ON the 18th of May 1991, Stevie Kirk wrote his name into Motherwell FC folklore with a winning goal in the Scottish Cup final.
While discussing Wednesday’s Scottish Cup replay against Dundee Utd he admits that a lot has changed at the club, both on and off the pitch, since the 1991 win against Dundee United.
Stevie, who now works in Motherwell FC’s community department, admits that while he’ll never forget that special day, his focus is now on putting something back into the community that holds him in such high regard.
A recent report produced by the SPL Trust, the charitable arm of the SPL highlighted that across the 12 teams that make up Scotland’s top flight, there are over 180 community projects underway spanning areas of health, education, employment and social inclusion.
An impressive 23,600 individuals take part in SPL club community projects every week.
Stevie’s Motherwell FC does its bit, with over 1,500 people taking part in different initiatives with the club every week.
The man still known to many as ‘Supersub’ says that a lot has changed at SPL clubs, with their work going far beyond the 90 minutes on matchday.
He speaks fondly of the different kinds of people who come through the doors at Fir Park to take part: “There is one guy who is 82 who comes in for the Login to Learn IT classes and fitness classes – It’s fantastic.”
The club also works with Fallside Academy, a school for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties.
Stevie says “It’s all about making them feel part of the team. They sit with the players for lunch and they take part in coaching. It’s all about social inclusion and providing a healthier and happier approach to life.”
Looking forward to Wednesday’s replay, Stevie said that it would be hard to compare the ’91 cup winning team with Stuart McCall’s side due to the differences in today’s game.
He did however single out John Sutton as being key to their drive for success.
“Today’s team has a lot more pace than we had, but that’s a sign of the times in football. However, one thing that hasn’t changed is that hard working, battling attitude up front.
“When we played we had me and Iain Ferguson upfront and when the ball dropped in the box, more often than not we would win it. John Sutton is exactly the same – he tirelessly battles away and is excellent in the air.”
Kirk believes the players will be disappointed at conceding the second goal at Tannadice on the 13th but they will take added motivation from the home crowd to come through the tie.
He said: “We had a great backing of supporters at Tannadice, which is great for the club and hopefully the players will get added motivation from the home fans on Wednesday.”
When quizzed if this could be Motherwell’s year Stevie was hopeful: “I hope so! They’ll view it as a great chance to get to the final.
“Absolutely no disrespect to Dundee United and St Johnstone as each of them will being feeling the same and will provide very tough ties.”
Notes to editors:
Headline engagement figures from Motherwell FC:
- 1,500 participants per week through community projects
- Over 360 hours spent on community activity each week
- three full-time community staff employed
- 24 part-time community staff employed
Key projects include:
Give Learning a Sporting Chance is a project aimed at 16-25 year0old who are currently out of work or education. It uses sport as the hook to encourage participants back into learning. It is a flexible programme covering literacy and numeracy skills, healthy eating, report writing, presentations and business skills within a football environment.
The Score Goals Initiative is aimed at S1 and S2 children and delivered alongside Strathclyde Police. It is a ten-week programme which concentrates on education, discipline and the promotion of healthy physical activity.
The Football Fans in Training initiative is aimed at males aged 35 to 65 years-old with a BMI of 27+ and covers lifestyle issues such as weight management, physical activity, diet and healthy eating, alcohol awareness and general well being. There are 30 participants per 12-week block and the initiative has increased physical activity amongst participants. This initiative runs across all 12 SPL clubs in conjunction with the SPL Trust, the Football Pools and Scottish Government.
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Contact: Gordon Dyett