Greenock Morton F.C.

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Greenock Morton F.C
Greenock Morton FC logo.svg
Full name Greenock Morton Football Club
Nickname(s) The Ton,[1]
The Pride of the Clyde
Short name Morton
Founded 1874
Ground Cappielow Park
Sinclair Street
Greenock
Ground Capacity 11,589[2] (5,741 seated)
Chairman Douglas Rae
Manager Jim Duffy
League Scottish League One
2013-14 Scottish Championship, 10th (relegated)
Website Club home page
Current season

Greenock Morton Football Club are a Scottish professional football club, who currently play in the Scottish League One after finishing bottom of the Scottish Championship in 2013-14. The club was founded as Morton Football Club in 1874, making it one of the oldest senior Scottish clubs. Morton were renamed as Greenock Morton in 1994 to celebrate the links with its home town of Greenock.

Morton won the Scottish Cup in 1922, and achieved their highest league finish in 1916–17, finishing as runners-up to champions Celtic.

Morton holds the record for the most promotions and relegations into the top flight (10 promotions and 10 relegations), however they have never competed in the current Scottish Premiership, having last competed in 1988 in the old Scottish Football League Premier Division.

History[edit]

19th century[edit]

Morton Football Club was established in 1874.[3] In the early 1870s the popularity of football was growing, with many clubs being established around Scotland. At the club's inaugural meeting, the first recorded words were "that this club be called Morton Football Club".[3] The true reason for the name 'Morton' remains unclear, though the general consensus is that the club was named after the 'Morton Terrace', a row of houses next to the original playing field, where some of the players lived.[3] The name would be altered in 1994 to read 'Greenock Morton Football Club', to celebrate the club's links with its hometown.

Morton were one of the founding members of the old Second Division, formed in 1893. They finished 8th in their first season. Morton first gained promotion to the old First Division in 1899–1900, and finished 4th in their first season there.

20th century[edit]

Morton's greatest success came when they defeated Rangers 1–0 in the 1922 Scottish Cup Final. Jimmy Gourlay scored the winning goal, direct from a free kick in the 11th minute. Straight after the match Morton boarded a train for Hartlepool to play the local side in a pre-arranged friendly match. The celebrations were delayed until the Wednesday when 10,000 locals turned out at Cappielow Park to celebrate.

Morton have made two other major cup final appearances. On Saturday 17 April 1948, Morton drew 1–1 with Rangers in the Scottish Cup Final.[4] Morton's goal was a free kick scored by Jimmy White. The match was replayed on Wednesday 21 April. This time Rangers won 1–0 after extra time. The goal was said to be highly controversial because it was claimed that Morton goalkeeper Jimmy Cowan was blinded by the flash of a camera.[5] These matches were significant because of the huge crowds they attracted. The first match was played in front of 132,629; the replay in front of 133,750, which was, at the time a British record attendance for a midweek match.[6]

Morton's third and final major cup final to date was in the League Cup and this was played on Saturday 26 October 1963 when Rangers (who Morton have faced in all three final appearances) won by 5 goals to nil[7](HT: 0–0) in front of 106,000 supporters.

During the Second World War 'guest' players were common at clubs throughout Great Britain. Morton were particularly fortunate in this respect in that two of English football's greatest ever players turned out at Cappielow. Sir Stanley Matthews[8] and Tommy Lawton[9] made several guest appearances for Morton. When Morton reached the 1948 Scottish Cup Final both players sent telegrams wishing good luck to their former club. Matthews simply said 'I am delighted to see Morton reach the final of the Scottish Cup'.[citation needed] Lawton's was more expressive, he said 'Memories of happy days during the war at Cappielow compel me to wish the Morton manager & the boys all the best of luck in their cup final at Hampden'.[citation needed]

To date Morton have played in a European Club Competition once. After finishing 6th in Scotland's top division in 1967–68 Morton qualified for the European Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (now the UEFA Europa League). They were drawn to play Chelsea but were eliminated at the first hurdle after a 5–0 defeat at Stamford Bridge and a 4–3 defeat at Cappielow.[10]

In 1992–93 Morton lost 3–2 to Hamilton Academical in the Scottish Challenge Cup Final[11] in front of 7,391 fans. The final was played at Love Street, the home of Morton's arch rivals St. Mirren.

