Alan Hansen calls time on Match of the Day
The former Liverpool defender will step down following the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after deciding not to renew his contract that runs out in July.
A constant figure on the BBC couch, he will probably be best remembered for that famous quote about not being able to win anything with kids before a youthful side went on to claim the 1995/96 Premier League, with defensive analysis was his forte. Or lamenting the dying art.
“I will have been there for 22 years and will be 59, so it's the right time for me,” he said.
“The guys at the BBC know me and I said: 'Look, this is categorical. I’m leaving and nothing will make me change my mind.’ I am contracted to do the World Cup and I will do that as it will be a good way to go out, but I have had a great run.”
A figure that often polarised viewers, it follows on from the decision by the BBC to give Mark Lawrenson less airtime, and while the duo do come in for criticism, Hansen feels a lot of it is unwarranted.
“The thing with the BBC is that there aren't a lot of people out there willing to defend it, but the viewing figures speak for themselves,” he concluded.
Carlton Cole paid his own special tribute to the news this morning.
Alan Hansen is leaving MOTD: pic.twitter.com/eVp8HTP2Mc
— Çarlton Çole (@_CarltonCole9) September 5, 2013
Hansen turned down the opportunity to move to Sky TV and become manager at Manchester City – both would be highly lucrative offers now – during his time at the BBC and Gary Lineker will have to make do with the charismatic Michael Owen and Alan Shearer from next season.
Imo as a television football pundit, Alan Hansen has been for 2 decades consistently the best. Opinionated, knowledgable, tactically superb.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) September 5, 2013