Greenock Morton F.C.
Greenock Morton Football Club is a Scottish professional football club, which plays in the Scottish Championship. The club was founded as Morton Football Club in 1874, making it one of the oldest senior Scottish clubs. Morton was renamed Greenock Morton in 1994 to celebrate the links with its home town of Greenock.
|Full name||Greenock Morton Football Club|
|Founded||1874(as Morton F.C.)|
|Capacity||11,589 (5,741 seated)|
|Owner||Golden Casket Group|
|2020–21||Scottish Championship, 9th of 10|
Morton won the Scottish Cup in 1922, and achieved its highest league finish in 1916–17, as runners-up to champions Celtic. Morton holds the record for the most promotions to and relegations from the top flight (10 promotions and 10 relegations), but has not competed in the top flight of the Scottish football league system since 1988. In 2014–15, Morton won its tenth league title in all divisions by winning the Scottish League One championship on the final day.
Morton Football Club was established in 1874. In the early 1870s the popularity of football was growing, with many clubs being established around Scotland. At the club's inaugural meeting, the first recorded words were "that this club be called Morton Football Club". The true reason for the name 'Morton' remains unclear, though the general consensus is that the club was named after the 'Morton Terrace', a row of houses next to the original playing field, where some of the players lived. The name would be altered in 1994 to read 'Greenock Morton Football Club', to celebrate the club's links with its hometown, though it is still almost universally referred to as 'Morton'.
Morton was one of the founding members of the old Second Division, formed in 1893, and finished 8th in its first season. Morton first gained promotion to the old First Division in 1899–1900, and finished 4th in its first season there.
Morton's greatest success came in its 1–0 defeat of Rangers in the 1922 Scottish Cup Final. Jimmy Gourlay scored the winning goal directly from a free kick in the 11th minute. Right after the match Morton boarded a train for Hartlepool to play the local side in a pre-arranged friendly match. The celebrations were delayed until the following Wednesday when 10,000 locals turned out at Cappielow Park to celebrate.
Morton has made two other major cup final appearances. On Saturday 17 April 1948, Morton drew 1–1 with Rangers in the Scottish Cup Final. Morton's goal was a free kick scored by Jimmy White. The match was replayed on Wednesday 21 April. This time Rangers won 1–0 after extra time. The goal was said to be highly controversial because it was claimed that Morton goalkeeper Jimmy Cowan was blinded by the flash of a camera. These matches were significant because of the huge crowds they attracted. The first match was played in front of 132,629. The replay, in front of 133,750, was at the time a British record attendance for a midweek match.
Morton's third and final major cup final to date was in the League Cup, played on Saturday, 26 October 1963. As in its previous two final appearances, Morton's opponent was once again Rangers. The Glasgow side won by 5 goals to nil(HT: 0–0) in front of 106,000 supporters.
During the Second World War 'guest' players were common at clubs throughout Great Britain. Morton was particularly fortunate in this respect in that two of English football's greatest ever players turned out at Cappielow. Sir Stanley Matthews and Tommy Lawton made several guest appearances for Morton. When Morton reached the 1948 Scottish Cup Final both players sent telegrams wishing good luck to their former club. Matthews simply said 'I am delighted to see Morton reach the final of the Scottish Cup'. Lawton's was more expressive, he said 'Memories of happy days during the war at Cappielow compel me to wish the Morton manager & the boys all the best of luck in their cup final at Hampden'.
To date Morton has played in a European Club Competition once. After finishing 6th in Scotland's top division in 1967–68 Morton qualified for the European Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (now the UEFA Europa League). Drawn to play Chelsea, the club was eliminated at the first hurdle after a 5–0 defeat at Stamford Bridge and a 4–3 defeat at Cappielow.
After experiencing financial problems the team was relegated from the First Division at the end of the 2000–01 season after a six-year stay and was put into administration. The club's financial problems continued and a second successive relegation followed. In season 2002–03, Morton's first ever season in the Third Division, the club's financial situation was resolved by the takeover by chairman Douglas Rae. Rae appointed John McCormack as manager, and the team won the Third Division championship at the first attempt, confirming its position with a 1–0 victory over Peterhead in front of a then Third Division record crowd of 8,497 people.
After a strong start to the 2003–04 season, the team fell away after the turn of the year, and finished in 4th place, well outside the promotion places. This came after being 12 points ahead in the Championship race at the half-way stage. This led to unfounded allegations that some players had placed large bets on nearest rivals Airdrie United to win the league, which Airdrie eventually did.
