YOU KILL ME, GRIM-SY
Scottish international footballer, and Liverpool legend, Ian St John has died after a long battle with cancer. St John scored eighty goals in three seasons for Motherwell before he moved to Liverpool to play under Bill Shankly. There he won two league titles and the FA Cup, and became synonymous with the early beginning of Liverpool’s domination of English football. His goal scoring even became an early meme – as the saying went – Jesus Saves, but Ian St John tapped in the rebound. He played a mere 21 times for Scotland in the 1960s because our selection committee at the time were a bunch of dumb head fuckwits. (For example, Jinky Johnstone, Jim Baxter and Ian St John COMBINED have fewer international caps than Darren Fletcher.)
After his playing career he briefly returned to Motherwell as manager. However, he came far better known for his TV punditry career. His partnership with Jimmy Greaves – Saint and Greavsie – lasted seven years (after being a popular part of World of Sport), but is referenced by people who weren’t even alive when it was on air. A thirty minute lunch time teaser to the main days sport, it mixed hype and news with terrible punditry (“It’ll be a daddle with Hoddle and Waddle” said Greaves of his beloved Spurs shortly before they lost the Cup final to unfancied Coventry) and terrible dad jokes. You know, the terrible dad jokes that are 100% of my repertoire. They adlibbed and joked away about the big matches of the day. The show ended when ITV lost the football broadcast rights to Sky.
In recent years, Ian St John had suffered from advanced cancer, but while he kept regular updates on the illness private (hence only 4 teams going for him), he remained a public pillar of support for Jimmy Greaves, both as Jimmy beat a battle with alcoholism, and then in recent years as his health has been in decline. Time will tell how quickly the reunion is. (And of course he lived long enough to see Liverpool end their thirty year title jinx. The trick is always to have perfect…
Ian St John
7 June 1938 – 1 March 2021