MOTHERWELL have acted swiftly to sign up axed Hearts striker John Sutton, the club have confirmed.
• Motherwell confirm recruitment of striker John Sutton, who returns to the club after leaving in 2011
• Sutton, 29, was made redundant by Hearts after spending two seasons at Tynecastle
The 29-year old was made redundant by Hearts on Thursday, paving the way for his return to Fir Park after two seasons at Tynecastle.
Sutton rejoins the club he left in 2011 after penning a two-year deal and will be paraded at the stadium on Monday.
The former Dundee and St Mirren frontman told Motherwell’s official website: “Obviously there has been plenty going on over the summer but I am just glad it has been sorted out now.
“It’s good to be back, good to see some familiar faces and there’s a lot to look forward to.
“I wasn’t desperate to leave here last time and I was glad of the opportunity to come back again and work with the manager and the staff who always made me feel welcome any time I returned.
“Most of the fans were kind to me when I left and were brilliant with me when I was here so it was a no brainer. I felt at home here last time, I enjoyed coming to work every day and I am sure that will be the case again now.”
Sutton was made redundant by Hearts administrators BDO after he failed to follow Ryan Stevenson, Jamie MacDonald and Jamie Hamill in accepting 50 per cent wage cuts.
The striker’s first spell at Motherwell came in 2008 when he was signed by then boss Mark McGhee from Wycombe. The Englishman netted 44 times in 115 appearances for the Steelmen, his most prolific return during his professional career.
He becomes Motherwell’s third signing of the summer after the arrival of Iain Vigurs and Paul Lawson from Ross County and will wear the No 9 shirt at Fir Park.
Lawson was told when he dropped two tiers on leaving Celtic that the move was the beginning of a deathly descent, but the 29-year-old has scaled his way back to second top. The midfielder met with the rest of his new Motherwell team-mates this week following his summer move from Dingwall. He did so with understandable satisfaction and a sense he has bucked football convention to earn a berth at the most consistent top-flight team outside of the club with which he spent his formative years.
Constantly proving his worth has been a guiding principle in his football. “That’s what it’s about for me,” Lawson said. “When I left Celtic and moved to the Second Division people thought my career would spiral down the way from there. I like to look at myself and believe I have done well and progressed with the club and last season Ross County came into the SPL and did well so I benefited from that.
“I’m proud that I didn’t go down the way and drift out of football. I’ve managed to come back to the SPL. A lot of people say when you leave the Old Firm then the only way is down. But you can still go and carve out a career for yourself and I like to think I’ve done that. I’ve played regularly at Ross County for six years and now I need to prove myself all over again to the Motherwell fans, the manager and the players here. I’m looking forward to getting that chance.
“It’s another great thing to be moving to a club which finished second last season and I see moving to Motherwell as a step up and I’m really looking forward to it. Getting the chance to play in Europe is a bonus as I didn’t think about that at all when I had the chance to move to this club. The manager [Stuart McCall] and Kenny Black spoke to me and they were very keen to bring me here and that is a huge positive when a manager goes out of his way to get you. It was a nice feeling and now I have a new challenge.”
Lawson was relieved that by the time he actually made it to Fir Park, McCall himself didn’t have a new challenge helming Sheffield United, the former Scotland internationalist rejecting the opportunity to move south. It was a worry as I signed and a few days later it came out that the manager was in talks with Sheffield United,” the player said. “But I spoke to him about a week later and he assured me he was going to stay which was good to hear. Now I’m just looking forward to working with him and his coaching staff.”
The assimilation process for Lawson in Lanarkshire has been made easier by the presence of fellow Ross County midfelder Vigurs and yesterday’s announcement that Sutton would be joining them. What makes the change of clubs potentially exacting for the pair is the fact that almost two-thirds of the Fir Park first team from the last campaign have left.
“What Motherwell have achieved in the last couple of seasons has been brilliant,” he said. “The manager has built a very good team despite losing players. It’s up to me, Iain Vigurs and whoever else comes in to step into these boys’ shoes and carry on that good work.”