A Foggy Night in Kilmarnock

It is a rare event when a Motherwell game is abandoned because of fog.  Wednesday’s meeting with Kilmarnock fell foul of the mists that rolled in over the interval and the referee had no option but to end the contest.

There are a couple of instances of similar abandonments listed in the records.  Motherwell On This Day lists a couple.

Wednesday 3rd April 1974

Fog caused the abandonment of a game between Hibs and Motherwell at Easter Road after only 18 minutes. There had been an exciting start to the match, with Cropley scoring a penalty for Hibs and Watson missing a similar award for Motherwell.

Saturday 6th December 1958

Motherwell were saved by fog at Celtic Park as the game was abandoned with the hosts leading 2-0. Visibility was so bad, those in the press box weren’t even sure it was Charlie Aitken who went in goals when injury forced ‘keeper Hastie Weir to move to outside right after the break! Motherwell made full use of their reprieve by drawing the replayed match 3-3 in January.

The following extract from the  Motherwell Times report on the Parkhead incident illustrates the change in writing style in the intervening years – Craig Goldthorp take note!

From Celtic's point view  — let it be stated here and now — the Parkhead bhoys thoroughly deserved to win and were distinctly unlucky in that Nature had called a halt to their match-winning efforts when a Motherwell team could not.

The plain fact of the matter was that the official had no option but to abandon the game.  From the heights of the Celtic stand where the press box is situated it was quite impossible to discern what was happening on the field, and the goal being defended Motherwell in the second half was indistinguishable when the official blew for a halt.

In the second half in particular weird shapes rushed hither and thither like busybodies intent on completing their work before darkness fell.  One player darted one way; another followed and ran alongside then peeled off – presumably because the first had accomplished his mission.  Occasionally through the gloom, the referee’s whistle could be heardand with it came the end of the feverish activity.  As the queer shapes breathing hot air into the Arctic atmosphere regrouped themselves Sandy Adamson doyen of Scottish sportswriters, announced triumphantly “There is a ball!”  His colleagues in the press box rejoiced that he alone had been so singularly fortunate in seeing the white ball.  They knew that despite his advancing years he was not seeing thngs!

Let's hope the next abandoned game is decades in the future.