1991 Scottish Cup Final

The 1991 Scottish Cup Final was the 106th final of the Scottish Cup, Scottish football's most prestigious knockout association football competition. The match took place at Hampden Park on 18 May 1991 and was contested by Scottish Premier Division clubs Motherwell and Dundee United. It was both Motherwell's and Dundee United's 6th Scottish Cup Final and also the first time the clubs had met in a Scottish Cup Final. The match was dubbed the "family final", as the manager of both clubs were brothers, Tommy McLean and Jim McLean.[1]

1991 Scottish Cup Final
1991 Scottish Cup Win tribute - geograph.org.uk - 3125303.jpg
Tribute to the cup final in Motherwell.
Event1990–91 Scottish Cup
(after extra time)
Date18 May 1991
VenueHampden Park, Glasgow
RefereeDavid Syme

As Scottish Premier Division clubs, Motherwell and United both entered the competition in the third round. Neither club won all four of their ties at the first attempt, Dundee United requiring a replay to knock out Division Two club East Fife in the third round. United went on to defeat Division One clubs Airdrieonians and archrivals Dundee before eliminating Tayside derby rivals St Johnstone in the semi-finals. After winning against defending champions Aberdeen in the third round, Motherwell defeated Division One clubs Falkirk and Greenock Morton then the previous seasons runners-up, Celtic, in a replayed semi-final.

The match was both clubs' 6th appearance in the final. However, it was Motherwell's first appearance in 39 years whilst Dundee United had reached the final only three seasons beforehand. Motherwell had previously won only one final whilst Dundee United had lost on all previous final appearances.

Motherwell won the match 4–3 after extra time was played.[2] They took the lead when Iain Ferguson headed in just after 30 minutes had been played. In the second half, Dundee United equalized through Dave Bowman. Motherwell went back in front thanks to 18-year-old Phil O'Donnell and their lead was then extended to 3-1 by Ian Angus. However, two goals from United, one from John O'Neil and a last minute equaliser from Darren Jackson made the score 3–3, forcing the match into extra-time. Substitute Stevie Kirk scored a header in the first half of extra-time to conclude victory for Motherwell.[3]

Route to the finalEdit

Round Opposition Score
Third round Aberdeen 1–0
Fourth round Falkirk 4–2
Quarter-final Greenock Morton 0–0
Quarter-final replay Greenock Morton 1–1 (5–4 pens.)
Semi-final Celtic 0–0
Semi-final replay Celtic 4–2


As a Scottish Premier Division club, Motherwell entered the competition in the third round. They were drawn against fellow Premier Division club Aberdeen who were also defending champions having won the 1990 Scottish Cup Final. The match was played at Aberdeen's home of Pittodrie Stadium with Motherwell winning 1–0. The fourth round draw paired the club with Division One club Falkirk resulting in a 4–2 win at Fir Park to progress to the quarter-finals. Another Division One club in the form of Greenock Morton was the club's opponent, with the two clubs playing out a 0–0 draw to force a replay at Cappielow. The replay ended in another draw at 1–1 and the game progressed to a penalty shootout with Motherwell winning 5–4. In the semi-finals Motherwell faced the previous season's runners-up, Celtic, at Hampden Park with the game ending in another 0–0 draw for the club. A week later in the replay, Motherwell triumphed in a 4–2 victory to progress to the Scottish Cup Final for the first time in 39 years since defeating Dundee in the 1952 Final.

Dundee UnitedEdit

Round Opposition Score
Third round East Fife 1–1
Third round replay East Fife 2–1
Fourth round Airdrieonians 2–0
Quarter-final Dundee 3–1
Semi-final St Johnstone 2–1

Dundee United, also a Premier Division club entered the competition in the third round. They were drawn against Division Two club East Fife who had progressed from the first round. The clubs played out a 1–1 draw at Bayview Park to force a replay at Tannadice Park. In the replayed match United emerged victorious in a 2–1 win. The fourth round draw saw Airdrieonians visit Tannadice, with the club losing 2–0. In the quarter-finals, United were drawn against archrivals Dundee to set up a Dundee derby match at home. United won the tie 3–1 to progress to the semi-finals where they faced other rivals St Johnstone from nearby Perth in a Tayside derby. Dundee United won the match 2–1 and booked a place in the final for the fifth time in the past ten years following appearances in the 1981, 1985, 1987 and 1988 finals.



