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Ian St. John: Wikis


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Ian St. John (born 7 June 1938 in Motherwell, Scotland) is a former Scottish footballer, who played for Scotland 21 times. He is now a manager and pundit. In 2008 he was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.


Early career

St John began his career at boyhood favourites Motherwell, where he scored one of the fastest hat-tricks on record: 2 minutes and 30 seconds, against Hibernian in 1959. He transferred to Liverpool on the 2 May 1961, for more than double the previous highest transfer fee paid by the Anfield board, £37,500. Prior to that move, a move to Newcastle United had been mooted.

Ian made his debut in a red shirt against Merseyside rivals Everton in the Liverpool Senior Cup Final. Although Liverpool lost 4-3, he announced his arrival in spectacular style by scoring all 3 of his side's goals. That first game served the most emphatic of notices of the new boy's talent for goals, returning totals of 18, 19 and 21 goals in his first three seasons.

His official debut came in a 2-0 2nd Division victory over Bristol Rovers at the Eastville Stadium on the 19 August 1961, his first official goals came 11 days later on the 30th when he bagged a brace in the 39th and 90th minutes of a 4-1 win over Sunderland at Roker Park, strike partner Roger Hunt got the other 2 in the 26th and 69th minutes, the 2 would go on the strike up a formidable partnership which tormented defences in England and Europe.

Along with Ron Yeats, 'The Saint' was brought in to turn around Liverpool's luck as they had finished 3rd 5 times in a row in Division 2 thus missing out on promotion back to the big time by a single spot on each occasion. The purchases paid dividends as Liverpool romped to the 2nd Division title by a clear 8 points over Leyton Orient with St John playing 40 times scoring 18 goals.

They finished a respectable 8th in their first season back in the top flight but surprised everyone by winning the League Championship the following season overturning a 17 point deficit to win the title by 4 points over bitter rivals Manchester United and 5 over reigning champions Everton, St John played a major role in the title success appearing 40 times scoring 19 goals.

He went on to score many vital goals for Liverpool, which included the flying, whiplash header that he hammered past Leeds United's Gary Sprake to win the FA Cup in 1965 the first time in the club's history.

Another League championship followed in the 1965/66 as the Anfield club finished 6 points clear of Leeds, Ian chipped in with 10 goals from 41 outings. St John and the rest of Liverpool tasted defeat, however, as they were beaten in their first ever European final, Borussia Dortmund beat them 2-1 at Hampden Park in the Cup Winners Cup.

St John was selected to play for Scotland 21 times, making his debut, as a Motherwell player, in a 3-2 friendly victory over Germany at Hampden Park on the 6 May 1959. The first of his 9 goals came a year later, again, at Hampden, but this time in a 3-2 friendly defeat at the hands of Poland on the 4 May 1960.

Like the vast majority of Bill Shankly's first great team, St John was at his peak during the mid-1960s. And as he entered his thirties during the latter years of that decade his form and fitness began to dip - until the end came - as it did for several other members of his side - with the shock FA Cup defeat at Watford on February 21, 1970[1].

The Saint was sold to Coventry City on the 25 August 1971 after playing 424 games and scoring 118 goals for Liverpool. He played for Coventry for just that season, before moving on to Tranmere Rovers for the 1972/73 season, after which he retired.

After playing career

Since retiring from playing he has managed both former club Motherwell (1973–1974) and Portsmouth (1974–1977). He has also served as assistant manager at Sheffield Wednesday (1978–1979) and Coventry City (1972–1973).[2]

He retired from club management after leaving Wednesday in 1979, and became a football pundit, striking up a hugely successful TV partnership, Saint and Greavsie, with fellow ex-footballer Jimmy Greaves which lasted until the programme was axed in 1992. He has also set up several football academies for the coaching of younger players called the Ian St John Soccer Camps.

Often still seen at Anfield, St John is still a huge crowd favourite and was voted in at No.21 on the Official Liverpool Football Club web sites poll 100 Players Who Shook The Kop.

He can often be seen on a golf course and appears in numerous Charity events around the world, he plays off a 13 handicap. He is also a much requested after dinner speaker.

He is the host of weekly football show Terrace Talk on Liverpool radio station Radio City 96.7 on Saturday afternoons, usually 12pm - 2pm.

Career details


* Motherwell F.C - (1957 - 1961) - 113 appearances 80 goals
* Liverpool F.C - (1961 - 1971) - 425 appearances 118 goals

  • 2 First Division (level 1) championship winners medals (1964 and 1966)
  • FA Cup winners medal (1965)
  • Second Division (level 2) winners medal (1962)
  • 2 Charity Shield winners medals (1965 (shared) and 1966)
  • First Division runner-ups medal (1969)
  • European Cup winners Cup runner-up medal (1966)

* Scotland Scotland - (1959 - 1965) 21 caps, 9 goals



  1. ^ This is in fact only partially true: in his own book ( My Autobiography (2005,London, Hodder and Stoughton Ltd ISBN 0340841141 pp195/196)St John records the first time he was dropped- against Newcastle United F.C. in the Autumn of 1969
  2. ^ After Dinner Speakers 4 U (commercial site)

External links

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