It had been a great afternoon, even to be at home with a bunged up, well, everything, watching the latest goals coming in on BBC Score. Spurs and Reading were involved in yet another extraordinary match at White Hart Lane (and my, hasn’t there been a lot of those in the Premier League this season?), whilst West Ham United performed their annual stunt of upsetting Manchester United at Upton Park. Then, however, the news came in from Fir Park and everything took a horribly unexpected turn.
It’s always upsetting when a footballer dies, and this is magnified all the more when it comes during the course of a match. Towards the end of this afternoon’s SPL match between Motherwell and Dundee United, the Motherwell captain Phil O’Donnell collapsed on the pitch with a seizure. He was treated on the pitch for five minutes, but died on the way to hospital. O’Donnell was not merely the journeyman footballer of the modern era. He had started his career at Fir Park as an eighteen year-old in 1990, and didn’t take long to write his name into the club’s folklore when he scored in their 4-3 win against Dundee United at Hampden Park. He was transferred to Celtic in 1994 for £1.75m but much of the rest of his career, including a four year spell at Sheffield Wednesday, was interrupted by injuries. He returned to Motherwell in 2004 and was the club captain at the time of his death.
It’s difficult to know what else there could be to say, so I won’t say anything, and leave you to take a look at Motherwell FC’s official statement on today’s sad events and this two page report of Well’s 1991 win.