Thursday, June 20, 2024

‘Crippling’ reason behind Alan Hansen’s Match of the Day exit & TV disappearance

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Former Liverpool and Scotland captain Alan Hansen remains in a serious condition in hospital, having enjoyed a stellar football career before becoming one of television’s best known and well-respected pundits

The former Liverpool defender Alan Hansen has been hospitalised(Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

The football community is rallying around Liverpool icon Alan Hansen, who remains “seriously ill” in hospital.

Liverpool confirmed on Sunday that the 68-year-old, former Scotland international – a legend at Anfield after a stellar 14-year career on Merseyside, which included 620 appearances and a staggering 25 major trophies, including eight league titles and three European Cups – has been hospitalised. The club are in touch with his family and assured fans they will keep them updated as they learn more on his situation.

Hansen became a household name not just on the pitch but also as a straight-talking pundit on Match of the Day after his playing days came to an end. His blunt assessments of poor defending became legendary, often branding it as “diabolical” or “shocking” and he was, for the better part of 20 years, seen as the best pundit in the UK.

Joining the ranks of the BBC’s flagship football programme in 1992, Hansen provided analysis for 16 FA Cup finals, six World Cups, five European Championships, and even an Olympic Games before hanging up his punditry boots in 2014 after the World Cup final. On his departure from Match of the Day, Hansen explained: “I’m retiring from Match of the Day at the end of the season. I will have been there for 22 years and will be 59, so it’s the right time for me.”

In a candid revelation, Hansen shared: “The guys at the BBC know me and I said, ‘Look, this is categorical. I’m leaving and nothing will make me change my mind’. I am contracted to do the World Cup and I will do that as it will be a good way to go out, but I have had a great run.

“I’ve been in football for 41 years and I’m going out right at the top, just as I did at Liverpool.”

However, Hansen later confessed in a 2016 interview that his departure came as a result of “crippling” nerves as he reflected on his career and his suffering with anxiety.

“There was no training, it was sink or swim,” he stated. “I was lucky to work with a master, Des Lynam.

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