Phil O’Donnell would have turned 36 today, the same age as me (albeit only until June). Calls for a wee dram and a re-watching of the ’91 Scottish Cup Final video tonight I think, if only to reinforce just how badly we could do with him back in our midfield at the moment…
EDIT: Coincidentally, it was also the 13th anniversary of Davie Cooper‘s untimely death a couple of days ago, too. Unbelievable that two of that cup winning team died in their 30s, while just doing their job.
I like this idea. Motherwell fans have had two weeks to pay their respects, and Hearts fans have already paid theirs with a minute’s applause before their last two games (and fair play to them for doing it the second time– not entirely sure why they were asked to do it more than once…)
Let’s just get back on with the fitba’ now– it’s what Phil would have wanted!
Numbed by the news when I got home last night that Motherwell captain Phil O’Donnell had died after collapsing during the game with Dundee Utd yesterday.
I well remember his debut against St.Mirren in the 1990/91 season, when as a 17-year-old he was given the complete runaround by Kenny MacDowell. At the end of that season, he scored his first goal for the club– in the memorable Scottish Cup “family final” at Hampden Park. Ironically, that was also against Dundee Utd, in a game which was also tinged with sadness– the managers of the two teams were brothers Tommy and Jim McLean, whose father died a couple of days before the final.
(That cup winning side seems somewhat jinxed, now… it also featured Davie Cooper, who was to collapse and die a few years later on the training ground at the age of 39. And two of our other stars that day never played again, forced into early retirement through injury.)
So, thanks for the memories, Phil. Thoughts are with your family and friends today, especially to your wife, kids, and nephew and Motherwell team-mate David Clarkson who’s been a revelation this year– I hope he can find it within himself to pull on the claret and amber jersey again after what he witnessed yesterday.
A pretty uneventful Christmas and New Year was had by all, in my household– mostly because I live alone! I did a lot of gadding around, though… England the weekend before Chrimbo, back in Dublin for Christmas Day, Scotland on the 26th, and back in the Emerald Isle for Hogmanay. All for under 100 quid, thanks to Mr. Ryan.
New Year’s Eve in Dublin is crap, though– half the pubs are shut and the only free ‘event’ involves hanging around outside a dingy cathedral waiting for the midnight chimes, then going home!
The dressing room bust-up down Fir Park way seems to have done the trick, though… the ‘Well are back to their winning ways, with fine victories over Dundee and Dundee Utd in the space of a week.