21st century[edit]

After experiencing financial problems the team was relegated from the First Division at the end of the 2000–01 season after a 6-year stay and was put into administration. The club's financial problems continued and a second successive relegation followed the next season. In season 2002–03, Morton's first ever season in the Third Division, the club's financial situation was resolved by the takeover by chairman Douglas Rae. Rae appointed John McCormack as manager,[12] and the team won the Third Division championship at the first attempt, confirming their position with a 1–0 victory over Peterhead in front of a then Third Division record crowd of 8,497 people.

After a strong start to the 2003–04 season the team fell away after the turn of the year, and finished in 4th place, well outside the promotion places. This came after being 12 points ahead in the Championship race at the half way stage. This led to unfounded allegations that some players had placed large bets on nearest rivals Airdrie United to win the league, which they eventually did.[13]

Jim McInally was announced as McCormack's successor,[14] and in his first season as manager the club failed to gain promotion to the First Division by a single point, finishing behind Stranraer in 3rd place.

Morton failed to gain promotion to the First Division during the 2005–06 season. Finishing 2nd was not enough, as the SFL playoffs meant that only the championship-winning team would be promoted automatically. Gretna won the division, so Morton entered play-offs alongside Peterhead (3rd), Partick Thistle (4th), and Stranraer (9th in Division One.) Morton's first play-off match was against Peterhead, and the Greenock side were defeated 1–0 over two legs, the only goal a penalty in the second match at Balmoor.[15]

The following season, a week after a 9–1 defeat of Forfar Athletic at Cappielow Park,[16] Morton achieved promotion to the First Division,[17] and went on to become Second Division Champions.[18]

Jim McInally resigned on 11 February 2008[19] after a run of poor results allowed Morton to slip into 9th place in the First Division and was replaced by Davie Irons, with Derek Collins joining him as Assistant Manager.[20] Morton battled relegation for most of the season and survived on the final day with a 3–0 victory against Partick Thistle, to avoid the relegation playoff by a single goal. Irons was sacked in September 2009 and replaced October by James Grady, until the end of the season.[21] Grady was removed from the club in May 2010,[22] and replaced by Allan Moore.[23] Allan Moore was sacked after a 5–1 defeat at home to Livingston on 23 November 2013. His replacement Kenny Shiels was given a contract until the end of season 2014-2015, but failed to reverse the slide towards relegation, which became a reality on 12th April 2014 after a 2-0 away defeat by Alloa Athletic. Shiels resigned after a 10-2 defeat by Hamilton Accies.[24]

Colours[edit]

The team's home strip is traditionally a blue and white hooped shirt with white shorts and white socks, though season 2006–2007 saw the team playing a blue and white striped shirt with white shorts and blue socks. Short-lived yet distinctive designs have been used over the years, including sky blue and white stripes in the style of the Argentine national team and even a blue Morton tartan. The away strip tends to vary much more; for the 2003–2004 season it was an all yellow outfit, changing in 2004–2005 to all white, which in turn became the 3rd team strip in 2005–2006, with the special re-issue of the blue Morton tartan strip. The sponsor's logo on the strip is that of Millions, a brand owned by the Club Chairman's confectionery concern, Golden Casket (Greenock) Ltd.[25]

Stadium[edit]

Main article: Cappielow
Cappielow Park

Their stadium is Cappielow Park in Greenock, a ground they have occupied since 1879. Cappielow's etymology is allegedly of Scandinavian origin, although details of this are sketchy. The current capacity is 11,589, with 5,741 of these being seated. In December 2008, Morton purchased the Reid Kerr sponsored East stand from local rivals St. Mirren for £50,000, to improve the away end at Cappielow.[26]

The area currently behind the western goal (upon which the new stand will be built) is known as the Wee Dublin End, which contains non-backed bench seating, converted from the old terracing that once stood there. The main stand contains plastic bucket seating to replace the old wooden benches that were a fixture of the ground until the late 1990s. The "Cowshed" lies to the north of the pitch; formerly a fully terraced arena for both home and away supporters (complete with segregation fence down the middle), it is now for home supporters only, with much of the frontal terracing removed, and plastic bucket seats occupying its place. Behind the eastern goal is the "Sinclair Street" end, with uncovered terracing.

