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Steven Hammell reflects on two decades as a Steelman

The Motherwell defender is hanging his boots up to take charge of the youth academy.

Almost 20 years to the day since joining Motherwell, veteran defender Steven Hammell is calling an end to his playing career.

He is hanging his boots up at the end of January to take charge of the club's youth academy and it truly is the end of an era for the 35-year-old.

Hammell retires with 582 appearances to his name, although he's hoping to get at least one more run out so his last game is not a Lanarkshire derby defeat to Hamilton.

He was almost one of the rare cases of a player spending their entire career at one club but an 18-month spell at Southend United broke up his time at Fir Park between 2006 and 2008.

It was during that time his friend and teammate Phil O'Donnell died, a significant low that still hurts to this day.

"I remember getting the phone call about it and feeling helpless," he told STV.

"I was on a bus somewhere coming back from a game and I wasn't there to help. Even thinking about it now it's a sad, sad moment."

After reflecting on failing to bring silverware back to the club and going through the dark days of administration, Hammell turned his attentions to his happier memories.

'I've made the most appearances post-war. I've played the most in Europe, I've been in cup finals and I made my Scotland debut playing for this club.
Steven Hammell on his playing achievements.

"I've made the most appearances post-war," he said. "I've played the most in Europe, I've been in cup finals and I made my Scotland debut playing for this club.

"All my ambitions and dreams were fulfilled here, a lot of them with this club and that's something I'm very thankful for."

Looking back on his first days at Fir Park, Hammell admitted it was different to how young players prepare nowadays.

"It was a bit of an eye-opener," he said. "Straight out of school and into the dressing room which was full of the reserve team back then.

"It was a steep learning curve for myself but one that set me in good stead for the rest of my career."

It is now Hammell's responsibility to prepare the next generation of players to follow in his footsteps and he hopes the supporters will back them as much as they did when he made the step up.

"I came in as a young boy and the fans were magnificent to me," he said. "They still are.

"So I think as a club we get young boys into the team, the crowd will look after them and that's my job now, to get more of these boys in there.

"When the time comes you want to be remembered and hopefully I've done enough to do that."

He added: "I'm somebody who has gave everything for the club, while I've been on the pitch I've done everything I can to make the club as successful as possible.

"They've been great, they've really pushed me on and it does give me that little bit extra when you know you have that support behind you. I want to thank them for all the support over the last 20 years."

https://stv.tv/sport/football/1405675-steven-hammell-retiring-to-take-youth-academy-director-role/ | default

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