Former Liverpool and Scotland forward and TV personality Ian St John has reportedly died at the age of 82 following unspecified illness.
St John joined Liverpool 50 years ago, in 1961, and stayed at the club for 10 years, helping the team win two league titles and an FA Cup. He signed for a club record fee of £37,500.
Rumour has it that despite the hefty price tag that came with signing the Scottish forward, then Liverpool boss (and fellow Scotsman) Bill Shankly remarked: “We can’t afford not to buy him.”
The fan-favourite player joined the Reds from his hometown club Motherwell, and went on to play 425 games at Anfield, scoring 118 goals for the Merseyside team before he parted ways with them ten years later in 1971.
“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,” said his family, in a statement.
“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.”
St John represented his country by the age of 20 and scored nine goals across 21 appearances.
Liverpool have reacted to St John’s death, stating they are “deeply saddened” by his departure.
“Liverpool Football Club is deeply saddened by the passing of Reds legend Ian St John, aged 82,” they wrote.
“Under the management of Bill Shankly, St John was the scorer of one of the most iconic goals in Liverpool’s history when he netted in extra time to secure our first ever FA Cup with a 2-1 win over Leeds United in 1965.
“League title wins were achieved either side in 1964 and 1966, while the Scot had earlier helped the Reds into the First Division by gaining promotion in his first season following his transfer for a then club-record fee of £37,500 from Motherwell,” they added.