Jim McInally was announced as McCormack's successor, and in his first season as manager the club failed to gain promotion to the First Division by a single point, finishing behind Stranraer in 3rd place.
Morton failed to gain promotion to the First Division during the 2005–06 season. Finishing 2nd was not enough, as the SFL playoffs meant that only the championship-winning team would be promoted automatically. Gretna won the division, so Morton entered play-offs along with Peterhead (3rd), Partick Thistle (4th), and Stranraer (9th in Division One). Morton's first play-off match was against Peterhead, and the Greenock side was defeated 1–0 over two legs, the only goal a penalty in the second match at Balmoor.
The following season, a week after a 9–1 defeat of Forfar Athletic at Cappielow Park, Morton achieved promotion to the First Division, and went on to become Second Division Champions.
Jim McInally resigned on 11 February 2008 after a run of poor results allowed Morton to slip into 9th place in the First Division and was replaced by Davie Irons, with Derek Collins joining him as Assistant Manager. Morton battled relegation for most of the season and survived on the final day with a 3–0 victory against Partick Thistle, to avoid the relegation playoff by a single goal. Irons was sacked in September 2009 and replaced October by James Grady until the end of the season. Grady was removed from the club in May 2010, and replaced by Allan Moore. Allan Moore was sacked after a 5–1 defeat at home to Livingston on 23 November 2013. His replacement Kenny Shiels was given a contract until the end of season 2014–2015, but failed to reverse the slide towards relegation from the Scottish Championship, which became a reality on 12 April 2014 after a 2–0 away defeat by Alloa Athletic. Shiels resigned after a 10–2 defeat by Hamilton Accies.
After the resignation of Shiels, Jim Duffy was appointed as manager. He won the Scottish League One to return the club the Championship at the first time of asking. This league victory earned Morton's tenth league title, making it the joint third most crowned league champions in Scotland along with Hibernian, but behind Rangers (57) and Celtic (51). Duffy was sacked in April 2018 after the club finished in 7th place in the Championship after a promising start. At the end of the 2017–18 season, Chairman Douglas Rae retired after 17 years and handed the role to his son Crawford, before dying less than two months later.
Jim Duffy was replaced by Ray McKinnon in May 2018 on a one-year contract; however McKinnon left to join league rivals Falkirk after just three months, being replaced by ex-reserve team manager Jonatan Johansson on a two-year deal.
The team's home strip is traditionally a blue and white hooped shirt with white shorts and white socks, though season 2006–07 saw the team playing a blue and white striped shirt with white shorts and blue socks. Short-lived yet distinctive designs have been used over the years, including sky blue and white stripes in the style of the Argentine national team and even a blue Morton tartan. The away strip tends to vary much more: for the 2003–04 season it was an all yellow outfit, changing in 2004–05 to all white, which in turn became the 3rd team strip in 2005–06, with the special re-issue of the blue Morton tartan strip. The sponsor's logo on the strip is that of Millions, a brand owned by the club chairman's confectionery concern, Golden Casket (Greenock) Ltd.
Morton's stadium is Cappielow Park in Greenock, a ground the club has occupied since 1879. Cappielow's etymology is allegedly of Scandinavian origin, although details are sketchy. The current capacity is 11,589, with 5,741 of these being seated. In December 2008, Morton purchased the Reid Kerr sponsored east stand from local rivals St Mirren for £50,000, to improve the away end at Cappielow.
The area currently behind the western goal (upon which the new stand will be built) is known as the Wee Dublin End, which contains non-backed bench seating, converted from the old terracing that once stood there. The main stand contains plastic bucket seating to replace the old wooden benches that were a fixture of the ground until the late 1990s. The "Cowshed" lies to the north of the pitch; formerly a fully terraced arena for both home and away supporters (complete with segregation fence down the middle), it is now for home supporters only, with much of the frontal terracing removed, and plastic bucket seats occupying its place. The segregation fence no longer exists, and the whole area is used by home supporters. Behind the eastern goal is the "Sinclair Street" end, with uncovered terracing.
Supporters and rivalries
Greenock Morton has several supporters' clubs based in Greenock and the surrounding towns. The main clubs are The Andy Ritchie Travel Club, The Prince of Wales Travel Club, The Greenock Morton Supporters Club, The Gourock Morton Supporters (Formerly The Albert Hotel Morton Supporters Club) and The Spinnaker Hotel Supporters Club.
