On just his second Motherwell appearance, Chris Long scored his first goal for the club. Albeit in a friendly against Linfield, but could we be about to see the next super Steelmen striker emerge?
The 24-year-old got his Motherwell career off to the perfect start, rounding the Linfield goalkeeper after a poor back pass before coolly slotting home as the ‘Well went onto beat The Blues 3-0 in Belfast.
Higdon was a hero for Motherwell
1998-99 was the last season that the Steelmen’s top scorer didn’t reach double figures, an impressive accolade. Many have come and gone, with the most noteworthy being Michael Higdon finishing as the SPL’s top scorer in the 2012-13 season.
Englishmen in particular have done well up front for the Well.
The Scouser also claimed the PFA Scotland Players’ Player of the Year, the first non-Old Firm player to win it since Aberdeen’s Jim Bett in 1989-90.
The Well finished 2nd that season and had competed in the third qualifying round for the Champions League, thanks to Rangers’ liquidation and demotion to the fourth tier of Scottish football. The Steelmen eventually lost out to Greek giants Panathinaikos.
Sutton was the next Steelmen superstar striker
The following season, John Sutton was the next to contribute over 20 goals in the league, having re-signed from Hearts. Brother of legendary Celtic striker Chris, Sutton had to go out on loan to Central Coast Mariners in Australia after a torrid Tynecastle tenure.
After returning to the club for a second spell on a free transfer, he netted 22 league goals. Motherwell went on to finish second for the second season on the trot. Halcyon days indeed.
Obviously it’s only pre-season, these fixtures are primarily about regaining fitness, embedding youngsters and experimenting. But Chris Long has certainly got off to a great start.
Here’s hoping for Motherwell’s sake that he’s the next legendary English striker and the successor they’ve been crying out for since Louis Moult departed Fir Park.