Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell brought outgoing chief executive Alan Burrows into the dressing room after Saturday’s cinch Premiership draw with Kilmarnock to highlight the contribution he has made to the club.
Callum Slattery’s brilliant last-minute equaliser proved a fitting send-off for Burrows, who takes over as chief executive of Aberdeen on Monday.
The lifelong Motherwell fan only gave himself one day off in between jobs – to drive to the north east – and he ended his term on a high as Slattery curled home a 25-yard free-kick to earn a 1-1 draw and move the team seven points off the bottom of the table.
Burrows first arrived at Fir Park in 2007 as a media officer and moved upstairs in 2014 to oversee a period which saw Motherwell become Scotland’s first top-flight fan-owned club, reach two cup finals, qualify for Europe twice and bring in more than £6million in transfer fees, as well as enhancing their status as a community-focused club.
Burrows was still working after the game as he accompanied Kettlewell to the Rugby Park media room but he drifted outside on an emotional day as the newly-appointed manager paid tribute to his achievements.
“I know he will start to get embarrassed up the back of the room there but the guy epitomises Motherwell,” Kettlewell said. “The job he has done, the work he has done, in different roles too.
“I brought him in with the players at the very end because if you are trying to create a culture, he brings a massive part of that culture and it was really important to me, just being in the door, that the players showed an appreciation and an understanding for the work the man has done.
“I can’t thank him enough for my short time at the football club but we wish him all the best for his new adventure.”
Killie deservedly led at half-time through Scott Robinson’s scrambled effort but Motherwell grew more threatening as the game progressed and home goalkeeper Sam Walker made five or six impressive saves before being beaten by Slattery’s stunning effort.
Manager Derek McInnes said: “Sam’s been in a good place for a while now. He was called upon a couple of times just before they scored in particular.
“I thought we looked as if were going to get a clean sheet, Sam was very assured and our back line were very assured.
“(Jonathan) Obika and (Kevin) Van Veen can cause teams problems, I watched them against Hearts and St Mirren and they were an inspiration for the rest of the team. They get hold of the ball, they work you and get you up the pitch.
“I thought, by and large, we dealt with those two and it took a lot away from Motherwell’s attacking threat.
“Defensively we did well for the majority and I thought as a team we were good. We were just a bit naive in the dying embers of the game.”