With the well publicised problems at Glasgow Rangers still ongoing, a third place finish was enough to see Motherwell FC reach the lofty heights of the Champions League qualifiers. An outstanding achievement for a small provincial club encapsulated inside the Old Firm bubble that surrounds the West of Scotland. Its not only on the pitch that the club have been successful however with the club also announcing healthy profits for the club once plunged into administration. It is a remarkable turnaround from those dark, dreich days when 'well fans had to pull together just to keep the club alive. Their passion and commitment, unrivalled in their time of need. This spirit is once again being noticed as the club prepare to be the first fan-owned club in the SPL. In a time when just over the border; money is king and players live multi-millionaire playboy lifestyles, modesty is key at Fir Park with hard work and determination the order of the day.
This spirit can also be seen in the stands with a passionate and vibrant fan-base who aim to encourage their team rather than scrutinise. A small group in the East Stand are vociferous in their support for the eleven gallant warriors who take to the hallowed turf each Saturday. Although not large in number, they are recognised as one of the noisier supports in Scotland. Flags and drums aim to add a carnival feel to matches, in order to galvanise the players’ spirits which will hopefully see them through the match. This type of support is new to these shores, however in mainland Europe it is the norm. This fandom is based on the Italian Ultra mentality of taking pride in the club, its colours and the community for which many of the fans have been brought up in. It encourages vocal support for players and the team, not only when in front but even when all is lost. For many this is not just a phase, it is a way of life that sees days and weeks of hard work and preparation to prepare choreographed displays of colour and noise. For Motherwell it looks to have paid off. Authoritative club figures have not been long in praising the support with many struggling to remember a time when such noise was heard coming from the terraces at Fir Park. In a time when many clubs attendances are decreasing, and players find themselves entering a park to half empty stadiums; it is believed that the passion and noise created by the Lanarkshire clubs supporters has truly made them the twelfth man.