Liverpool and Scotland legend Alan Hansen ‘seriously ill in hospital’ as Reds issue statement

Liverpool legend Alan Hansen is “seriously ill in hospital” according to a statement released by the club on Sunday afternoon.

The defender made over 600 appearances for the Reds between 1977 and 1990 and also won 26 Scotland caps before going on to a successful broadcasting career – arguably becoming Match of the Day’s most recognisable pundit during his time on the programme from 1992 to 2014.

Alan Hansen is ‘seriously ill’ in hospital (Getty Images)
Alan Hansen is ‘seriously ill’ in hospital (Getty Images)

According to Liverpool’s statement, he has now been hospitalised due to illness and they asked for privacy for his family.

“The thoughts and support of everyone at Liverpool FC are with our legendary former captain Alan Hansen, who is currently seriously ill in hospital,” read the statement.

“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.

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

“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. We will provide any further updates as we receive them in due course, and we request that the Hansen family’s privacy is respected at this time.”

Hansen’s former Match of the Day colleague Gary Lineker wrote on Twitter/X: “Horrendous news. Thoughts are with Alan, Janet and all the family.”

Alan Hansen (right) was a legend at Liverpool (Hulton Archive)
Alan Hansen (right) was a legend at Liverpool (Hulton Archive)

Meanwhile, the BBC’s Match of the Day account said: “The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Match of the Day are with Alan and his family at this difficult time.”

Having joined Liverpool from Scottish side Partick Thistle as a 22-year-old in 1977, Hansen went on to win eight league titles, three European Cups, two FA Cups, four League Cups and one Uefa Super Cup during a trophy-laden spell at Anfield.

He was also named in the PFA First Division Team of the Year on six occasions and the PFA Team of the Century as his reputation as a no-nonsense defender for one of English football’s most successful sides in history became cemented.

Remarkably, his post-playing career as a pundit was perhaps just as successful. As a regular on Match of the Day, he became renowned up and down the country for his forthright opinions, especially on the defending of Premier League teams, which he would routinely label as “diabolical” or “shocking”.

Hansen became a known face as a pundit on BBC’s Match of the Day (Getty Images)
Hansen became a known face as a pundit on BBC’s Match of the Day (Getty Images)

Perhaps his most memorable moment came during an episode of MOTD early in the 1995-96 season, where he confidently declared “you can’t win anything with kids” in reference to the youthful line-up Sir Alex Ferguson was fielding at Manchester United.

Of course United – inspired by the ‘class of 92’ including the likes of Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville – went on to win the Premier League title that season and dominated the 1990s under Ferguson.

Ex-team-mate John Aldridge, chairman of the former players’ association Forever Reds, also sent a message of support, writing on Twitter/X: “All our thoughts as ex-LFC players are with Alan (Jocky) Hansen and his family. Let’s hope he can pull through his illness. ynwa.”

And Hansen’s long-time central defensive partner Mark Lawrenson posted on X: “Come on Big Al-you can beat this..Love to Janet, Adam, Lucy & all the family....xx”