Hundreds turn out as memorial unveiled to footballing ‘legend’

THE family of former Motherwell captain Phil O’Donnell, who died after collapsing on the pitch four years ago, thanked fans yesterday after they unveiled a permanent memorial in his honour.

Artwork incorporating the word “legend” and the number ten next to a 3D football with a dragonfly on it features on the north wall of the Fir Park stand bearing his name.

The former club captain was 35 years old when he died of heart failure and left behind a wife and four children.

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The tribute has been paid for through funds raised by the Motherwell Supporters Trust and was unveiled before yesterday’s league match against Dundee United, the same fixture in which the midfielder collapsed on 29 December, 2007.

Yesterday afternoon, several hundred fans gathered in Fir Park Street amid torrential rain and fierce winds for a 15-minute ceremony. Those attending included O’Donnell’s father and his brother James, who thanked fans not only for the tribute, but also the “support and kind words they have given us in the four years since Phil died”.

Others attending included Scotland manager Craig Levein, who was in charge of United when O’Donnell died.