Alan Hansen
Alan Hansen
Alan Hansen
• Alan Hansen, 1974 (PIN)

born in Scotland

Alan David Hansen was born on Monday, 13th June, 1955, in Sauchie, Clackmannanshire.

The 6' 2½ (10st 10lbs) defender signed for Davie McParland's Thistle in the summer of 1973, having most recently been with Sauchie.

Aged 18, he made his debut appearance on Monday, 6th August, 1973, in a 2-1 friendly win away to Stenhousemuir.

Alan scored his first goal for Thistle on Saturday, 20th December, 1975, in a 4-2 win away to Airdrieonians in the SFL First Division.

He scored the last of his 10 goals on Saturday, 19th March, 1977, in a 1-1 draw away to Ayr United in the SFL Premier Division.

He played his last game for the club on Saturday, 30th April, 1977, in a 1-0 win at home to Hibernian in the SFL Premier Division, having clocked up 126 appearances as a Jag.

Alan's club-list included Sauchie, Partick Thistle and Liverpool.

Alan Hansen's Summary Totals
appearances position won drew lost goals
League 86 35 27 24 6
Competitive 120 51 32 37 10
All Games 126 55 34 37 10

Bio Extra

He played as a central defender for Partick Thistle, for the successful Liverpool team of the late 1970s and 1980s, and for Scotland. As a football pundit, Hansen became known for his outspoken views, particularly on teams' defensive performances, frequently criticising what he believed was “diabolical” or “shocking” defending. He made his name as a pundit on Match of the Day from 1992 to 2014.

Hansen was born in Sauchie, Clackmannanshire, and attended Lornshill Academy and supported Rangers growing up. His paternal grandfather was Danish. At the age of 15, Hansen ran into a plate-glass panel after playing volleyball and was left with a large scar on his forehead. The glass was in a brand-new youth club which Hansen attended. During his two-hour hospital stay he had 27 stitches in his head. He sued the education authority and won the case. Hansen stopped playing football between the ages of 15 and 17 and concentrated on playing golf, with aspirations of becoming a professional. His father and brother wanted Hansen to play football, so he accepted the offer of a trial with Hibernian when he was 17. Hibernian manager Eddie Turnbull offered Hansen a professional contract, but he refused because it would have stopped him from playing golf competitively.

Alan Hansen played his early football (along with his brother John) at Scottish Junior league club, Sauchie Juniors near Alloa in Clackmannanshire. Hansen turned down the opportunity to study at the University of Aberdeen, in order to join his older brother John at Partick Thistle. During the summer while his application was being processed, he worked for six weeks in the offices of General Accident insurance — which he hated. As a trainee, Hansen attended the 1971 Scottish League Cup Final, seeing a Partick Thistle side that included his brother John create one of the biggest shocks ever in Scottish football by defeating favourites Celtic 4–1 at Hampden Park.

After breaking into the first team at Thistle, Hansen was watched by top clubs, including Bob Paisley's Liverpool. In 1975–76 season Hansen played 21 times as Thistle won the Scottish First Division championship to gain entry into the Scottish Premier Division. By the end of the following season Hansen had 35 first team appearances, before moving south of the border to Liverpool on 5 May 1977. After arriving at Anfield, the nickname which he loathed for years ('Stretch') was forgotten and a new nickname 'Jockey' was born.

Hansen cost Liverpool £100,000. He made his debut on 24 September 1977 in a league match at Anfield. Derby County were the visitors and were beaten by a single goal scored by Terry McDermott. Hansen hit his first goal the following month on 19 October during a European Cup 2nd round 1st leg tie at Anfield. He opened the scoring in the 14th minute as Liverpool demolished East German side Dynamo Dresden 5–1.

Hansen was put into the first team sporadically throughout the season. He was not in the side which lost the 1978 League Cup final replay to Nottingham Forest, but he was selected for the Liverpool side which won the 1978 European Cup Final 1–0 over FC Bruges at Wembley, on a goal by Kenny Dalglish. Hansen managed 18 appearances in the First Division that season, where Liverpool finished runners-up to Nottingham Forest.

In Hansen's playing career for Liverpool, his winners medals include 8 league titles, 3 European Cups, 2 FA Cups and 4 League Cups.

Having previously appeared for the under-23 side, Hansen made his full debut for Scotland on 19 May 1979 in a British Home Championship match against Wales in front of 20,000 spectators at Ninian Park, Cardiff. Scotland manager Jock Stein gave debuts to four Scottish players that day – George Burley, John Wark, Paul Hegarty and Hansen. Hosts Wales won the match 3–0 against a somewhat inexperienced Scottish line-up, with striker John Toshack scoring a hat-trick for Wales.

Hansen's second Scotland cap came the following month on 2 June 1979 in a prestigious Saturday afternoon friendly match at Glasgow's Hampden Park against reigning World Champions Argentina. On the hottest day in Glasgow for 30 years, the 61,000 sun-drenched crowd at Hampden Park saw the South Americans beat Scotland 3–1, with an 18-year-old Diego Maradona scoring his first international goal for Argentina in a virtuoso display of skill and trickery. In an interview in 2007, Hansen said that Maradona was “without a shadow of a doubt the best player I came up against. He was virtually unplayable – even at 18.” Hansen went on to represent his country in the World Cup Finals in Spain '82, and won the last of his 26 Scotland caps in 1987.

Away from football, Hansen has always been a keen golfer, and plays off a handicap of three. He regularly returns to the town of his birth near Alloa in Clackmannanshire, Scotland to participate in celebrity golf tournaments in aid of various charities. He has hosted documentaries on the sport and worked at the Masters Tournament for the BBC. He has also presented programmes on the rise in status and wealth of the modern footballer and has appeared in television adverts, such as for Carlsberg and Morrisons supermarkets.

Hansen lives in Southport with his wife Janet. They have been married since 1980 and have a son Adam and a daughter Lucy.


© The Thistle Archive 2015-2024. All rights reserved. Third-party trademarks and content are the property of their respective owners, and subject to their own copyright terms and conditions. See the website links provided in each case.