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Pal Jimmy Greaves leads warm tributes to great Ian St John

Stars past and present pay respects after death of Liverpool hero (82)

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Ian St John

Ian St John

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Saint and Greavsie

Saint and Greavsie

PA

Ian St John

Ian St John

PA

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Ian St John

Jimmy Greaves led the tributes to great friend Ian St John after the former Liverpool and Scotland striker's death at the age of 82 following a long illness.

St John made more than 400 appearances for Liverpool, helping them claim two league titles and scoring the winning goal in the 1965 FA Cup final as the Reds got their hands on the famous trophy for the first time.

He won a new generation of fans after his playing retirement, presenting the popular Saturday afternoon football show Saint and Greavsie alongside former Tottenham and England forward Greaves.

And Greaves paid homage to his on-screen partner after Liverpool confirmed St John had died on Monday evening.

"We are very sad to hear the Saint has passed away," a statement on Greaves' official Twitter account read. "Ian St John and I had great fun working on Saint and Greavsie. He was a lovely man and will be sadly missed by many, many people. We must also remember he was a great footballer for Bill Shankly's Liverpool and beyond."

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp paid tribute to "a true legend" and said that it had been an honour to meet St John.

"When you arrive at Liverpool, you become aware immediately of these legends from the time before - and some of them I have been lucky enough to meet, one of whom was Ian," Klopp said. "He was not only football-wise a legend, but a true legend as a person. It was a pure pleasure to meet him."

Former Liverpool forward and manager Sir Kenny Dalglish said: "I think it's right to use the word 'icon'. It's because of what he did in those early days, Shanks especially, the Saint and Big Yatesey (Ron Yeats), his big mucker, and it's because of them where this football club is at this particular moment in time.

"We should be eternally grateful for what he did for the football club. I'm sure he knew that when he was here, the club really appreciated and revered him for what he did for us."

Ex-Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard heard the news during his Rangers press conference and said: "That's a shock and a surprise to me. I'm really disappointed to hear that. He's an iconic figure at Liverpool Football Club.

"He's someone I've met on numerous occasions. A fantastic guy. Really insightful in terms of his career and experience at Liverpool and trying to pass on a lot of knowledge and expertise.

"So I'm really devastated to hear that news. I'd like to pass on my condolences to all his family and everyone close to the Saint. He's a legend and an iconic figure at the club and someone I've got incredible respect for."

Gerrard's former Liverpool team-mate Jamie Carragher added: "He's a Liverpool legend; that term gets used a lot because the club has had so much success in the past.

"I always think of those players under Bill Shankly, and Ian St John was one of them, who really started what Liverpool Football Club is today. For me, these are the most important players in the club's history."

A number of past and present Liverpool players took to Twitter to pay their respects to St John.

Current captain Jordan Henderson said: "RIP Ian St John. One of the greats."

Midfielder James Milner posted: "RIP Ian St John - what a player, what a man."

Left-back and fellow Scot Andy Robertson wrote: "A man of warmth, humour, knowledge, wisdom and joy. Scotland and Liverpool has lost a true giant. My love goes to his family. Rest in peace Ian St John."

Former Liverpool defender Phil Thompson said: "So sad to hear of the passing of the Saint. He gave me one of my greatest childhood memories in him winning the FA Cup in '6=='65. RIP Ian, YNWA."

Ex-Reds striker Ian Rush added: "RIP Ian St John, sleep well legend!! Thoughts and prayers are with your family at this time."

St John also represented Scotland 21 times, scoring nine goals.

The Scottish Football Association said: "We are saddened by the passing of former @ScotlandNT international Ian St John.

"Ian won 21 caps for his country, scoring nine times during a career that saw him represent @MotherwellFC and @LFC. The thoughts of everyone at the SFA are with Ian's family and friends."

Belfast Telegraph


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