The town of Motherwell was a growing industrial town, two of their factories Alpha and Glencairn had two strong footballing sides. The local Motherwell times felt that the merging of the former rivals would make “Motherwell Football Club” second to none in the West of Scotland as a country club.
The early teams in the town were dominated by Glencairn who started up around 1877, named from John Glencairn, Carter Hamilton of Dalziel. Originally they played there games in a ground in Craigneuk and used a nearby school for changing facilities, the park they played on was known as the “foot of the knowe”. They then moved to North Lodge but back then it was known as Broomside. Finally the side would move to the meadows, a venue where other football sides played.
An event was set up for a friendly between an Alpha/Glencairn Select versus Glasgow Ancients (a selection of older players as the name suggests). It was at this time when many suggested that the town’s two top sides should amalgamate and form one strong outfit. The argument of course was done no harm when a large crowd watched Alpha/Glencairn win 2-1.
On 6th May 1886 the Alpha board met and decided it was time to disband the club, as it was at that time, and re-form under a new constitution and set of rules under the same name. Representatives of both Glencairn and Alpha met 11 days later in Baillie’s Pub in Parkneuk and decided to form a completely new club, and would be named “Motherwell Football Club”.
The new side would ply their trade at Roman Road and the playing staff was dominated by players from Alpha. The debut of the club was a successful one as local rivals Hamilton were beaten 3-2.