Ian St John - One of the men of Shankly's best
St John's goal vs Leeds. 1965 FA Cup final. 

Ian St John, a man still talked about on the streets of the city through the legacy he built both at Liverpool Football club and in television after his football career came to a halt.

We've all been told stories growing up being connected with the club, the biggest catalyst was Bill Shankly, and the side he built when taking over in 1959. 

One of his most famous acquisitions - a wee man from Scotland, who had played 113 games for Motherwell, and scored 80 goals. 

St John came to Liverpool with a high reputation in Scottish football, and for a fee of £37,500 he proved to be one of the catalysts in Shankly's side, that has developed into the Liverpool still seen today. 

When signed in 1961, the Reds where still a second division side. It took some convincing for Shanks to persuade the Saint to join his vision at the club, but he earned his trust and alongside the signing of Ron Yeats, Bill Shankly described the signatures as a 'turning point' for the club as they went on to achieve greatness.

  • St John's impact

After years of misfortune in the second division being compounded with missing out on promotion, St John made his debut against Everton in the Liverpool senior cup. His impact was clear for all to see, and despite losing the game, fans knew they had some player on their hands. 

His first campaign saw him score 18 goals, and finally clinch promotion back to the first division which saw Shankly's plan take a major step forward. Not bad, right? 

The man developed an affectionate relationship with the Kop, which seen his name being sung aloud from the terraces by the Spion Kop. A quick, whitty chant that was indicative of the player. 

After 40 appearances in the 1962-63 season, Liverpool finished 8th - a comfortable position for a newly promoted outfit. 

The ball was rolling under Shankly and St John was a huge part of this motion. It was a rare thought what was going to happen in the following three years. 

  • 1964-66

The 1963-64 campaign saw Liverpool pull off an almighty shock over the rest of the first division. A 17 point deficit below Manchester United was overturned to beat both them and Everton to the league title. 

St John was instrumental in this achievement as he scored 21 goals, which was his highest goal scoring campaign to date at Liverpool. 

However, perhaps his biggest achievement in red came in 1965. An iconic day for everyone connected with the club.

For a compact player, he was known for being deadly in the air and in the 1965 FA Cup final he sank Leeds United hearts and brought the FA cup back to Liverpool after a 73 year wait. 

After a well developed move, local player Ian Callaghan had beaten players down the wing before his clipped cross was seized upon by Ian St John. He was the man who had brought the cup back to Liverpool, and finalised Bill Shankly's dream of doing so. 

'Now back in 1965when great Bill Shankly was alive, we're playing Leeds the scores 1-1, up pops the head of Ian St John'. (A verse of an historical Liverpool song).

After the triumph of FA cup victory, the quest was on to sustain Liverpool's place at the top. In 1966, St John played another 41 games for the Reds, including a European cup winners cup final. 

A league Championship also followed that year, where the Saint scored 10 goals throughout the campaign. He had reinvented what a Liverpool player was, from the second division to lifting the most valuable trophies in England. 

  • After Liverpool

As the 70s dawned, Shankly's quest to keep Liverpool at the pinnacle meant he had to build another squad of players to achieve greatness. Eight seasons at the club brought an end to an historical chapter, he left the Reds in August of 1971. Leaving behind over 400 appearances with 118 goals. 

After Anfield he had brief spells at clubs in Scotland and England, and went onto manage Portsmouth and Motherwell, where he began his playing career. 

During the 1980s he developed a partnership with Jimmy Greaves on television, discussing the ongoing Football matches that had been played of  a Saturday. The show ran for 7 years before Sky Sports bought the rights, the 30 minute slot was an in depth discussion from two of the games greatest minds. 

Transformed through the wisdom of Bill Shankly, the saint learnt a lot from his time with Liverpool. He was our Grandads and dads generation of heroes. One of the very first ones to do it under Shanks. The younger generations have seen Madrid, Barcelona, Jurgen and Gerrard. While the 80/90s let another generation have their turn where the Reds dominated. Yet, the catalyst for all the great sides and trophies that have been earnt overtime begun when Shankly took over, and when he signed players such as Ian St John, who took Liverpool FC to success and developed legendary status.