Steven Hammell hopes he will be remembered fondly as a committed Motherwell player after announcing his retirement – but he plans to make many more memories as the club’s new academy director.
The 35-year-old will end his playing career at the end of this month having already made a post-war record 582 appearances for Motherwell either side of an 18-month spell at Southend.
“It’s been almost 20 years to the day that I joined here,” Hammell told Motherwell’s official website. “I came straight out of school and between then and now there’s been a lot of good memories made that I’ll take with me for the rest of my life.
“Playing so many times for this club, a club that I love, and European games as well as being involved in the national team are some real highlights. I’ve made so many lifelong friends in staff members and team-mates.
“I think as a young boy and when you start getting older and hit 30, then that magic 35 number comes your way, you want to be remembered. When you stop playing and hang the boots up, you want to be remembered fondly. After one or two years most players will slowly get forgotten about.
“It would be nice to be remembered as a player who gave his all whenever given his chance. The fans have been magnificent to me, there’s no denying that, I like to think I have repaid them by at least giving my all when I had the strip on.”
The left-back, who won one Scotland cap, was recommended for the academy role by predecessor Scott Leitch having coached several Motherwell youth teams in recent years.
Hammell, who joins former team-mates Stephen Craigan and Stephen McManus in working with the Fir Park youths, said: “It’s something I’ve prepared for – it’s not just something that has fallen on my lap. I’m hugely honoured to have been sought out to do the job, but it’s something I’ve been prepared for.
“Over the last ten years I’ve done nearly every coaching badge or course – I’ve been to everything. It has come a little earlier than I expected but it’s something I’ve got real confidence I can do well at.”
Chief operating officer Alan Burrows added: “When the board sat to discuss who the new academy director would be, one name shone above all the others.
“Not only has Steven been a terrific player for this club, more importantly, we feel he is exactly what we require for the post. He is an extremely popular and respected figure at the academy, where he has worked for several years. He is not only qualified to do the role, but his experience working with younger players and coaches can be an inspiration for any youth player at Motherwell, given he himself came through our ranks to break records.”