Supporters[edit]

Greenock Morton have several supporters' clubs, based in Greenock and the surrounding towns. The main clubs are The Andy Ritchie Travel Club, The Prince of Wales Travel Club, The Greenock Morton Supporters Club, The Albert Hotel Morton Supporters Club and The Spinnaker Hotel Supporters Club;[27][28]

League participation[edit]

  • First Level: 1900–1927, 1929–1933, 1937–1938, 1946–1949, 1950–1952, 1964–1966, 1967–1975, 1978–1983, 1984–1985, 1987–1988
  • Second Level: 1893–1900, 1927–1929, 1933–1937, 1938–39, 1949–1950, 1952–1964, 1966–1967, 1975–1978, 1983–1984, 1985–1987, 1988–1994, 1995–2001, 2007–2014
  • Third Level: 1994–1995, 2001–2002, 2003–2007, 2014-
  • Fourth Level: 2002–2003

Honours[edit]

  • Scottish First Division
    • Champions: 1949–1950¹, 1963–1964¹, 1966–1967¹, 1977–1978, 1983–1984, 1986–1987
    • Runners-up: 1899–1900¹, 1928–1929¹, 1936–1937¹, 2012–13
  • Great War Shield
    • Winners: 1914
  • SFL Reserve League South
    • Runners-up: 2012–2013

¹ Known as Division II at the time
² Known as Division I at the time

Records[edit]

Players[edit]

As of 3 July 2014

First team squad[1]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
France GK Nicolas Caraux
Scotland GK Derek Gaston
Scotland DF Sean Crighton
Scotland DF Lee Kilday
Scotland DF Michael Miller
Serbia DF Stefan Milojević
Scotland DF Thomas O'Ware
No. Position Player
Comoros MF Fouad Bachirou
England MF Reece Hands
Scotland MF Stefan McCluskey
Scotland MF Joe McKee
Republic of Ireland MF Conor Pepper
Scotland FW Andy Barrowman

Development squad[2]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Scotland GK Lewis McIntyre
Scotland DF Luke Irvine
Scotland DF Craig Knight
Scotland DF Mark Russell
Scotland DF John Tennent
Scotland MF Steven Lamont
No. Position Player
Scotland MF Cameron O'Neil
Scotland MF Dylan Stevenson
Scotland FW Jordan Cairnie
Scotland FW Aidan Ferris
Scotland FW Thomas Orr

Current squad statistics[edit]

Player records[edit]

All statistics are for league games, post-World War II.[29]

As of 7 May 2013

Top goalscorers

# Name Career Apps Goals
1 Scotland Allan McGraw 1961–66 136 117
2 Scotland Andy Ritchie 1976–83 213 100
3 Scotland Rowan Alexander 1986–95 310 98
4 England Peter Weatherson 2003–13 322 94
5 Scotland Tommy Orr 1946–58 257 86
6 Scotland Eddie Beaton 1956–60 110 83
Scotland Derek Lilley 1991–97
2005–07
232 83
8 Scotland Joe Mason 1966–73 186 76
9 Scotland Alec Linwood 1951–55 101 72
10 Scotland John McNeil 1975–91 328 67

Most appearances

# Name Career Apps
1 Scotland Derek Collins 1987–99
2001–05
534
2 Scotland David Wylie 1985–99 482
3 Scotland Jim Holmes 1976–88 437
4 Scotland Davie Hayes 1970–84 353
5 Scotland John McNeil 1975–91 328
6 England Peter Weatherson 2003–13 322
7 Scotland Rowan Alexander 1986–95 310
8 Scotland George Anderson 1969–81
1985–87
280
9 England Roy Baines 1972–77
1978–83
271
10 Scotland Tommy Orr 1946–58 257

Top league goalscorers by season (post war)[edit]

