GLF 59: Great Centre Backs

Last updated : 31 August 2017 By GLF

GLF 59:Top Ten Ted presents.....Great Centre Backs


Top Ten Ted Presents... Great Centre Backs Of My Time (part 1)

10.Mitchell Van Der Gaag,46 ( 0 ) Apps,8 Goals

Big Mitch was as slow as a week in jail,injury prone,and thought he was a lot better than he really was.But for all that, we all kinda liked him.Big Red paid £350, 000 to PSV for him in the ( brief ) days when we weren't put off by any transfer fee. Mitch will probably be forever remembered for his classic strike from a free kick in the last game of the season to save us from heading to a play-off with Airdrie.

9.David Partridge,53 ( 1 ) Apps,2 Goals

Most of you will still remember this Welsh Cockney vividly.A no - nonsense defender who more or less booted or headed the ball ( or more likely his opponent !! ) in the direction he was facing.Of course he was the last Motherwell player to net in a national final,but the more sensible of us will have erased the occasion from our memory !Surprisingly,Bristol City paid a fee for his services last summer and he quickly fell out of favour after a change of management,and into trouble in a Bristol nightspot !!

8.Willie McCallum,337( 2 ) Apps,1 Goal

Willie was the first Centre Half I can remember on a regular basis.It seems he was just a decent,hard working and popular player whose emphasis was on football rather than the harder side of the game.He played in an era of Fir Park that I hold dear to my heart,and it's probably down to that more than any memories I have of him in particular that wins him a spot in this top ten.

7.Shaun Teale,52( 0 ) Apps,4 Goals

This guy was a bit of a nutter.Hard as nails,but appeared to be the model pro and a mans man.I recalled seeing him play years ago,watching Aston Villa on Sportsnight,and thought he must've been ancient by the time he'd reported for duty at Fir Park.His greatest boast was that he'd never missed a penalty as a professional.Anybody who was at Tannadice the day that he did miss one,but was rescued by Father McCurry who penalised the United goalie for moving too soon,allowing Shaun to net at the second attempt will probably never forget it.

6.Stephen Craigan,59( 25 ) Apps,2 Goals

Crags ( don't you just hate fans who call players by their nicknames !! ) isn't class,but what he lacks in that department he more than makes up for in heart,endeavour and more importantly a desire to do well for himself and the shirt he wears.My top memory of him was his incredible back heel off the goal line at Parkhead in his first MFC career,in a match the mighties won two zip.Stevie knows his limitations,and anything he achieves both with Club and Country will be richly deserved.

5.Craig Paterson,179( 4 ) Apps,8 Goals

The big man became a Motherwell legend in May '91.His signing for the Club was mutely welcomed by the ‘Well fans, after all he'd been a “ rock ” in the poorest Hun team in a generation ( yes folks,even worse than they are now !!! ), but wee Tom Tom saw him as a perfect match along with ex-Gronky, Tom McAdam.It turned out to be a ( andyet another ) McLean master stroke.Sure Craig was big and dominant in the air,but he was never averse to playing the ball along the ground,which I loved.Sadly after the Cup Final he was one of the guys who never pulled on the Claret and Amber shirt again, and the Club was poorer for that.

4.Gregor Stevens,185( 4 ) Apps,19 Goals

Yep, you've read it right.Gregor Stevens in his young days absolutely oozed class.His timing in the tackle,and an ability to pass with unerring accuracy set him apart from other young Centre Backs of that time.If memory serves me correctly after Jock Wallace left the Club to manage the Vile Hun,he immediately tried to sign Stevens which the Motherwell board rejected. In came Leicester City( Wallaces' old Club ) with a similar offer which was accepted.Six weeks later Stevens completed a move to Castle Greyskull,and so his career to a downward spiral as Wallace encouraged a more cynical style for which,sadly,he will always be remembered.

3.Tom McAdam,111( 1 ) Apps,3 Goals

Tam was knocking on a bit when Fir Park attracted him.Again the fans didn't get to excited…..until one night we beat the mighty Souness-led Hun to go top of the SPL ( I've still got the T-shirt ),and Tam was pictured celebrating on the back page of the Sun the following morning.Not for Tam the thumping of both the ball and opponents,indeed if caps were given out to gentlemen he'd had a hundred.Strange given the amount of time he'd spent at the Tattie Bowl !

2.John Philliben,300 ( 45 ) Apps,8 Goals

Big Softy was a terrific servant to this football club and deserves his lofty position in this top ten.Lots of memories of John, from his explosive goal at Cappielow to his legendary on-field fights with Sieb Dykstra.His sensational last minute equaliser at Tannadice in the Scottish Cup,after which Geordie Barr's bollocks were never quite the same after they were set swinging, at some force from a rather irate United fan is a recollection that always brings a smile to this fans face.Who can ever forget Softys' antics in front of celebrating Motherwell fans after putting Celtic to the sword in the 1991 Semi.And hands up who regrets to this day that the big man was dropped for the final to give an unfit Colin O'Neil a place on the bench.It seems even Tommy McLean got some things wrong.

1.Brian Martin,266 ( 1 ) Apps, 11 Goals

Buff was a run of the mill pro who sometimes played midfield and sometimes played defence,until Motherwell came calling after the '91 cup win.Big Brian seemed to get better the more hair he lost,and by the time he was bald, his was simply class. A handful of Caps was a scandalous return for a man who if he'd played for you know who or that other mob would've been well into double figures.Best memories are of him celebrating the winner at Somerset Park in the “ Scottish ” when we were the holders,and a few years later in the same tourney being ordered off for calling the Linesman “ a fat bastard ” for failing to spot an offside which led to a goal and our elimination at Easter Road.If you're too young to remember Buff,then take a trip over to Braehead this summer and you'll still see Brian Martin the footballer strutting his stuff in Claret and Amber at the Masters.

The flip side of the top ten of anything is the dross at the bottom of the pile.Joe Smith was slow,unfit and honestly,crap. Elroy Kromheer,Rob Maaskant and Daniel Sengewald all proved that European doesn't always equal quality.Surely Holm Kraska would've had a shout as the best of the worst,but only those at training saw how bad he was.This brings me to the first guy I can ever remember going AWOL from Fir Park to “ go and find himself '.Psycho doesn't even come close to describing the father of Tennis hopeful Allan Mackin.18 ( 2 ) appearances were far too many in our famous colours for this clown.

Scream Team,
1. Stevie WoodsDream Team,1. Keith McRae.

2. Peter Carr.2. Martyn Corrigan.

3. Billy Dickson.3. Joe Wark.

4.Allan Mackin4. Brian Martin.

Eddie Ferguson

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