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Liverpool and Scotland icon Alan Hansen in hospital with illness

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Alan Hansen, the former center-back for Liverpool and the Scotland national team, has entered the hospital as he battles a serious illness. The Reds announced that the club’s former defender has the side’s support in a troubling time. Hansen, who is 38 years old, ranks in the top 10 appearance makers in the history of Liverpool. He played in a total of 620 fixtures with the Reds.

Unlike most of the players on that list of Liverpool greats, Hansen did not start his career at Anfield. In fact, he spent just 14 years with the club. He spent the first portion of his career with Partick Thistle in Scotland. Hansen broke into the first team in 1973, but his greatest success came with the Scottish side in 1975/75. Partick Thistle won the Scottish First Division to earn a spot in the Scottish Premier Division. That success led to 35 appearances in the Scottish top flight, which garnered the interest of Liverpool. He eventually moved down south to Liverpool, where Hansen put together an illustrious career.

Wearing the red kit of Liverpool, Hansen emerged as one of the best center-backs in the club’s history. His 14-year career with Liverpool led to eight First Division titles. He also won six domestic cups with two FA Cups and four League Cups. He tacked on a further three European Cups to help Liverpool build its European dominance among the clubs in England. Persistent knee problems ended his career at Liverpool, but he would go down as an elite player for Liverpool who delivered immense success.

Those triumphs were less apparent with the Scotland national team, where Hansen made 26 appearances. He played in the 1982 World Cup with Scotland, but a worse goal differential sent the Scots out of the tournament. He did not feature in the 1986 World Cup, as head coach Alex Ferguson denied his spot in the squad. Hansen disagreed with that choice as Ferguson cited that the defender’s attitude toward Scotland was not great.

Alan Hansen battling illness with support of Liverpool, Scotland and others

Liverpool said it is thinking about Hansen in this trying time.

“A defender of the utmost elegance, Hansen’s outstanding raft of honors 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,” Liverpool said in a statement. “‘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 center-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.”

The club did not reveal what illness Hansen is struggling with. Yet, the considerable action surrounding Hansen indicates its severity. Scotland chimed in with its support as well, calling Hansen a legend of the game.

PHOTOS: IMAGO

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