Jump to content

KirkySuperSub

Ian St. John

Recommended Posts

Very sad news. Like many on here, I am too young to remember him as a player, but the fact that my father was in awe of him would be enough to convince me of his status as a legend. I do remember how excited my Dad was when he returned to the club as manager and it does seem a real shame that his spell in charge was short lived. I remember St John saying that the move to Portsmouth was a mistake, mainly because he was lmisled about the proposed future for that club. I assume that most of the media will be full of his time at Liverpool and his work as a pundit, but his significance for our club cannot be underestimated. 

RIP, and my thoughts and respect are with his family and friends.

In closing, I would add one thing. During his work as an expert/ pundit over the years, where he was both inciteful and honest ( and so much more than just a comic foil for Jimmy Greaves) you were never unaware that he was a Scotland man, a Liverpool man, a Motherwell man.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my grandad was one of the scouts at the club and he always spoke incredibly highly of him. When he returned to Well he remembered everyone by name and really had a positive impact on them all. 

I'm too young to remember his time at Well but loved his enthusiasm and spirit.  Like many have said it was clear he was a Scotland, Liverpool and Motherwell man.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A mate sent me this. It made me laugh. Apologies to whoever it was stolen from....

A man from Liverpool, England was touring the USA on holiday and stopped in a remote bar in the hills of Nevada. He was chatting to the bartender when he spied an old Native American man sitting in the corner. He had tribal gear on, long white plaits, wrinkled face. "Who's he?" asked the Liverpudlian. "That's the Memory Man." said the bartender. "He knows everything, remembers everything. He can remember every face he's ever seen. He can remember any fact he hears or reads. Go and try him out." So the Liverpudlian goes over, and thinking he won't know about English football, asks "Who won the 1965 FA Cup Final?". "Liverpool" replies the Memory Man. "Who did they beat?" "Leeds" was the instant reply. "And the score?" "2-1." "Who scored the winning goal?" "Ian St. John" said the old man, without a hint of hesitation. The Liverpudlian was knocked out by this and told everyone back home about the Memory Man when he got back. Many years later he went back to the USA and tried to find the impressive Memory Man. Eventually he found the bar and sitting in the same seat was the old Native American, only this time he was older and even more wrinkled. The Liverpudlian approached him with the greeting "How". The Memory man looked up and said, "Diving header in the six yard box".

  • Like 2
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, underboyleheating said:

image.jpeg.4bd245fd31e76415685f34c42067f06f.jpegimage.jpeg.b417643831991e509352beedd720f29a.jpeg
 

Remember Willie McKenzie, the trainer with the mid 70s team - would the older guy in the top picture be his brother Thomas? He started off in the 1931/32 league winning squad, played in 2 cup finals for us and was a coach/trainer for a long time after he retired. Just discovered Sammy and Billy Reid were their nephews.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, steelman1991 said:

Never got to see him play, but that team he managed were a joy to watch at the time. Secured our first victories against Celtic (certainly in the 9 in a row years) in my lifetime and had us as a force to be reckoned with.

On a church billboard in Liverpoool the immortal words “ Jesus Saves” to which were added “and St John scores the rebound”

RIP Saint.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

There also was the one of 2 Liverpool fans 1st one says “What will we do when the Lord comes” back came the reply “Move St John it inside left”

Great player and wonderful person, had the privilege of seeing him play in claret and amber on a few occasions 

RIP 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread has reminded me that I did see him play in a testimonial. Racking my brains, I think it must have been the "Motherwell Old Boys vs Radio Clyde DJs" warm-up at Joe Wark's game, where he lined up with Wilson Humphries among many others.

(If it wasn't that one, it was certainly around that time).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, underboyleheating said:

image.jpeg.4bd245fd31e76415685f34c42067f06f.jpegimage.jpeg.b417643831991e509352beedd720f29a.jpeg
 

1967 Charlie Aitken's Testimonial v Rangers (before they played in the Cup Winners Cup Final).

The only time I saw St John playing for Motherwell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, bobbybingo said:

Remember Willie McKenzie, the trainer with the mid 70s team - would the older guy in the top picture be his brother Thomas? He started off in the 1931/32 league winning squad, played in 2 cup finals for us and was a coach/trainer for a long time after he retired. Just discovered Sammy and Billy Reid were their nephews.

Top photograph; John McPhee, Tommy McKenzie, Willie Cowie & Ian St John.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately after his last cap against England at Wembley in 1965 when he scored the equaliser in a 2-2 draw, he made a statement to the press to the effect he wouldn’t play for Scotland again until the then “selection committee “ let the manager pick the Scotland team .....press reported that he no longer wanted to play for Scotland .....unfortunately was never selected again.......was referring to England who had changed their “selection committee” to Alf Ramsey the manger picking the team

Used to be the Scottish based “selection committee” chairman etc etc decided who was picked for the squad and who played,the manager was basically a patsy 

Aged  27 had just scored the winner in the FA cup final and won the league next season ........regretted making the statement.......all  from his autobiography.........was 10 when he was our manager

On 3/2/2021 at 7:33 PM, joewarkfanclub said:

Im too you to remember him as a player. But his reputation at Fir Park is well known. I dont remember his managerial stint but he was responsible for a huge part of "my first Motherwell". If all he ever did was pair Wullie P and Bobby Graham together he would be a hero to me. Thankfully he did so much more. A fantastic career as a player and you have to think he would have earned many more Scotland caps if he hadnt been born in the same era as Denis Law. What Scotland would give to have someone like that available this summer.