In progress

Season Name Goals Division
1946–47 Ross Henderson 10 Premier Division
1947–48 Tommy Orr 14 Premier Division
1948–49 Neil Mochan 13 Premier Division
1949–50 Neil Mochan 24 First Division
1950–51 Neil Mochan 20 Premier Division
1951–52 Alec Linwood 19 Premier Division
1952–53 Bob Gibson
Alec Linwood
17 First Division
1953–54 Alec Linwood
John Hannigan
22 First Division
1954–55 Alec Linwood 14 First Division
1955–56 Bob Gibson 33 First Division
1956–57 Eddie Beaton 18 First Division
1957–58 Eddie Beaton 25 First Division
1958–59 Eddie Beaton 33 First Division
1959–60 Charlie Stewart 11 First Division
1960–61 Billy Craig 11 First Division
1961–62 Allan McGraw 16 First Division
1962–63 Allan McGraw 29 First Division
1963–64 Allan McGraw 51 First Division
1964–65 Allan McGraw 12 Premier Division
1965–66 Allan McGraw
David Watson
8 Premier Division
1966–67 Joe Harper 29 First Division
1967–68 Joe Mason 15 Premier Division
1968–69 Joe Harper 25 Premier Division
1969–70 Billy Osborne 11 Premier Division
1970–71 Joe Mason 9 Premier Division
1971–72 Donald Gillies 9 Premier Division
1972–73 Donald Gillies 14 Premier Division
1973–74 Hugh McIlmoyle 8 Premier Division
1974–75 John Hazel 6 Premier Division
1975–76 John Goldthorpe
Ian Harley
Richard Sharp
22 First Division
1976–77 Andy Ritchie 22 First Division
1977–78 John Goldthorpe
Andy Ritchie
20 First Division
1978–79 Andy Ritchie 22 Premier Division
1979–80 Andy Ritchie 19 Premier Division
1980–81 Andy Ritchie 8 Premier Division
1981–82 Andy Ritchie 6 Premier Division
1982–83 James Rooney 7 Premier Division
1983–84 John McNeil 17 First Division
1984–85 James Gillespie 5 Premier Division
1985–86 John McNeil 14 First Division
1986–87 Rowan Alexander 23 First Division
1987–88 Jimmy Boag 8 Premier Division
1988–89 Rowan Alexander 11 First Division
1989–90 Rowan Alexander 11 First Division
1990–91 Dave McCabe 21 First Division
1991–92 Alex Mathie 18 First Division
1992–93 Alex Mathie 13 First Division
1993–94 Rowan Alexander 11 First Division
1994–95 Derek Lilley 16 Second Division
1995–96 Derek Lilley 14 First Division
1996–97 Derek Lilley 15 First Division
1997–98 Warren Hawke 10 First Division
1998–99 Kevin Thomas 9 First Division
1999–2000 Harry Curran 9 First Division
2000–01 Ross Matheson 9 First Division
2001–02 Scott Bannerman 8 Second Division
2002–03 Alex Williams 23 Third Division
2003–04 Peter Weatherson
Alex Williams
15 Second Division
2004–05 Chris Millar
Peter Weatherson
10 Second Division
2005–06 Derek Lilley 12 Second Division
2006–07 Peter Weatherson 15 Second Division
2007–08 Peter Weatherson 9 First Division
2008–09 Peter Weatherson
Brian Wake
9 First Division
2009–10 Peter Weatherson 10 First Division
2010–11 Allan Jenkins 8 First Division
2011–12 Peter MacDonald 10 First Division
2012–13 Peter MacDonald 14 First Division
2013–14 Dougie Imrie 9 Championship
2014-15 League One

National Player Honours[edit]

Notable players[edit]

To be included in this list players must have met one of the following criteria...

  • Played over 100 league games for Morton
  • Scored in a national Cup final
  • Managed the club after playing for them
  • Been from a nation outwith the British Isles
  • Won full international honours
     

For all Greenock Morton players with a Wikipedia article, see Category:Greenock Morton F.C. players.

Non-playing staff[edit]

Boardroom[edit]

Name Role
Scotland Douglas Rae Chairman
Scotland Crawford Rae Director/Stadium Director
Scotland Alison Bryce LLB Director
Scotland Gillian Donaldson Chief Executive
Scotland Arthur Montford Hon. Vice-President
Scotland Iain D. Brown C.A. Hon. Vice-President

Management[edit]

  • Only coaches/staff with senior footballing careers have been mentioned.
Name Role
Scotland Jim Duffy Manager
Scotland Craig McPherson Assistant Manager
Scotland David Wylie Goalkeeping Coach
England Warren Hawke Development Officer
Scotland Tom Elliott Community Engagement Manager
Scotland Derek Anderson Head of Youth Development
Scotland David Hopkin Development Squad Manager
Scotland Derek Allan
Scotland Sandy MacLean
Scotland Sean Crighton
Scotland Ryan McWilliams
Scotland Chris Millar
England Peter Weatherson
Youth Coaches

Managers[edit]

This list does not contain caretaker managers such as David Hopkin or Joe McLaughlin.