The match had been dubbed the "Family Final" by the media as the two opposing managers were brothers, Tommy McLean at Motherwell and Jim McLean at Dundee United.

Dundee United dominated the opening stages of the match, with Hamish French having the ball in the net after only two minutes but had his goal disallowed for off-side, whilst Freddy van der Hoorn on seven minutes hit the inside of the post from 25 yards out, only to see the ball roll out for a goal kick. Motherwell began to settle, however, before the game then went in to something of a lull. The opening goal came on 32 minutes when Motherwell's Iain Ferguson headed the ball into the top corner past Alan Main. Dundee United's Jim McInally came close to equalising with a shot near the end of the first half, but Motherwell held on to their lead for half-time.

Early in the second half, Motherwell goalkeeper Ally Maxwell was badly injured as a result of a challenge with United's John Clark. He was able to carry on after receiving treatment, but was in clear discomfort. Dundee United equalised on 55 minutes when Dave Bowman struck a 25-yard shot past the struggling Maxwell. Motherwell retook the lead a mere three minutes later when a Davie Cooper free-kick was flicked on by John Clark and headed past Alan Main by Phil O'Donnell. The Steelmen further extended their lead on 65 minutes when an Ian Angus shot from the edge of the penalty box flew into the top corner of the goal.

Despite now being 3–1 down, Dundee United rallied and quickly pulled a goal back; John O'Neil heading in a Dave Bowman cross from the right. It was O'Neil's first competitive goal for United. Dundee United laid siege to the Motherwell goal for the rest of the second half, but Motherwell looked like holding on until in the last minute Darren Jackson equalised. In the final moments of the second half, Maurice Malpas had a chance to win it for United, but his shot was off-target.

The final now went in to extra time. Four minutes in, Motherwell substitute Steve Kirk headed in at the back post to put Motherwell 4–3 ahead. Dundee United pushed on again in another effort to draw level, and near the end Maurice Malpas was denied a goal by a flying save from Maxwell. Shortly after that, John Clark shot past.[4]

This time, however, Motherwell held on to full-time to win the cup, condemning Dundee United to their sixth Scottish Cup Final defeat in 17 years.


Motherwell4 – 3Dundee United
Ferguson   32'
O'Donnell   58'
Angus   65'
Kirk   94'
Report Bowman   55'
O'Neil   67'
Jackson   90'
Attendance: 57,319
Referee: David Syme[5]
Dundee United
GK   Ally Maxwell
DF   Luc Nijholt   111'
DF   Chris McCart
DF   Craig Paterson
DF   Tom Boyd
MF   Ian Angus
MF   Jim Griffin
MF   Phil O'Donnell
MF   Davie Cooper   118'
FW   Iain Ferguson   63'
FW   Dougie Arnott
MF   Colin O'Neill   118'
FW   Stevie Kirk   63'
  Tommy McLean
GK   Alan Main
DF   John Clark
DF   Miodrag Krivokapić
DF   Fred van der Hoorn
DF   Maurice Malpas
MF   Dave Bowman
MF   Ray McKinnon   67'
MF   Jim McInally
FW   Hamish French
FW   Duncan Ferguson   46'
FW   Darren Jackson
MF   Billy McKinlay   67'
MF   John O'Neil   46'
  Jim McLean

Match officials

  • Assistant referees:
  • Fourth official:

Match rules

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary.
  • Penalty shoot-out if scores still level.
  • Two named substitutes.
  • Maximum of two substitutions.


  1. ^ "Great Scottish Cup moments". BBC Sport. 10 April 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2011.
  2. ^ "Scottish Cup Final Archive". Scottish Football Association. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
  3. ^ "Motherwell's class of '91: A rare moment in the sun". These Football Times. 21 December 2016. Archived from the original on 27 October 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  4. ^ "Dundee Utd 3 - 4 Motherwell". DUFC Archive. Archived from the original on 11 August 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b Scottish Cup - Fixtures And Results - Dundee United F.C. v Motherwell F.C., Scottish Football Association. Retrieved 11 July 2012.