Televised football suffered a great loss this week with the (I think) premature retirement of Alan Hansen from the pundit’s chair.
It is not often that the qualities of a great player (and he was great), great knowledge of his subject, the ability to communicate that knowledge to his audience, and great guy all come together as they undeniably did in the former Liverpool and Scotland defender.
As far as ‘Match of the Day’ was concerned he has been, by far, its brightest star since he joined, believe it or not, in 1992! Twenty two years ago. A documentary on his life this week brought back the horrible memories of the Heysel Stadium and Hillsborough which are forever written into the DNA of the Liverpool club and all those, like Hansen, who came through those terrible times.
But there were good times as well and the excerpts where he, Graeme Souness and Kenny Dalglish relived their happier times, and sometimes hilarious experiences were hugely enjoyable. But what really came over about Alan was his modesty and innate humility despite his achievements in the game. Just a really nice guy.
MOTD will certainly not be the same without him.