Scottish Cup Record[edit]

Morton first entered the Scottish Cup in season 1877/1878, and won it once in 1922. Over the course of Morton's time in the competition has changed format six times, to its current format of 8 rounds and a preliminary round.

  • Between 2007/08 and 2011/12 there were 8 rounds.
  • Between 1970/71 and 2006/07 there were 7 rounds.
  • Between 1957/58 and 1969/70 there were 5 rounds plus a preliminary round.
  • Between 1954/55 and 1956/57 there were 9 rounds.
  • Between 1912/13 and 1953/54 there were 6 rounds.
  • Between 1895/96 and 1911/12 there were 5 rounds.

So far Morton have finished the competition in the following rounds, this many times.

  • Finals – 2
  • Semi-finals – 5
  • 1/4 finals – 13

European record[edit]

Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Aggregate
1968–69 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup First round England Chelsea 3–4 0–5 3–9

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Club Info". Greenock Morton F.C. 
  2. ^ http://spfl.co.uk/clubs/morton/
  3. ^ a b c "Club History". Greenock Morton F.C. Retrieved 11 November 2009. 
  4. ^ "1946–1970 A Historic Treble". Rangers F.C. Retrieved 3 September 2008. 
  5. ^ "GREENOCK MORTON FOOTBALL CLUB – THE PRIDE OF THE CLYDE". 188-football.co.uk. 7 May 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  6. ^ Halliday, Stephen (15 April 2006). "Goal feats of understudy 'Sailor' Williamson saw him chart course into Ibrox folklore". The Scotsman. Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  7. ^ "RALPH BRAND". Rangers F.C. Retrieved 3 September 2008. 
  8. ^ Black, Jim (27 February 2000). "Morton add to Clydebank woes". Sunday Herald. Retrieved 3 September 2008. 
  9. ^ "England Player Profile". englandfc.com. Retrieved 15 September 2008. 
  10. ^ "Battles of Britain: the full list". The Guardian. 31 October 2002. Retrieved 3 September 2008. 
  11. ^ "History of Hamilton Academical FC". acciesyouth.sports.officelive.com. 10 July 2005. Retrieved 3 September 2008. 
  12. ^ "Morton appoint McCormack". BBC Sport. 20 November 2002. Retrieved 3 September 2008. 
  13. ^ Parks, Gordon (17 December 2010). "I remember Morton squad bet on teammate to be first scorer in match, admits John McCormack". Daily Record. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  14. ^ "McInally named as Morton manager". BBC Sport. 22 October 2004. Retrieved 3 September 2008. 
  15. ^ Broadley, Ian (7 May 2006). "STUFF YOUR PLAY-OFFS". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 3 September 2008. 
  16. ^ "Morton 9–1 Forfar Athletic". BBC Sport. 7 April 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2008. 
  17. ^ "Raith Rovers 2–0 Morton". BBC Sport. 14 April 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2008. 
  18. ^ "Ayr United 3–2 Stirling Albion". BBC Sport. 14 April 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2008. 
  19. ^ "McInally resigns as Morton boss". BBC Sport. 12 February 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2008. 
  20. ^ "Irons quits Gretna for Morton job". BBC Sport. 19 February 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2008. 
  21. ^ Graham, Roger (31 October 2009). "Grady and McManus get Ton job". Greenock Telegraph. Retrieved 31 October 2009. 
  22. ^ "Manager James Grady parts company with Morton". BBC Sport. 9 May 2010. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  23. ^ "Allan Moore eyes top flight with Morton". BBC Sport. 29 May 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2011. 
  24. ^ Mitchell, Jonathan (6 May 2014). "Kenny Shiels resigns as Morton manager". Greenock Telegraph. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  25. ^ "Greenock Morton – Historical Football Kits". historicalkits.co.uk. Retrieved 3 September 2008. 
  26. ^ "MORTON Buy Stand From St Mirren". inverclydenow.com. 13 December 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2009. [dead link]
  27. ^ "Supporters Clubs". Greenock Morton F.C. Retrieved 13 September 2008. 
  28. ^ "Home Page". gourock-morton-supporters.org.uk. Retrieved 16 September 2008. 
  29. ^ "Greenock Morton 1946–47–2007–08". newcastlefans.com. 

External links[edit]