Willie McFadyen

William McFadyenWillie McFadyen signed for the ‘Well in 1921 from local youth side, Wishaw YMCA as a seventeen year old. It wasn’t until October 1923, that he made his ‘Well debut featuring in an outside right position, this of course came after he had been loaned out to Bo’ness and Second Division Clyde. Willie’s first goal for the club came in his seventeenth appearance, as Motherwell ran out 2-1 winners against Queen’s Park. It was no easy task for any young forward who wore the claret and amber in the 20s as they boasted a forward line which included Hughie Ferguson, and which had Tennant, Cameron and Banks all fighting for top team starts.

Willie was something of a utility forward when John ‘Sailor’ Hunter moved him to right-half for a time before returning him to the front ranks in the 1929/30 campaign. It was the following season which would set off the barrow load of goals which would flow throughout the years. He managed nineteen goals in his final thirteen games. Standing at 5′ 8″ and weighing around 11 stone, Willie was a strong and pacey forward and was a real ideal player for the central striker berth in the 30s. With the silky skills of Stevenson and McMenemy on the flanks, this strike force would on many occasions beat teams by five, six or even sometimes seven goals. In the 1931/32 championship winning season, he managed to score 52 goals in 34 starts. To this day, a record which has not been beaten. Willie’s brother, Ian also signed for Motherwell and his son would feature for the club in the 1950s. Fans and his fellow professionals and anyone who was fortunate enough to see him play even stated that Willie missed more chances than he scored. Just makes you wonder what he could have achieved had he struck them all away. On the international front, Willie had two Scottish caps both came in 1934.

As the season’s progressed, Willie seemingly on occasions dropped out of the side and indeed in the 1936/37 campaign, he was allowed to leave in December that season, but at least by then he had rattled in thirteen goals for the ‘Well cause. Willie joined English outfit Huddersfield Town, he was exchanged for the recently departed Duncan Ogilvie. McFadyen returned to Fir Park with Huddersfield to play in a Ben Ellis benefit match in Motherwell, the final score was 2-2 and of course, Willie got the Huddersfield goals. He managed to help them get to the FA Cup finals but sadly, his side were defeated 1-0 in extra time by Preston North End in 1938. He’d also go on to feature for Clapton Orient (now Leyton Orient) who’s luck in Cup competition was no better than his former clubs, this was his last playing venue before the outbreak of World War II. Willie was in the RAF as a PT Instructor and played for the RAF alongside the legendary Stanley Matthews. On his return to Scotland, he became manager of Second Division Dundee United. Willie died aged 68 in Birmingham in 1972.

William McFadyen
5′ 8″
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
23rd June 1904

Football Career:

Wishaw YMCA 1921
Motherwell 1921 1936
Bo’ness (Loan) 1922 1923
Clyde (Loan) 1924 1925
Huddersfield Town 1936 1939
Clapton Orient 1939 1940

Well Career:

Apps Goals
378 235
Scottish Cup:
League Cup:
378 235