RIP SAINT

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ECOSSE1991 said:

Top photograph; John McPhee, Tommy McKenzie, Willie Cowie & Ian St John.

Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's his FA Cup winning goal (which is as old as me). Plummy mouth commentator calling him "Sinjin"

 

And a Christmas show with a Jimmy Greaves stand-in.

 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wullie P's tribute from The Herald.

 

 

Quote

 

LIKE many of his young peers around the Motherwell area in the late Fifties and early Sixties, Willie Pettigrew has a lot to thank Ian St John for. In Pettigrew’s case though, his gratitude extends beyond the fond memories of witnessing his extraordinary goalscoring prowess from the Fir Park terraces.

St John, who has died at the age of 82, had a talent too prodigious for Motherwell to contain. In 1961, after 105 goals in just 144 appearances in claret and amber, Liverpool paid a then record fee of £37,500 to lure him to Anfield, financing the construction of the Main Stand at Fir Park in the process, which still stands to this day.

The rest, is history. St John, alongside Ron Yeats who had been brought to Merseyside from Dundee United, sparked a revival in Liverpool’s fortunes that Bill Shankly credited as the ‘turning point’ in the club’s history.

St John’s status as a Liverpool great was exemplified by the outpouring of grief that greeted news of his death yesterday, and the fulsome tributes paid to him on Merseyside and all over the football world a testament to both his abilities as a player, and his character as a man.

His passing was just as keenly felt back where it all began for him in Lanarkshire, where he is revered for his impact on the Steelmen of his hometown as both a player and a manager.

It was during his short spell in charge of Motherwell in the early Seventies that a once wide-eyed youngster would get a chance to work under his idol, and Pettigrew spoke fondly of St John as he recalled those early days of his career, when one legend of the club set another on his way to the Fir Park Hall of Fame.

“I was a kid of seven or eight when I watched him before he went to Liverpool, along with a few others who have now sadly passed away like Willie Hunter, Pat Quinn, Andy Weir, people like that,” Pettigrew said.

“I always remember when he was manager of Motherwell, you knew when he was in the room. He had that presence, that aura about him. You knew he was there.

“He had a belief in what I could do and gave me my debut. He had given me games in the League Cup against Celtic and I scored a couple of goals.

“He deserves all the plaudits he gets. He was a good manager, a good coach. He tried to transform Motherwell, get us playing the ball on the deck.

“He was one of the first people to ever give me any individual coaching. He’d take you aside and work on finishing, heading, and all the rest of it. It was an unusual thing at the time.

“I actually worked with him for three or four years later on as well, because he used to run soccer schools up here too.

“He was the one who signed Bobby Graham from Coventry, and we had a great partnership, so I’ve got to thank him for that too.

“Motherwell were fortunate to have had him as a player, and they were fortunate to have him as a manager.

“It might have been a short period of time, but he definitely raised their expectations that they could do better.”

For all the belief that St John gave Pettigrew as a young forward though, there was one occasion where he gave him an almighty fright too.

“A friend of mine, Willie Leishman, who stayed two doors up from me, we were both part-time at the club,” he said. “One day, Ian St John offered him full-time terms, and Willie came back down the road and told me.

“I went back up the next day and chapped Ian’s door. I said ‘You’ve given Willie Leishman a full-time contract, why no me?’ He said ‘Are you wanting a full-time contract?’ I said ‘Aye, course I do.’

“He told me to come back in the morning and we would sort it out. I went back down the road, turned on the telly, and the newsflash was that Ian St John had been appointed manager of Portsmouth.

“I went back up the next day and he was there, and he pulled my contract out the drawer. Thank god. I signed it and the next day he was off.”

That day back in 1974 may have marked the end of St John’s official involvement with his hometown team, but no matter the glittering success he went on to enjoy with Liverpool – twice winning the old First Division and lifting the FA Cup – he never forgot where he came from.

“He’s a legend at Liverpool,” said Pettigrew. “I went down in 2015, myself, my wife, a guy called Jimmy McCluskey and his wife.

“I went down to see his son, who was getting us tickets for the Liverpool game, and Ian phoned up and invited us to come up to the radio station where he was broadcasting.

“He took us up to the studios and we had a good chat. I wouldn’t call him a friend, I would call him what he was; a great player who had a lot of time for people. He wouldn’t walk past anybody.

“He was a Motherwell lad and he worked in the Bridgeworks. He was 82 and left Motherwell in 1961, but a lot of people still remember him for his leaping abilities and the amount of goals he scored with his head.

“The number of caps he got with Scotland was impressive too. It was only 21, but 21 in that time was really good, because there was only ever the home internationals and the World Cup.

“Nowadays there are internationals every couple of months, but 21 when Ian played is more like a hundred by today’s standards.

“You look at the Saint and Greavsie Show later on in his life as well, it was the must-watch programme on a Saturday.

“He was a great player, a really good manager, and just a good person.

“He was one of my heroes.”

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, weeyin said:

And a Christmas show with a Jimmy Greaves stand-in.

The stand-in being voiced by ITV commentator Peter Brackley, if I recall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, numpty said:

The stand-in being voiced by ITV commentator Peter Brackley, if I recall.

Ian St John mentions that at the end of the clip, so I'm guessing your recollection is accurate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On off the ball they said the Saint was last of Ancell Babes to pass.  That cant be right surely? I am sure John Martis and Matt Thomson still with us.  Saint last of the forward line to sadly leave us 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John  Martin is still with us, but Matt Thomson passed away about 12-14 years ago.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know that Bobby Roberts, Willie McSeveney & John Martis are alive and no doubt others who played in the Ancell era.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

Twitter @MotherwellFC

×