Liverpool FC

The best moments of Ian St John's Liverpool career

Ross Jackson
Mar 2, 2021, 12:15 PM GMT
Ian St John has sadly died aged 82
Ian St John has sadly died aged 82 | Ian McLennan/Getty Images
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Ian St John was one of Liverpool's greatest ever players.

The former Scotland international spent a decade at Anfield, helping spearhead the club's charge back to the top of the English footballing pyramid.

The frontman departed Merseyside in 1971, having secured two top flight titles, a second flight title and an FA Cup winner's medal.

While St John's Liverpool career may not have been strewn with European Cups, his time with the Reds undoubtedly laid the foundations for the club's future success. With that in mind, let's take a look back at the Scotsman's greatest moments in a Liverpool shirt.

1. Helping secure promotion back to the top flight

Ian St John
Liverpool won promotion back to the top flight in 1962 | Keystone/Getty Images

It seems almost inconceivable that there was a time when Liverpool weren't a fixture in England's top flight - but it happened.

Having dropped out of the top tier in 1954, the Reds endured a number of near misses in their quest for promotion.

St John arrived at Anfield in 1961 and his partnership with Roger Hunt immediately bore fruit, with the lethal duo spearheading Bill Shankly's side's promotion bid.

The frontman notched 18 in his debut campaign at Anfield, as Liverpool regained their place at England's top table.

2. Scoring a hat-trick against Everton in his unofficial debut

Ian St John
There's no better way to announce yourself to Liverpool fans than a hat-trick against Everton | Mike McLaren/Getty Images

When Liverpool broke their club transfer record to secure the services of St John from Motherwell, big things were expected of the Scotland international.

While the Reds were in the second tier when he signed for the club, a pre-season clash with top flight Everton in the Liverpool Senior Cup represented a great opportunity to test out their new striker against top opposition.

Despite losing the game 4-3, all three of Liverpool's goals came from St John, and after just 90 minutes of football he was already well on his way to becoming a cult hero.

3. Liverpool's first top flight title in 17 years

Ian St John, Roger Hunt
St John and Hunt's partnership was key to Liverpool's league triumphs | Evening Standard/Getty Images

Having won promotion back to the First Division in 1962, Liverpool steadied themselves and recorded a respectable eighth place finish the following season.

In the 1963/64 campaign, St John and Hunt's strike partnership went into overdrive, with the pair grabbing 54 goals between them as Liverpool were crowned champions of England for the first time since 1947.

4. Convinced the club to play in all red

For all of St John's incredible achievements on the field, it's perhaps an off-field discussion he had with former boss Shankly that shaped his Reds legacy.

Liverpool's all-red kit is a staple of the English game, but the club used to play in white shorts and white socks before St John persuaded Shankly to adopt the all-red strip.

The Liverpool boss agreed with the decision, believing the colour scheme would carry a psychological impact, and they still don the colours to this day.

5. Second top flight title in three years

Gordon Milne, Gerry Byrne, Tommy Lawrence, Ron Yeats
The 60s saw Liverpool re-emerge as a force in English football | Central Press/Getty Images

The Liverpool team of the 60s didn't quite enjoy the relentless success that the sides of the 70s and 80s did, but they did manage to retain their top flight crown.

Following on from their title success in 1964, the club finished a disappointing seventh in the 1964/65 campaign.

St John and his teammates bounced back, finishing six points ahead of their nearest rivals Leeds in the 1965/66 season, as they were yet again crowned champions of England.

6. Scoring the FA Cup final winning goal

Ron Yeats, Ian St John
St John scored the winner in the 1965 FA Cup final | Larry Ellis/Getty Images

Undoubtedly the finest hour of St John's Liverpool career.

As incredible as it may seem, Liverpool had never won the FA Cup prior to St John's arrival at Anfield.

Seen as arguably the most prestigious trophy an English side could win, the club were desperate to taste FA Cup glory and the little Scotsman had a huge hand in helping their dreams become a reality.

Having reached the final of the 1965 edition of the competition, Liverpool's clash with Leeds headed for extra time.

Roger Hunt edged Liverpool ahead, only for Billy Bremner to equalise just minutes later, before St John wrote his name into Liverpool folklore as he headed the ball beyond the reach of Gary Sprake in the Leeds goal to secure a 2-1 win.

The greatest moment of an absolutely glittering Liverpool career.

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