Happy Birthday Alan Hansen!
Born in Sauchie in Scotland, Hansen started his playing career off at Partick Thistle where he made over a century of League appearances for the Jags including helping them win promotion to the Scottish Premier League in 1976. Hansen became one of the Scottish players signed by Bob Paisley, the other two being Kenny Dalglish and Graeme Souness.
He made his first team debut for Liverpool against Derby County at Anfield towards the end of September 1977. With the central defensive pairing of Phil Thompson and Emlyn Hughes already established, his opportunities were limited during his first full season on Merseyside but he still managed to appear in half the league matches as well as a number of cup ties. He was picked in the starting XI that successfully defended the European cup at Wembley against Bruges in the 1977/78 campaign. He replaced Emlyn Hughes in central defence in 1978/79 season after Emlyn left for Wolves.
Hansen became known for his calmness before matches and this reflected his playing style. He was able to stroll out of defence with the ball. Problems with his knees did not help his game time in the 1985/86 season and had to have injections in order to play regularly. During his career he had a lot of cup success twice winning the European Cup in 1981 and 1984 and lifted the Football League Cup four years in a row from 1981-1984. Hansen had to wait longer to be a part of the FA Cup winning side, in 1986 he lifted the cup as new club captain in player/manger Kenny Dalglish side.
Hansen played in the infamous 1985 European Cup final against Juventus and was also involved in the tragedy of Hillsborough. He was out with a knee injury for most of the 1988/89 season and having watched Ronnie Whelan take over the captaincy of the team in his absence. Hansen was 34 years old by the time a new season started and remained relatively injury-free to Captain the club to yet another League Championship title in 1990.
Hansen was offered a coaching position at Liverpool due to his knee injury which he tried for a couple of months but didn’t feel like it was for him and decided to take a break from football. He announced his retirement as a player shortly after Dalglish stood down as manager in March 1991.
He did emerge as a knowledgeable football analyst and appeared on BBC Match of the Day as a pundit.
Alan Hansen made a total of 620 appearances for LFC scoring 14 goals. He had quite an impressive trophy cabinet too winning X8 League Championships, X2 FA Cup, X3 League Cup and X3 European Cups.
Article by Lauren Black – @Lauren_Black9
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