- First Level: 1900–1927, 1929–1933, 1937–1938, 1946–1949, 1950–1952, 1964–1966, 1967–1975, 1978–1983, 1984–1985, 1987–1988
- Second Level: 1893–1900, 1927–1929, 1933–1937, 1938–39, 1949–1950, 1952–1964, 1966–1967, 1975–1978, 1983–1984, 1985–1987, 1988–1994, 1995–2001, 2007–2014, 2015–present
- Third Level: 1994–1995, 2001–2002, 2003–2007, 2014–2015
- Fourth Level: 2002–2003
- Scottish Cup
- Scottish League Cup
- Runners-up: 1963–64
- Scottish Challenge Cup
- Runners-up: 1992
- Scottish Football League
- Runners-up: 1916–17²
- Scottish First Division/Division Two
- Scottish Second Division/League One
- Scottish Third Division
- Champions: 2002–03
- Renfrewshire Cup
- Winners: 52 times
- Runners-up: 42 times
- Great War Shield
- Southern Football League
- Runners-up: 1942-43
- Southern League Cup
- Runners-up: 1941–42
- SFL Reserve League South
- SPFL Development League West
- Club Academy Scotland U16/17 South/West League
¹ Known as Division II at the time
² Known as Division I at the time
³ Known as SPFL League One at the time
- Best league position – 2nd in First Division (Old) (1916–1917)
- Best Scottish Cup performance – winners (1921–1922)
- Best League Cup performance – runners-up (1963–1964)
- Best Challenge Cup performance – runners-up (1992–1993)
- Victory – 21–0 v Howwood (1886–87 Renfrewshire Cup)
- Defeat – 1–10 v Port Glasgow Athletic (5 May 1894), St Bernard's (14 October 1933)
- Home attendance – 23,500 v Celtic (1922)
- Goals in one season – Allan McGraw (58 in 1963–1964)
- Most league appearances – Derek Collins (534)
- Most league goals – Allan McGraw (117)
- Record signing – Janne Lindberg – £250k (including Marko Rajamäki) from MyPa-47
- Record sale – Derek Lilley – £500k to Leeds United
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|Andy Millen||Assistant Manager|
|Derek Anderson||Director of Youth|
|John Sutton||Reserve Team Coach|
All statistics are for league matches, post-World War II.
- As of 1 June 2021
|#||Name||Period at club||Apps||Goals|
|#||Name||Period at club||Apps|
Top league goalscorers by season (post war)
- Scottish unless stated
|1946–47||Ross Henderson||10||Premier Division|
|1947–48||Tommy Orr||14||Premier Division|
|1948–49||Neil Mochan||13||Premier Division|
|1949–50||Neil Mochan||24||First Division|
|1950–51||Neil Mochan||20||Premier Division|
|1951–52||Alec Linwood||19||Premier Division|
|1954–55||Alec Linwood||14||First Division|
|1955–56||Bob Gibson||33||First Division|
|1956–57||Eddie Beaton||18||First Division|
|1957–58||Eddie Beaton||25||First Division|
|1958–59||Eddie Beaton||33||First Division|
|1959–60||Charlie Stewart||11||First Division|
|1960–61||Billy Craig||11||First Division|
|1961–62||Allan McGraw||16||First Division|
|1962–63||Allan McGraw||29||First Division|
|1963–64||Allan McGraw||51||First Division|
|1964–65||Allan McGraw||12||Premier Division|
|1966–67||Joe Harper||29||First Division|
|1967–68||Joe Mason||15||Premier Division|
|1968–69||Joe Harper||25||Premier Division|
|1969–70||Billy Osborne||11||Premier Division|
|1970–71||Joe Mason||9||Premier Division|
|1971–72||Donald Gillies||9||Premier Division|
|1972–73||Donald Gillies||14||Premier Division|
|1973–74||Hugh McIlmoyle||8||Premier Division|
|1974–75||John Hazel||6||Premier Division|
|1976–77||Andy Ritchie||22||First Division|
|1978–79||Andy Ritchie||22||Premier Division|
|1979–80||Andy Ritchie||19||Premier Division|
|1980–81||Andy Ritchie||8||Premier Division|
|1981–82||Andy Ritchie||6||Premier Division|
