Stephen Craigan is to leave his post as reserve team coach ending an almost two decade relationship with Motherwell. Fans enjoyed his no nonsense defensive approach and valued his contribution in youth development. We wish Stephen well and assure him of a warm welcome any time he returns to Fir Park.
Stephen first joined Motherwell when Alex McLeish signed him as an 18 year old in 1994. He joined Partick Thistle and between 2000 and 2003 made over 100 appearances. Such was his impact that more than 300 Thistle fans turned up to his Testimonial at Fir Park in 2011.
Terry Butcher brought him back to Fir Park and he became a fixture in our defence. In total he made over 350 appearances in claret and amber and was a classic captain.
During this time he built up a record number of international appearances for Northern Ireland and he was, by some distance, the player with most caps while a Motherwell player (54).
He played a significant part in our relative success in recent years. He led us into the UEFA Cup and the Europa League and there have been some memorable moments at Hampden.
He played in the 2005 CIS Cup final and led his team to the Scottish Cup final in 2011. One highlight he’ll remember well was the goal he scored against St Johnstone in the cup semi final. It was his first in five years! Along with that were the several own goals!
Stephen played a big part in our 3rd place league finishes in 2007/8 and in 20011/12. He received a presentation on the pitch before the final game of the 2011/12 season.
There were two spells as interim manager during his 'Well career before he took up a coaching role at the club in 2015.
Since then his duties have diversified with commitments to Northern Ireland and to BT Sport.
In a farewell with MFC TV he explained that he felt his time was up. The youngsters needed a new leader and he felt the need to move on to something new.
"It's been a thoroughly enjoyable time. Times I'll never forget"
All the best Craggs - thanks for the enjoyment we've shared over the years.