Former Liverpool captain and TV pundit Alan Hansen 'seriously ill' in hospital

Former Liverpool captain and TV pundit Alan Hansen is "seriously ill" in hospital, the Merseyside club has said.

Hansen, 68, played 620 matches for the Reds - a number that puts him in their all-time top 10.

After arriving at Anfield from Partick Thistle in 1977 he won eight league titles, three European Cups, two FA Cups and three League Cups - described by the club as an "outstanding raft of honours".

Known as Jocky by his teammates, he was a "defender of the utmost elegance", Liverpool said, captaining the side for four seasons.

"The thoughts and support of everyone at Liverpool FC are with our legendary former captain Alan Hansen, who is currently seriously ill in hospital," the club said in a statement on its website.

"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.

"We will provide any further updates as we receive them in due course, and we request that the Hansen family's privacy is respected at this time."

Hansen also made 26 appearances for Scotland between 1979 and 1987.

His former Match Of The Day colleague Gary Lineker wrote on X: "Horrendous news. Thoughts are with Alan, Janet and all the family."

Ex-teammate John Aldridge, who chairs the former players' association Forever Reds, said: "All our thoughts as ex-LFC players are with Alan (Jocky) Hansen and his family. Let's hope he can pull through his illness. ynwa."

Former referee Keith Hackett sent his "best wishes for a speedy recovery", describing Hansen as "such a wonderful player and a delight to referee".

After retiring in 1991, Hansen worked for Sky and then the BBC, becoming a regular pundit on Match Of The Day.

He became celebrated for his no nonsense analysis - describing mistakes or bad play during games as "shocking", "poor" or "diabolical".

He was also known for the phrase "you can't win anything with kids" - made after Manchester United lost 3-1 to Aston Villa on the opening day of the 1995-96 Premier League season.

After selling experienced players including Paul Ince and Mark Hughes, United brought in youth team players David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Gary Neville.

They proved Hansen wrong, going on to win the league and cup double that season.

He later said the phrase "made him" as a pundit, because people would shout it at him in public places.

Hansen made his final appearance for the BBC during the World Cup final in Rio in July 2014 after 22 years on screen.