|1982–83||James Rooney||7||Premier Division|
|1983–84||John McNeil||17||First Division|
|1984–85||James Gillespie||5||Premier Division|
|1985–86||John McNeil||14||First Division|
|1986–87||Rowan Alexander||23||First Division|
|1987–88||Jimmy Boag||8||Premier Division|
|1988–89||Rowan Alexander||11||First Division|
|1989–90||Rowan Alexander||11||First Division|
|1990–91||Dave McCabe||21||First Division|
|1991–92||Alex Mathie||18||First Division|
|1992–93||Alex Mathie||13||First Division|
|1993–94||Rowan Alexander||11||First Division|
|1994–95||Derek Lilley||16||Second Division|
|1995–96||Derek Lilley||14||First Division|
|1996–97||Derek Lilley||15||First Division|
|1997–98||Warren Hawke||10||First Division|
|1998–99||Kevin Thomas||9||First Division|
|1999–00||Harry Curran||9||First Division|
|2000–01||Ross Matheson||9||First Division|
|2001–02||Scott Bannerman||8||Second Division|
|2002–03||Alex Williams||23||Third Division|
|2003–04|| Peter Weatherson
|2005–06||Derek Lilley||12||Second Division|
|2006–07||Peter Weatherson||15||Second Division|
|2007–08||Peter Weatherson||9||First Division|
|2008–09|| Brian Wake
|2009–10||Peter Weatherson||10||First Division|
|2010–11||Allan Jenkins||8||First Division|
|2011–12||Peter MacDonald||10||First Division|
|2012–13||Peter MacDonald||14||First Division|
|2014–15||Declan McManus (on loan from Aberdeen)||20||League One|
|2015–16||Denny Johnstone (on loan from Birmingham City)||14||Championship|
National Individual Honours
- 2016–17 – Jim Duffy (Ladbrokes Championship Manager of the Season)
- 2014–15 – Declan McManus (SPFL League One Player of the Year)
- 2002–03 – Alex Williams (SPFA Third Division Player of the Year)
- 1994–95 – Derek McInnes (SPFA Second Division Player of the Year)
- 1994–95 – Allan McGraw (SPFA Second Division Manager of the Year)
- 1986–87 – Jim Holmes (SPFA First Division Player of the Year)
- 1984–85 – Jim Duffy (SPFA Players' Player of the Year)
- 1978–79 – Andy Ritchie (SFWA Footballer of the Year)
To be included in this list players must have met one of the following criteria...
- Played over 100 league games for Morton
- Scored in a national cup final
- Managed the club after playing for them
- Been from a nation outwith the British Isles
- Won full international honours
- Stephen Aitken
- Rowan Alexander
- George Anderson
- John Anderson
- Preben Arentoft
- Fouad Bachirou
- Roy Baines
- Darren Barr
- Per Bartram
- Eddie Beaton
- Carl Bertelsen
- John Boag
- Andre Boe
- Emilio Bottiglieri
- Karim Boukraa
- John Boyd
- David Brcic
- Charlie Brown
- Jock Buchanan
- Nicolas Caraux
- Artur Correia
- Dominic Cervi
- Kabba-Modou Cham
- Gert Christensen
- Lars Christensen
- Ian Clinging
- Derek Collins
- Jimmy Cowan
- Craig Coyle
- Martin Doak
- Jim Duffy
- Robert Earnshaw
- Dave Edwards
- Paul Fenwick
- Kevin Finlayson
- Markus Fjørtoft
- Ross Forbes
- John Fowler
- George French
- Luca Gasparotto
- Derek Gaston
- James Gillespie
- Stewart Greacen
- Bobby Gourlay
- Jimmy Gourlay
- James Grady
- Billy Gray
- Michal Habai
- Ryan Harding
- Joe Harper
- Paul Hartley
- Warren Hawke
- Davie Hayes
- Atli Thor Hedinsson
- Willie Hinshelwood
- Jim Holmes
- David Hopkin
- Bobby Houston
- Jim Hunter
- Roddy Hutchinson
- Jack Iredale
- Kyle Jacobs
- Bjarne Jensen
- Kai Johansen
- Justin Johnson
- Dougie Johnstone
- Joe Jordan
- Joel Kasubandi
- Dylan Kerr
- Jim Kiernan
- Lee Kilday
- Carl Kristensen
- Ricki Lamie
- Tommy Lawton
- Gudgeir Leifsson
- Derek Lilley
- Janne Lindberg
- Alec Linwood
- Adam Little
- David MacGregor
