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Liverpool legend and former Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen, 68, is seriously ill in hospital, Reds confirm

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Liverpool and Match of the Day legend Alan Hansen is seriously ill in hospital.

The Scot, 68, played for the Reds between 1977 and 1991, making 620 appearances for the club after arriving from Partick Thistle. He retired in March 1991 and moved into broadcasting.

Having rejected the offer of management, Hansen worked for the likes of Sky and BBC Radio 5 Live before moving to Match of the Day and working as their main pundit for 22 years prior to his exit in 2014.

Liverpool took to their social media channels to announce the news on Sunday afternoon, sending their best wishes to the former defender and his family.

They also confirmed they are in direct contact with the Hansen family, and asked for the respect of his privacy.

Liverpool and Match of the Day legend Alan Hansen, 68, is seriously ill in hospital

Hansen, 68, made 620 appearances for Liverpool between 1977 and 1991 and worked as a pundit after he retired from the game, before leaving Match of the Day back in 2014

Hansen, 68, made 620 appearances for Liverpool between 1977 and 1991 and worked as a pundit after he retired from the game, before leaving Match of the Day back in 2014

Liverpool provided an update on Hansen's (right) condition via social media on Sunday

Liverpool provided an update on Hansen’s (right) condition via social media on Sunday

‘The thoughts and support of everyone at Liverpool FC are with our legendary former captain Alan Hansen, who is currently seriously ill in hospital,’ the club posted on their official website.

‘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.

‘”Jockey”, 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.’

Widely-regarded as one of the best Scottish defenders of all time, Hansen started his career in his homeland before moving to Liverpool at the age of 21, costing the Reds £100,000.

At Partick Thistle, he played alongside his brother, John, and played 21 times in the 1975-76 season as his side won the Scottish First Division title.

He joined Liverpool a year later, earing the his ‘Jockey’ nickname when he moved to Anfield.

The defender retired from playing in 1991 and is in the top 10 appearance makers for Liverpool

The defender retired from playing in 1991 and is in the top 10 appearance makers for Liverpool

The Reds asked for privacy for Hansen, who was captain for four seasons, in their statement

The Reds asked for privacy for Hansen, who was captain for four seasons, in their statement

Hansen was in and out of the Liverpool side in his debut season, missing out on selection for the 1978 League Cup final, although he played in the 1978 European Cup final win at Wembley.

He then secured his status as a regular, playing in defence as the Reds won the league title and dominated English club football under Bob Paisley.

Liverpool continued to pick up trophies with Hansen in the side, winning the Treble in the 1983-84 season under Joe Fagan, who was succeeded by Kenny Dalglish after a short spell in charge.

Dalglish, who was first appointed player-manager, made Hansen captain and Liverpool won the league and FA Cup in his first season as skipper.

He was awarded a testimonial match at Anfield in 1988, and continued to pick up trophies in the following years despite the defender struggling with knee issues.

As a 33-year-old, he started the game against Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough in 1989 in the disaster that claimed the lives of 97 Liverpool fans, and would regularly campaign for what many have perceived to be justice over the event, which he described as ‘the blackest period of my life’.

He is regarded as one of the best defenders in Liver

He is regarded as one of the best defenders in Liverpool’s history due to his leadership and success while with the Reds

He became a hugely popular pundit on Match of the Day following his retirement from playing

Upon his retirement, he stepped into punditry and became one of the most popular broadcasters in the country, most notably for his work on Match of the Day.

He also became a newspaper columnist, and coined the phrase ‘you can’t win anything with kids’ after assessing Manchester United’s 3-1 defeat by Aston Villa in 1995.

His final stint with the BBC was during the 2014 World Cup, with his contract expiring after the tournament. 

He stepped away from broadcasting in the aftermath, having covered 16 FA Cup finals, six World Cups, five European Championships and one Olympics during his spell with the BBC. 

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