Liverpool issue heartfelt birthday message to Alan Hansen after he was taken 'seriously ill'

13 June 2024, 13:34 | Updated: 13 June 2024, 15:15

Alan won eight League titles and three European Cups with Liverpool
Alan won eight League titles and three European Cups with Liverpool. Picture: Liverpool FC/Alamy

By Alex Croft

Liverpool FC have wished football legend Alan Hansen a happy birthday after the 69-year-old was hospitalised with a "serious illness."

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The club said that they are “all thinking of Alan and his family on his 69th birthday”, as fan well-wishes poured in for one of English football’s greatest ever centre-backs.

It was confirmed by Liverpool on Sunday that the former club captain had been admitted to hospital with a “serious illness”.

A statement released by Liverpool said: “The thoughts and support of everyone at Liverpool FC are with our legendary former captain Alan Hansen, who is currently seriously ill in hospital.

“A defender of the utmost elegance, Hansen’s outstanding raft of honours across a 14-year spell with the Reds - he joined from Partick Thistle in 1977 - included eight league titles, three European cups, two FA Cups and three League Cups.”

It was not confirmed why Mr Hansen was admitted to hospital with the club requesting that “the Hansen family’s privacy is respected at this time”, the Mirror reported.

“‘Jocky’, as he was known by teammates, is in the top-10 for all-time appearances with the club having played 620 matches, and the Scottish centre-back also served as Liverpool skipper for four seasons,” the statement continued.

“The club is currently in contact with Alan’s family to provide our support at this difficult time, and our thoughts, wishes, and hopes are with Alan and all of the Hansen family.”

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Tributes came in from around the footballing world, including from his former Match of the Day colleague Gary Lineker, who wrote: “Horrendous news. Thoughts are with Alan, Janet and all the family.”

After hanging up his boots in 1991, Mr Hansen was the BBC’s main pundit for football coverage and worked on MOTD for 22 years between 1992 and 2014, before bowing out of punditry at the 2014 World Cup Final.

Former teammate Mark Lawrenson said: “Come on Big Al - you can beat this… Love to Janet, Adam, Lucy & all the family…xx”.

The Scottish National Team, preparing for the 2024 European Championships, also issued a message to Mr Hansen, via coaching assistant John Carver.

“I would just like to pass a message on to say that everybody, the players, the staff, everybody connected with the SFA, are really thinking about himself and his family because it is an extremely difficult time,” Mr Carver began.

“The biggest thing I noticed was that he was a fantastic defender but he was a ball-playing centre-half. He was probably one of the first that I can remember seeing play.

“The way he stepped out with the ball, he was so graceful and that’s why I remember him. He was obviously at one of the top sides in the world at the time, winning European cups, winning everything in sight, so a proper legend in the game.”

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