Former Liverpool and Scotland forward Ian St John has died at the age of 82.
The Scottish striker won two First Division titles under Bill Shankly at Anfield in 1963-64 and 1965-66 and scored the winner in the 1965 FA Cup Final. He also represented Scotland 26 times and later ran the Motherwell youth club and Portsmouth.
After retiring from management, St. John moved into the pandemic and forged a hugely successful on-screen partnership with English legend Jimmy Greaves. your Saint and Greavsie The Saturday program was very popular in the 1980s and 1990s.
A statement issued on behalf of Greaves read: “I loved my time with the Saint who makes Saint & Greavsie. After my illness, Ian also called several times to see how I was doing. And now he’s gone. He was great fun to be with and he was a great footballer. Unfortunately, he will be missed. I will never forget his laugh in all the years we’ve worked together. ‘
Liverpool legend Ian St John (pictured in Anfield in March 2014) has died at the age of 82
After his retirement, St. John forged a hugely popular on-screen partnership with English legend Jimmy Greaves
Liverpool announced Tuesday morning that he had died from an illness on Monday night and tweeted: “We are deeply saddened to hear the death of a true Anfield legend, Ian St John.
“Everyone at Liverpool Football Club’s thoughts are with Ian’s family and friends at this sad and difficult time.”
A statement from the St. John family said: “It is with a heavy heart that we have to tell you that we have lost a husband, a father, and a grandfather after a long illness.
He died peacefully on his bed with his family.
‘We would like to thank everyone at Arrowe Park Hospital for their hard work and dedication in these very difficult times.
“The family would be grateful for privacy at this extremely sad time.”
St. John scored the winner when he presented Liverpool with their first FA Cup title against Leeds in 1965
He also represented Scotland 26 times and returned home to direct Motherwell
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher was one of the first to pay tribute to St. John on social media
Liverpool legend and Sky Sports expert Jamie Carragher tweeted his condolences, writing: ‘RIP Ian St John – another Liverpool legend is sadly dying.
‘One of the players along with Bill Shankly who made this club what it is today. I will remember him most of all on the best football show on television, The Saint & Greavsie. X ‘.
In 2014 St. John’s bladder and prostate had their bladder and prostate removed during a fight against cancer after a diagnosis was made several years earlier.
His arrival at Anfield from Motherwell in 1961 for only £ 37,500 was later described by Shankly as a “turning point” as the Reds became one of Europe’s premier clubs.
Football journalist Andy Mitten announced Tuesday that his uncle, former Newcastle manager Charlie Mitten, was desperate to sign St. John in 1961, but the club’s board of directors was delayed and moved to Merseyside instead.
He tweeted: “My uncle Charlie wanted to sign Motherwell striker Ian St John when he was in charge of Newcastle United. I thought he had a gem. IST was 22 and lived in an apartment building. He agreed to sign for Charlie. Newcastle’s board hesitated and went to Liverpool instead. REST IN PEACE.’
St. John formed a fatal partnership with Roger Hunt and their goals resulted in Liverpool being promoted from the second division in the Scotsman’s first season at the club.
St. John scored 118 goals in 425 appearances for the Reds, including the crucial extra-time goal to give Liverpool the club’s first FA Cup title against Leeds at Wembley in 1965.
In 2014, St. John had his bladder and prostate removed during a battle with cancer
St. John (right) with Virgil van Dijk and James Milner on a tour of Melwood in 2019
But St. John is equally famous for his work on television and his show with Greaves, which ran for seven years from 1985, paved the way and set the standard for lighthearted television football programming.
In 2004 on an episode of Fantasy footballFrank Skinner, who co-hosted with David Baddiel, described the couple as the “godparents” of the football comedy.
The last episode of the popular show on ITV was broadcast from Sweden during the 1992 European Championships.
St. John pounced on a winner in extra time in the 1965 FA Cup final against Leeds
Liverpool defender Andy Robertson posted this picture of him and St. John
Current Liverpool Scottish captain Andy Robertson tweeted, “A man of warmth, humor, knowledge, wisdom and joy. Scotland and Liverpool have lost a real giant. My love goes to his family. Rest in peace, Ian St John. ‘
Across Stanley Park, Everton posted a statement on Twitter with the caption, “A real loss to the game, and our town was feeling heavy. A rival for many years, but a popular figure on and off the pitch. Our thoughts are with the loved ones Ian St John’s and everyone at this sad time. REST IN PEACE.’
Saint and Greavsie introduced themselves ahead of the 1990 World Cup – when their show was in full swing
Another former Red front man, John Aldridge, wrote: “It is so sad to hear the news of the death of the great (Saint) Ian St John. What an inspiration he watched from the terraces in Anfield, a cracking guy too. Our thoughts are with his family. RIP St. YNWA. ‘
Gary Lineker, the former English striker and Match of the Day host, welcomed a brilliant footballer and an excellent television presenter. ‘
St. John, who was married to Betsy, was also a great activist researching the links between dementia and football.
In a Liverpool fan poll, “100 players who shook their heads” St. John was voted No. 21 in 2006 and No. 33 in 2013.
SAINT AND GREAVSIE
Ian St John and Jimmy Greaves teamed up as broadcasters on On The Ball in World of Sport and later on Sport in Question, but it’s Saint and Greavsie – with the family catchphrase “It’s a fun old game …” that they will always be remembered for.
The Saturday lunchtime show ran on ITV from 1985 to 1992. The last episode came from Sweden during the Euro that summer.
Most of the jokes on the show were made by Saint and put away by Greavsie, with the Scot often laughing at his mate.
The two were famous for their on-screen chemistry but rarely got together outside of the show as they lived on the other end of the country.
The show became an integral part of the game days. It was so successful that St. John and Greaves became Spitting Image puppets, an indication of their national profile.
You once had Donald Trump at the Rumbelows Cup draw and had an episode during a TV blackout about contracts when striker Frank McAvennie from Scotland and West Ham was walking around London to see if anyone recognized him.
Saint John once said of his association with Greaves: “We met socially after internationals, those were quite social days. Then with Liverpool and Tottenham. We had great Bob Patience producing the program, he was great. “But Jimmy wouldn’t wear an earpiece and never read the script. I did. People thought we were going to make it up. And we were. ‘
The show spawned a board game and books over the years, and paved the way for the likes of Fantasy Football, hosted by comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner.