Legend of Our Time - Luc Niholt
Legend Of Our Time
In the current era of Scottish football it is becoming an increasingly common occurence to find as many players from abroad on the pitch as there is Scots, not courtesy of the pair from Glasgow but now Dundee in particular. It is difficult to believe that only a decade ago the sight of a "furrener" in your team's line-up was looked upon as a novelty. It may well be painful for Motherwell fans to recall such Dutch duds as Bart Verheul, Rob Maaskaant and Alan van Sneddon, but we did have one oranje who made suffering these guys worthwhile............
Luc Nijholt signed on at Fir Park back in 1990 and quickly showed that he was not another fancy-dan from abroad, rather that he was a defender not to be messed with as he swiftly endeared himself to the 'Well fans with some crunching challenges and tremendous aggression and commitment mixed with a fair amount of skill on the ball.
He also proved to be an unlikely source of goals via the penalty spot as he scored time and again without a problem. All this allied to his ability to perform in either full-back position or in midfield showed us why Tommy McLean had decided to venture abroad for a change rather than bring in another lower-league or 'veteran' into the squad.
Like most of G.L.F.'s previous 'Legends', Luc was part of the squad who won the Scottish Cup in 1991 and certainly left his mark on the Final itself. Within the first ten minutes it was he who gave away the free-kick from which Freddy van der Hoorn came within the width of the post of giving Dundee United the lead and possibly setting up a totally different result. He also forced David Syme to bring out his card for the only time that great day after he had seen another last-ditch tackle going flying in on an Arab as we clung on to our 4-3 lead well into extra-time. But he did some productive stuff that day too......
It was Luc who launched a free-kick towards Alan Main's goal to start off the move that saw Iain Ferguson bullet home Griff's cross to break the deadlock, and he was also a rock after Maxie's injury as he and his fellow defenders pulled out all the stops to stem United's attacks and protect their goalie to help pull of that amazing result.
Personally my own most vivid memory of Luc Nijholt came in the previous game of the tourney, the semi-final replay against Celtic at Hampden, but it had nothing to do with the cation during the match. After Pyscho had pinged home that goal, the wee Irishman was hurtling towards the 'Well fans and I think every one of the supporters and his team-mates knew that a bit of gymnastics was on its way to celebrate, similar to the scenes after his penalty clincher at Cappielow in the previous round. But just as he was about to take off, oor Luc couldn't contain his delight and managed to rugby tackle Colin not just once but twice to thwart the double somersault with pike!!!!!!
I'm sure if Billy was guaranteed someone like Luc he wouldn't hesitate in looking abroad in an attempt to strengthen the current squad.
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