- John Madsen
- Alan Mahood
- John Maisano
- Marco Maisano
- Carsten Margaard
- Daniel Martins
- Joe Mason
- Stanley Matthews
- Ally Maxwell
- Jim McAlister
- Scott McArthur
- Steve McCahill
- Ian McDonald
- Tom MacGarrity
- Mark McGhee
- Allan McGraw
- Bob McGregor
- Derek McInnes
- Jock McIntyre
- Bobby McKay
- Andy McLaren
- Joe McLaughlin
- Alex McNab
- John McNeil
- Craig McPherson
- Dave McPherson
- Parfait Medou-Otye
- Chris Millar
- Stefan Milojević
- Jimmy Mitchell
- Allan Moore
- Flemming Nielsen
- Leif Nielsen
- Nacho Novo
- David O'Brien
- Garry O'Connor
- Alex O'Hara
- Rabin Omar
- Neil Orr
- Tommy Orr
- Billy Osborne
- Thomas O'Ware
- Erik Paartalu
- Tomáš Peciar
- Mark Pickering
- Stuart Rafferty
- Marko Rajamäki
- Stan Rankin
- Brian Reid
- Stu Riddle
- Andy Ritchie
- Doug Robertson
- Jim Rooney
- Mark Russell
- Romario Sabajo
- Stan Seymour
- Kenneth Skovdam
- Bernie Slaven
- Erik Sørensen
- Jørn Sørensen
- Billy Steel
- Morris Stevenson
- Robert Stevenson
- Robert Stewart
- Hugh Strachan
- Markus Sukalia
- Gerry Sweeney
- Henrik Terkelsen
- Bobby Thomson
- Kyle Thomson
- Børge Thorup
- Michael Tidser
- Jim Tolmie
- Jonathan Toto
- Tommy Turner
- Jani Uotinen
- Henk van Schaik
- Peter Weatherson
- John Whigham
- David Witteveen
- Jackie Wright
- David Wylie
Scottish Football Hall of Fame
Ex-Morton players who have been inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame are listed below.
For all Greenock Morton players with a Wikipedia article, see Category:Greenock Morton F.C. players.
Board of directors
This list does not contain caretaker managers.
- George Morell (1904–1908)
- Bob Cochrane (1908–1927)
- David Torrance (1928–1931)
- Bob Cochrane (1931–1934)
- Jackie Wright (1934–1938)
- Jimmy Davies (1939–1955)
- Gibby McKenzie (1955–1957)
- Jimmy McIntosh (1957–1960)
- Hal Stewart (1961–1972)
- Eric Smith (1972)
- Hal Stewart (1972–1974)
- Erik Sørensen (1974–1975)
- Joe Gilroy (1975–1976)
- Benny Rooney (1976–1983)
- Allan Feeney (1983)
- Tommy McLean (1983–1984)
- Willie McLean (1984–1985)
- Allan McGraw (1985–1997)
- Billy Stark (1997–2000)
- Ian McCall (2000)
- Allan Evans (2000–2001)
- Ally Maxwell (2001)
- Peter Cormack (2001–2002)
- Dave McPherson (2002)
- John McCormack (2002–2004)
- Jim McInally (2004–2008)
- Davie Irons (2008–2009)
- James Grady (2009–2010)
- Allan Moore (2010–2013)
- Kenny Shiels (2013–2014)
- Jim Duffy (2014–2018)
- Ray McKinnon (2018)
- Jonatan Johansson (2018–2019)
- David Hopkin (2019–2020)
- Gus MacPherson (2021–)
Scottish Cup record
Morton first entered the Scottish Cup in season 1877–1878, and won it once in 1922. Over the course of Morton's time in the competition it has changed format seven times, to its current format of 8 rounds and 2 preliminary rounds.
- Between 2012–13 and 2014–15 there were 8 rounds plus a preliminary round.
- Between 2007–08 and 2011–12 there were 8 rounds.
- Between 1970–71 and 2006–07 there were 7 rounds.
- Between 1957–58 and 1969–70 there were 5 rounds plus a preliminary round.
- Between 1954–55 and 1956–57 there were 9 rounds.
- Between 1912–13 and 1953–54 there were 6 rounds.
- Between 1895–96 and 1911–12 there were 5 rounds.
So far Morton have finished the competition in the following rounds, this many times.
- Finals – 2 (last 1948)
- Semi-finals – 5 (last 1981)
- Quarter-finals – 15 (last 2018)
|1968–69||Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||First round||Chelsea||3–4||0–5||3–9|
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