An interview from the great Willie P from the first issue of WFTGLF in autumn 1989.
Oh, Wullie, Wullie
Who should we get for our 1st interview? One name sprang to mind immediately - we sent a YTS hack out into deepest Lanarkshire to ask a few questions to a legend. Yes, that's right....WILLIE PETTIGREW!!
1)G.L.F.- UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES DID YOU LEAVE FIR PARK ?
W.P. - It was really the culmination of a lot of things. I felt as though I had gone as tar as I could with Motherwell, and the whole set-up at Tannadice impressed me greatly. Also, at the time, I had some different ideas to those of the manager (Ally Mcleod).
2)WHAT WAS THE COMPARISON BETWEEN DUNDEE UTD AND MOTHERWELL, AS FAR AS YOU WERE CONCERNED ?
W.P. - As I said before, the way things were run at Dundee Utd was VERY professional- from the bottom of the club right to the top. Even today, you can see that the club's success stems from it's never - ending conveyor-belt of young players who are a product of their youth football programme. Players from all over Scotland are watched from a very early age., then they join the tannadice set-up and progress through the ranks. This makes it very difficult for other clubs who don't seem to share the same attitude towards taking on youngsters - even from areas like this (Lanarkshire), they can sometimes sign excellent kids which leaves local clubs short of real talent.
3)WHAT WAS YOUR HAPPIEST MEMORY DURING YOUR TIME AT FIR PARK ?
W.P. - All the time I spent at Fir Park, I enjoyed 100%. I had supported Motherwell since I was a boy, and it was brilliant to turn out, and score goals for them.
4)WHERE DID YOU BEGIN YOUR SOCCER CAREER ?
W.P. - With Bonkle, then East Kilbride juniors.
5)AN OBVIOUS QUESTION - WHAT'S BOBBY GRAHAM DOING THESE DAYS ?
W.P. - I've honestly no idea. I think someone said he was driving buses or vans. I'm not really too sure - he could be a millionaire for all I know.
6)WHAT SORT OF RELATIONSHIP DID YOU HAVE WITH THE MOTHERWELL FANS?
W.P. - I couldn't have asked for better support. There seemed to be a great 'buzz' around the whole town at the time concerning the club. I think it was because we played some entertaininig, attacking football. Also, the team had quite a high media profile at the time.
7)SURELY, YOU COULD HAVE MADE A LOT MORE MONEY BY GOING TO ONE OF THE OLD FIRM CLUBS OR MOVED DOWN SOUTH ?
W.P. - Cash has never been my God, and it will never be. All I was doing, was getting paid for what I did best. Of course I could have been better off financially, but that side of things didn't really interest me
8)WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PRESENT SET-UP AT MOTHERWELL ?
W.P. - I still support the club, although I only went to a few games last season. But I do feel that the standard has gone down since my time as a player. I think the game, in general, has become much more studied and technical.
9)ARE YOU STILL INVOLVED IN FOOTBALL, AT ANY LEVEL ?
W.P. - No - I've never been asked.
10) WHAT WAS THE STORY BEHIND YOUR PROPOSED MOVE TO HAMBURG ?
W.P. - It's a long, and frankly quite boring story which I'd rather not go into right now. There was also a lot of press speculation at the time which tended to exaggerate things.
11)WHICH PLAYERS DO YOU RATE IN TODAY'S SCOTTISH GAME ?
W.P. - Without meaning to sound controversial I've got to say Mo Johnston. I think the spell he had with Nantes really sharpened him up.
12)OBVIOUSLY? A CLUB LIKE MOTHERHELL WILL NEVER CHALLENGE FOR THE PREMIER LEAGUE TITLE, BUT CAN YOU REALISTICLY SEE THE CLUB WINNING ANY MAJOR HONOURS ?
W.P. - Yes, I think so. Football is all about fairytales - look at St Mirren's fantastic cup victory over Dundee Utd. I really think that Motherwell could clinch a European place. If only they'd had a reasonable start last season, they could easily have achieved that.
13) WHAT INTERESTS DO YOU HAVE OUTSIDE OF FOOTBALL ?
W.P. - My main two hobbies are Golf and garden
Many thanks to Willie
Visit the GLF archive. Hundreds of articles.