GLF61:Top Ten Ted's Great Defensive Midfielders

Last updated : 03 September 2017 By GLF

GLF61: Eddie remembers a few heroes.


Top Ten Ted Presents………. Great Defensive Midfielders Of My Time

10. Jamie Dolan, 182 ( 41 ) Apps - 6 Goals

Jamie was an old-fashioned ball winner who had a powerful shot in his locker, unfortunately most of his passes were played at the same pace.Who can forget his heroic display against Celtic in goal a few years back ?A game which was won with the last kick of the game by Ian Ross.Jamie's goals were usually special, with the pick of them at Brockville when he cruised through the midfield before curling a shot beyond the ‘keeper.Although he had spells at Thistle and Dundee United, his best displays were with us.

9. Ray Farningham, 79( 7 )Apps -14 Goals

Ray gave me one of my finest days as a ‘Well fan.His late goal at Ibrox to clinch the win against Souness's Huns was an unforgettable day for any Dosser who was there.Unfortunately after that the press constantly referred to him as a striker, when we all knew him as a hard working midfielder who from time to time appeared in the opponents box.Tommy McLean plucked him out from a career in the lower leagues at Forfar to the Fir Park field of dreams.Very rarely had a bad game and the fans were sad to see him leave for Dunfermline.

8. Sam Goodwin, 80 ( 5 ) Apps - 2 Goals

Sam arrived at Fir Park from Crystal Palace, after beginning at Airdrie.The only Motherwell player I can remember who has had a grey moustache.He was a quality player although perhaps pace wasn't his greatest asset.My abiding memory of Sam was his sending off in the first minute in a cup-tie against Thistle (I think) , which took a heroic effort from Motherwell to claim a replay with a 0-0 draw.

7. Scott Leitch, 140 ( 4 ) Apps - 1 Goal

I remember Scott playing for the Motherwell youth side and he was a stand - out.Although we at Fir Park didn't see his best days, his influence on everything claret and amber when he had the captain's armband was simply immense.Don't forget, although he played in the Premiership with the mighty Swindon Town his finest moment was leading Motherwell out at Hampden at a national cup final, although strangely I cannae remember the occasion !!

6. SimoValikari, 109 ( 9 ) Apps - 0 Goals

Simo.I really could never make my mind up about him, but as time has gone by he seems to be getting better in my head.Mates of mine placed a first goalscorer bet on him every Fir Park game without failand of course he never repaid the faith put in him.A free transfer to Derby County, what happens ?Debut, one shot, one goal, a loud collective groan from the centre of the East Stand !!Now starring in the MSL.

5. Ally Mauchlen, 87 ( 1 ) Apps - 5 Goals

Like all these defensive mids, Ally was a player who wore his heart on his sleeve which,of course, are the type fans love.He did the simple things very well, and his crunching tackles made even the ‘Well fans cringe.He left Fir Park after the first game of the season in the Premier League ( a 0-0 draw at home to Clydebank ) in a joint deal which took him along with Gary McAllister to Leicester City for a scandalously low fee of £250, 000.

4. Colin O'Neill, 78 ( 1 ) Apps - 7 Goals

Picture the scene. Stevie Kirk flicks a throw-in on into the path of Psycho. One look up and he crashed in a drive, which was despatched into the top shelf of Packy Bonnar's net from all of 35 yards. That night in Mount Florida a legend was born. Colin had arrived from Portadown a tad overweight and with a history of being slightly over-zealous on the pitch. Colin was apparently so nervous before matches that he had to vomit before he ran out onto the park, on which he displayed all the virtues that all Motherwell fans loved.

3. Peter Millar, 228 ( 13 ) Apps - 22 Goals

Big Peter was simply one of the hardest players ever to pull on our famous colours.He also had the privilege of playing in the fine mid-70's team, which came so near to landing silverware.From memory Millar arrived from Dunfermline very much unheralded, and left 7 years later ( to Dundee ) when Ally McLeod broke up an already relegated squad to bring in an almost entire reserve side.Capped at League level.

2. Bobby Watson, 252 ( 4 ) Apps - 8 Goals

The Rev. arrived in a double deal from Ibrox which also brought Brian Heron to Fir Park with Tom Forsyth heading up to Govan.For all his defensive qualities, like his tenacious tackling and a tireless work rate, Bobby was actually a very skilful player who had a range of passes and a powerful shot.He was probably mostly known for his Christian beliefs and spent some of his spare time being a Lay Preacher.Bobby gained one Scotland cap, and a handful of League caps, which was never a just reward for a complete footballer such as Reverend Watson.

1. Tom Forsyth, 192 ( 4 ) Apps - 23 Goals

Tom Forsyth was a Motherwell hero long, long before his arrival at Castle Greyskull when he became a darling of the Huns and subsequently the tabloid press.Suddenly he was “Tam ” or “ Jaws ” and nobody mentioned that his best days were played at Fir Park.A classy player whose timing in the tackle was truly amazing.He had the ability to play good football and get himself into the opponents half, and indeed score a few goals.Unfortunately after playing a couple of cracking games against Rangers in the Scottish Cup which persuaded them to offer the Club a deal.Sadly this, after some negotiation, was accepted much to the ire of the Fir Park faithful.Motherwell did get a couple of good servants (Bobby Watson and Brian Heron) along with some cash for him but it didn't take away the feeling that we'd been “ done ” again by the Old Firm.Tom of course came back to Fir Park as assistant to Wee Tom Tom and got his hand on the Scottish Cup in 1991.


The flip side of the top ten of anything is the dross at the bottom of the pile.But with the nature of this position, I've discovered that there are not that many really poor defensive midfielders going about.Derek Adams was very unpopular, but to be honest he was no' too bad.

Crawford Baptie started his MFC career like a Brazilian and ended it like an Andorran.Kenny Black and Roberto Martinez had brief awful spells at Fir Park, which will bring shivers to any Motherwell fan who can recall their contribution.Bobby Carberry arrived from Alloa along with the legend that is Willie Irvine, but unfortunately although he had plenty of heart he was out his depth.After much thought my Scream Team No. 6 is …….John Capaldi, 3( 8 ) Apps -0 goals.

He was brought to Fir Park by Ally McLeod from Aston Villa as he desperately tried to avoid relegation in 1979.Had thighs and a body that wouldn't have looked out of place in the health Farm in Little Britain !


Scream Team - 1. Stevie Woods     Dream Team - 1. Keith McRae

2. Peter Carr                                                           2. Martyn Corrigan

3. Billy Dickson                                                       3. Joe Wark

4.Allan Mackin                                                       4. Brian Martin.

5. Karl Ready                                                         5. Miodrag Krivokapic

6. John Capaldi                                                      6. Tom Forsyth

Eddie Ferguson

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