Sports Persons » Football Players » ALAN HANSEN
Alan Hansen is one of the players who played a pivotal role in making the football club ‘Liverpool’, the famous name that it is today. In a career which lasted more than two decades, Hansen managed to gain the reputation of being one of the ‘biggest strengths’ of all the teams that he played for. Unlike most of his other football contemporaries, who retired at the end of their sporting career, Hansen moved into the world of television. For many years, Hansen has been seen offering expert opinion at the end of every match on channels such as ‘BBC’. He is well-known for both his humorous comments, as well as his sharp, critical remarks on bad performances of football players. He once expressed his opinion about David Beckham saying ‘You can’t win anything against kids’, while talking about the latter’s performance in a match between Manchester United and Aston Villa. The comment remains famous amongst football lovers and the media even till date. Other than his football commitments, Hansen keeps himself occupied by playing golf. He is also often seen at award ceremonies and other events.
Hansen’s golf dreams didn’t really take wings. Soon after his tryst with Hibernian, Hansen started playing for ‘Sauchie Juniors F.C’, a Scottish football club, along with his brother John.
Hansen was supposed to pursue a degree from the ‘University of Aberdeen’, but instead, he decided to play for the ‘Partick Thistle F.C’. The formalities of joining the club, such as the processing of the application took a long time, which forced Hansen to join the insurance organization ‘General Accident’. After a long wait, he finally became an official member of Partick.
Hansen was one among the eleven players, who played for Partick in the historic 1971 Scottish League Cup Final match, where the club defeated the popular ‘Celtic F.C’ by a 4-1 margin.
Hansen appeared in 21 matches for Partick in 1975-76. In his presence, the team moved to the ‘Scottish Premier Division’ from ‘Scottish First Division’. Hansen’s skills soon grabbed the attention of the other football clubs, especially the famous ‘Liverpool’.
In 1977, Hansen moved to the ‘Liverpool Football Club’. He was signed by the franchise for a whopping 110000 Euros, which was a huge amount at the time. Just one month after he joined, Hansen proved his prowess in a match against the German team ‘Dynamo Desden’. In the 14th minute, he scored a goal for Liverpool, which helped his team secure a comfortable 5-1 victory over Desden.
Hansen played many matches for Liverpool in the following years, and helped his team win the league title in 1978-79. By this time, Hansen had managed to build a good reputation amongst the fans and the team management, which helped him in cementing the spot of a central defender.
A major landmark in Hansen’s career came when he was selected to the National Football team of Scotland, to represent his country in the 1982 world cup. The team, however, failed to qualify beyond the group stage of the tournament.
One of the few glorious moments which Hansen experienced during his Liverpool tenure was the ‘1984 European League Final’. His club ended in a tie with the club ‘A.S Roma’ during this match, leading to penalty shootout. Liverpool won the contest at Roma’s own turf ‘Stadio Olympico’.
The following year, Liverpool again played in the finals of the European Cup, this time against ‘Juventus’. Not only did Liverpool lose the match, but they were banned from playing the tournament since unruly fans had killed few Juventus supporters in a riot which occurred after the contest.
Soon after this disaster, Hansen’s friend and Scottish citizen Kenny Dalglish took over as the new manager of the club in 1986. Kenny appointed Hansen as the new captain of the side. Under his leadership, Hansen helped Liverpool win two titles, the FA cup as well as the routine league tournament. This feat was a milestone for the Liverpool Football Club.
In the 1987-88 season of the league, Liverpool lost just two games, winning the tournament, which brought laurels to Alan Hansen, the skipper. They reached the FA Cup final as well but were beaten 1-0 by Wimbledon, which was probably tournament’s biggest upset.
Hansen suffered from a knee dislocation while playing against ‘Atletico Madrid’ in 1988. The injury caused a major setback in Hansen’s career and he could play just six matches that year.
Hansen retired from professional football in 1991. He later joined the TV channel ‘Sky Television’ as a football commentator, and was seen giving expert opinions on the sport. Hansen then moved to the world renowned ‘BBC Network’, where he continues to work even till date.
Alan Hansen was born on June 13, 1955 in Sauchie, Scotland. He completed his primary education from the ‘Alloa Academy’, located near Clackmannanshire. Since a young age, Hansen was a great fan of sports, and supported the ‘Rangers Football Club’.
One memorable event of his younger days occurred at a youth club, where Hansen hurt his forehead after running into a plate glass panel. The incident cost Hansen a two-hour long surgery, 27 stitches, and a long scar on his forehead. He was 15 years old at that time.
During the same time, Hansen focussed more on golf in a bid to pursue a full-time career in the sport. However, at the age of 17, he signed a trial contract with the ‘Hibernian Football Club’ on the insistence of his father and sibling.
Impressed by his football skills, Eddie Turnbull, the then manager of Hibernian Football Club offered Hansen a professional contract. Hansen turned down the offer since he felt that the commitment towards the club might become a hindrance in pursuing golf.
Hansen married Janet in 1980. The couple lives in Southport, a seaside town of England, along with their kids, Adam and Lucy.
Hansen was deeply disturbed by the ‘Hillsborough Disaster’ of 1989. Around 96 people lost their lives in this tragedy, which was caused by a clash between the fans of ‘Liverpool’ and ‘Nottingham Forest’ football clubs. Hansen penned his autobiography at a later stage of his life, where he spoke about this tragedy.
When not busy with his football related commitments, Hansen keeps himself engaged with golf. He usually plays the sport at Clackmannanshire, Scotland.