Motherwell Football Club was established in 1886 at the merging of two Motherwell-based teams: Glencairn FC (established in 1877 and named after the soldier and politician John Glencairn Carter Hamilton, 1st Baron Hamilton of Dalzell) and Alpha FC (established as the Alpha Steam Crane and Engine Works team in 1881).
In 1893, Motherwell became founding members of the Scottish Second Division. By the middle of the 1920s, the ‘Steelmen’ (a reference to the town’s association with heavy industry), were proving themselves in the top tier. Between 1926 and 1934, Motherwell finished every season among the top three in Scottish football. Most notably, they topped the table in the 1931/32 season, becoming the first non-Old Firm club since Third Lanark in 1903/04 to be crowned Scottish champions. Motherwell’s 1931/32 season would be the last time a club from outwith the Old Firm would top the table until Hibernian in the 1947/48 season. Other significant honours include Motherwell’s Scottish League Cup victory of 1951 as well as their two Scottish Cup victories in 1952 and 1991.
In my first batch of Scottish Premiership badge redesigns, I ended up publishing Motherwell last (11 August 2013, at which point Dundee had been relegated to the second tier and Hamilton and Rangers were not in the top tier). Prior to their current badge (which has been in use since 1982), between 1969 and 1982, Motherwell’s kit featured two versions of the club’s initials, ‘MFC’.
The current badge features three fir trees (which represent Motherwell’s home ground since 1895, Fir Park) above a football and the silhouette of the famous Ravenscraig Steelworks (which closed in 1992). Below is my initial redesign of the Motherwell badge from August 2013:
In keeping with Motherwell’s heritage, in this 2013 redesign I employed a similar colour scheme and a banner and shield that resemble the current badge. I also updated the fir trees with a wee bit more definition and replaced the steelmill with a cogwheel. The cogwheel represents both the mill and the motto found on the Motherwell coat of arms: INDUSTRIA (Latin for ‘diligence’, ‘purpose’ or ‘industry’). Also employed from the coat of arms is the water in the background, which represents both the ancient Lady’s Well (dedicated to the Virgin Mary)—from which Motherwell derives its name—as well as the first Motherwell kit, which featured blue and white stripes. Admittedly, the blue and white proved too busy, but at the time, I thought it provided a wee reprieve from the claret and amber of the full kit.
The Roman numeral X at the top of the shield is a memorial for Phil O’Donnell, who died of cardiac arrest at age 35 on 29 December 2007, while playing with Motherwell against Dundee United at Fir Park. The club wore shirts bearing his embroidered signature for the rest of the season and the Main Stand at Fir Park is dedicated O’Donnell. But I think a badge featuring his number 10 would be quite nice.
In my 2018 update, I ditched the water and went back to a three-colour badge, dominated by the claret. I adjusted the shield very slightly and tidied up the fir trees with a simpler design.
For the shirts, I decided to go with a pronounced chevron design on the home strip and some thin red hoops on the away strip. The away kit also features a white version of the badge.
As ever, I am indebted to Dave at Historical Football Kits for some of the historical information used above.