Klopp was given present by Ian St John as death leaves Liverpool boss devastated

Jurgen Klopp has paid tribute to the late Ian St John after the Liverpool legend's tragic passing, recounting a time the pair met on Merseyside.

The Scot made over 400 appearances for the Reds during his 10-year spell and died at the age of 82 on Monday following a long battle with illness.

St John met with Klopp in 2019 during a visit to Liverpool's Melwood training complex.

And the club veteran was gracious enough to bring a present with him, handing the Liverpool boss an opposition jersey from a match he’d played in for Scotland against West Germany.

Speaking to Liverpool's official website, Klopp recalled: “First of all, when I arrived here at Liverpool I knew a lot about the 90s and this kind of stuff because of when I became an adult and was interested in international football.

“But when you arrive at Liverpool, you become aware immediately of these legends from the time before – and some of them, I have been lucky enough to meet, one of who was Ian.

“When Ian arrived, it’s so funny because you see the pictures of the legends on the walls everywhere, on the walls and in other situations, and he looked like he looked like on those photos. It was easy to see, ‘Oh my god, yes, Ian St John!’

“He was not only football-wise a legend, but a true legend as a person. It was a pure pleasure to meet him.

“He had a little present with him; I’m not sure it was his first game for Scotland, but it was [a shirt] from a game against West Germany with the number 12. I am now 53 years old so I don’t remember 100 per cent who the player was, but in my mind it was Heinz Flohe, a player from Cologne, I think he said.

“It was just outstanding and I’m just so happy to have met him because the best thing you can learn from these legends is how easy it is to stay the person you are, even when you had the biggest success in the past.

“I feel really honoured to have met him and when I heard the news today, I was devastated. All my prayers go to his family and I know he is in a better place as well.

“I am really, really happy I had the opportunity to meet him.”

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  • Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard also paid tribute to St John with messages on Tuesday morning.

    And Anfield hero Kenny Dalglish followed with a message on social media.

    “RIP Saint. Ian St John was instrumental in making Liverpool FC the Club it is today. Long may he be remembered for all of the happy memories he has given to fans. Betsy and the family are very much in our thoughts. KD," he tweeted.

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