Legendary ex-Liverpool striker Ian St John dies aged 82.
Former Liverpool and Scotland striker Ian St John has died at the age of 82. St John was a key player in the great Bill Shankly Liverpool team in the 1960s. He won two English league titles and an FA Cup in 1965, in which he scored the winning goal in the final. The forward earned 21 international caps for Scotland, scoring nine goals in the process.
Ian St John dies
In a statement, his family said: “It is with a heavy heart that we have to inform you that after a long illness we have lost a husband, father and grandfather. He passed away peacefully with his family at his bedside. We would like to thank all the staff at Arrowe Park Hospital for their hard work and dedication during these very difficult times. The family would be grateful for privacy at this extremely sad time.”
St John made his name in Scotland with his boyhood club, Motherwell, scoring 80 goals in 113 league games. This return brought him to the attention of Liverpool who signed St John for a club record fee of £37,500 in June 1961. He would go on to score 118 goals in 424 appearances for the club. When he retired, Shankly said of the signing, and that of Ron Yeats later that summer: “The turning point and the beginning of the whole affair was the signing of Ian St John and Ron Yeats.”
It is rumoured that when Shankly approached the board for the funds they questioned the wisdom of spending so much on one player. He responded: “We can’t afford not to buy him.” After eight seasons at Liverpool, St John left the club in August 1971 and played briefly for Hellenic in Cape Town, South Africa and Coventry City before retiring in 1973.
He coached Motherwell and Portsmouth. Then he became a household name as a pundit alongside Jimmy Greaves on the massively popular Saturday football television show, Saint and Greavsie from 1985 to 1992. Former Liverpool midfielder and current Rangers manager Steven Gerrard said: “Ian St John is an iconic figure at Liverpool. I’m devastated to hear this news and would like to send my condolences to all of his family.”
Former Liverpool captain Jamie Carragher tweeted: “RIP Ian St John. Another Liverpool Legend sadly passes away. One of the players along with Bill Shankly who made this club what it is today. I’ll remember him most on the best football show on tv, The Saint & Greavsie.”