost in the semi on another six (I think) occasions.
We have reached the League Cup Final twice, winning once.
We have lost in the semi on another two (I think) occasions.
We have not got past a quarter final since 1991.

Roughly translated, this means:
We reach a semi final about every seven years - one is due soon!
We win half our semi finals - we'll lose the next one but win the next after that.
Since 1992 - 2005, we should appear in two semi's, we will win the latter.
We're more successful in the Scottish Cup so we'll lose a League Cup semi within the next two seasons.
Then we win the Scottish Cup semi in the three years after that.
We've won 3 out of seven finals - we're due the next one.

Hence, mathematically proven that Motherwell will win the cup no later than 2005.

Derek Wilson

Visit the GLF archive.  Hundreds of articles.