Steven Gerrard learnt of the death of Liverpool legend Ian St John in his Rangers press conference on Tuesday morning.
In an announcement on their official Twitter account, Liverpool confirmed the former Reds and Scotland forward had died aged 82.
We are deeply saddened by the passing of a true Anfield legend, Ian St John.
The thoughts of everyone at Liverpool Football Club are with Ian's family and friends at this sad and difficult time.
Rest in peace, Ian St John 1938-2021.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 2, 2021
As that announcement was posted on Tuesday morning, Gerrard was speaking to the media ahead of Rangers’ Premiership clash against Livingston on Wednesday night.
Broadcaster David Tanner, who’s worked with Sky Sports, BT Sport, talkSPORT and Hibs TV, decided it was fine to tell Gerrard of St John’s passing as he spoke to the press.
Tanner said: “Whilst we’ve been in this conference, Liverpool have announced the death of a great Liverpool player, a legend, and a great Scotland player, Ian St John,”
“It’s sad to say he’s died today. Can I give you a chance to give us a tribute to the Saint please?
Tanner’s words completely took Gerrard off guard and you could see in the video clip on Rangers’ official Twitter account that the ex-Liverpool midfielder was visibly shocked by the news.
“That’s a shock and a surprise to me. I didn’t know that,” Gerrard said.
“I’ve got nothing around me to see that breaking news so I’m really disappointed to hear that.”
🎙️ Press Conference | Part Two: Steven Gerrard spoke to the media ahead of Wednesday's trip to Livingston. pic.twitter.com/bw8oabRoms
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) March 2, 2021
Did Tanner really think it was an appropriate setting to tell Gerrard that news?
Did he not stop for one moment and think that this is someone who Gerrard might know very well and will be upset with St John’s passing?
It was horrible to watch Gerrard learn the news. When we watched the clip, we were hoping for team news and updates from Ibrox ahead of Rangers versus Livingston, we didn’t want to see our manager learn such sad news in front of the media and the fans.
It was a shameful decision by Tanner and one we hope he apologises for because that cannot have been nice for Gerrard. He would have much preferred to learn from someone close to him in a private setting.
Gerrard continued to say: “He’s an iconic figure at Liverpool Football Club. He’s someone I’d met on numerous occasions and he’s a fantastic guy.
“He was really insightful in terms of his career at Liverpool and his knowledge and expertise, and he always wanted to pass that on.
“I’m really devastated to hear the news, and I’m shocked. I’d like to send my condolences to his family. He’s someone I’ve got incredible respect for.”
St John made 425 appearances for Liverpool between 1961 and 1971, scoring 118 goals, winning two English league titles and one FA Cup in the process.
St John scored the match-winning goal for Liverpool in their 2-1 FA Cup final victory over Leeds United at Wembley in 1965.
He is very much an Anfield legend, like Gerrard is and our thoughts are very much with his friends and family at this tough time.
In other Rangers news, Sir Kenny Dalglish is backing Gerrard to become the next Liverpool manager.