'Let's freeze pitch to get game postponed' - Nevin's Motherwell tales

Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin has revealed the novel solution a member of staff at Motherwell came up with to deal with an injury crisis at Fir Park - freeze the pitch so the game was postponed.

Nevin has opened up about his time as chief executive at Fir Park on BBC Scotland's 'Sacked In The Morning' podcast.

Nevin was both player and chief executive for a while during his time at Lanarkshire before being "sacked in the second year" by manager Billy Davies and concentrating on his off-field duties.

"I have a million stories about Motherwell. Some of the ideas I was hearing from people were absolutely amazing," he recalls.

"A freezing cold night was forecast and we were supposed to be playing St Mirren the following day.

"We had about seven players out injured and would have to play kids. This member of staff says to me 'if we get the fire brigade in to hose the pitch it will freeze and the game will be called off'.

"I said: 'a) you're nuts, b) if it gets out I'll have to sack you and then sack me, and c) it's basically cheating'. So we played St Mirren - and we won!"

That was not the only pitch-based story from his time at Fir Park.

"I found out we didn't have an 18-yard line, we had a 16-yard line," he says.

"And then that the two goalposts were about six inches different in height, presumably because some impacted soil had got in there when they were put in and taken out."

Nevin also reflects on the start of his career, when he was more interested in an arts degree at Glasgow Caledonian University than becoming a player.

"I never tried to be a footballer. I loved playing, but the idea of being a footballer was not something that interested me," he adds.

"I did it for the love of the game, nothing more. My older siblings had gone on to higher education and I was doing a degree.

"That was the norm for my family. I tried really hard to not be a footballer, and failed miserably. I got kicked out of Celtic and was playing for my boys' club team Gartcosh against Clyde when Craig Brown spotted me."

He was an instant success though, and in his first season Clyde were promoted as champions with Nevin voted the Scottish Second Division's Player of the Year.

"One of the things you get from winning that award is you can do a coaching course, but I said to Craig 'I don't want to be a manager, so there's no point doing a coaching course'," he says.

"I told him I was going inter-railing around Europe. He actually said the phrase, 'you'll get injured, you'll get ill and you'll lose loads of weight because you'll be staying in these hell holes'. I didn't tell him I was staying in a tent.

"I said, 'gaffer, I'll be absolutely fine'. So we went around Europe for a month inter-railing.... and I got ill, in a hell hole in Brindisi. I got terrible food poisoning and lost a huge amount of weight. And I got injured as well because I came off a motorbike too."