Liverpool said Tuesday they are “deeply saddened” by the death of former great Ian St John aged 82 after a long illness.
The Scotland international forward was a pivotal player in the first great Reds side built by Bill Shankly that won two league titles in 1964 and 1966.
John won a place in Liverpool fans’ hearts forever with one of the most iconic goals in their history as he netted the winner in extra time to secure their first-ever FA Cup triumph against Leeds in 1965.
John scored 118 goals in 425 appearances for Liverpool between 1961 and 1971.
He made an immediate impact after being bought from Motherwell for a then club-record fee of £37,500 in securing promotion to the First Division in the 1961/62 campaign.
Shankly described the arrival of John and Ron Yeats years later as the “turning point” for the club.
“Liverpool Football Club is deeply saddened by the passing of Reds legend Ian St John, aged 82,” read a Liverpool statement.
John, who scored nine goals in 21 appearances for Scotland from 1959-65, went on to manage Motherwell and Portsmouth after retiring as a player.
He then formed a popular partnership with former England star Jimmy Greaves on television in their ‘Saint and Greavsie’ programme.
“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,” read a statement from the St John family.
“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.
“The family would be grateful for privacy at this extremely sad time.”
John who was one of six children and worked for a while in a steelworks like his father Alex who had died when he was six-years-old had suffered from bladder cancer in 2014.
Motherwell, for whom he scored 80 goals in 113 league games, also issued a statement.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Ian St John. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”
Former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher who like St John has gone to become a respected pundit tweeted his own tribute.
“RIP Ian St John.
“Another Liverpool Legend sadly passes away. One of the players along with Bill Shankly who made this club what it is today.
“I’ll remember him most on the best football show on tv, The Saint and Greavsie. X”.