Liverpool legend and former captain Alan Hansen 'seriously ill' in hospital

-Credit: (Image: Matthew Ashton/AMA/AMA/Corbis via Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: Matthew Ashton/AMA/AMA/Corbis via Getty Images)

Liverpool Football Club have confirmed club legend and former captain Alan Hansen is seriously ill in hospital.

Hansen, who is 68, is recognised as arguably the greatest defender in Liverpool's history having made 620 appearances for the club over 13 seasons while scoring 19 goals.

He won 25 honours during his playing career with the Reds, including eight league championships and three European Cups.

Liverpool released a statement on Sunday which 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.

"‘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, a former Scotland international who earned 26 caps for his country, was club captain of Liverpool between 1985 and his retirement due to a knee injury in March 1991, just a month after his close friend Kenny Dalglish had resigned as Reds manager.

During his time as skipper, Liverpool won their first and so far only league and FA Cup double in 1986, as well as claiming further title wins in 1988 and 1990 and the FA Cup in 1989, when Everton were beaten in the final the month after the Hillsborough disaster.

Hansen resisted calls to move into management and instead forged a second career as a television pundit, initially with Sky before moving to the BBC where he was employed for 22 years as the main football expert on the channel until retiring from the role after the World Cup final in 2014.