So its finally over, the longest centre back pairing in history is to come to an end as Alan Hansen quits the Match of the Day sofa at the end of the season. The writing was already on the wall as the BBC have relegated his partner Mark Lawrenson to a part time attendance with their aim to shake up the flagship football program. MOTD shakeups are usually fairly minimal and it has changed very little over the years but recent comparisons with Gary Neville’s performances on Sky have got the powers that be at the BBC to look at slightly more radical measures. Lawrenson has been moved aside to concentrate on his co-commentating and Five Live duties while Hansen has seen it as the obvious time to get out whilst still ahead.
Hansen moved to Liverpool from Partick in 1977. Liverpool wanted Lawrenson at the same time to forge a partnership but were outbid by Brighton. Their partnership at Liverpool began in 1981 and they played as a centre back pairing for 8 years as the Reds won everything in sight. After his playing career finished Hansen started at MOTD in 1992 and has been a permanent fixture ever since. Lawrenson tried his hand at management but soon moved to broadcasting and joined his old partner on the Saturday night show in 1997. They have also lived virtually next door to each other for much of their careers. Much of Hansen’s famed analysis of a team’s stability rests on the importance of a close central defensive pairing. Surely you can take this sort of thing too far ? It’s as if they were inseparable twins.
This is easily understood when we look at their charts. They were both born with the Sun in Gemini, the sign of the Twins. They also both have Mars, the second most important planet for a sportsman, in the middle of Cancer. They are obviously on the same wavelength, the only surprise is that they weren’t constantly bumping into each other as they both tried to head away the same cross. Also with that much Gemini its no wonder they would spend years talking about the game. They also hardly ever disagreed with each other.
Alan Hansen’s career has been dominated by transits to his Mars. He signed for Liverpool with Pluto square Mars and retired with both Saturn and Neptune in opposition to the red planet. Saturn and Neptune are both difficult for footballers and often mark a fall or a loss of some sort. Uranus, the planet of sudden unexpected developments was opposite Hansen’s Mars when he got the MOTD job and Pluto is in opposition next year when he finally retires.
For Mark Lawrenson, Pluto was square his Mars between 1978 and 80 when he came to prominence at Brighton. Pluto makes the opposition to Mars between 2016 and 18 so this could also mark his retirement. It would make sense, they have copied each other throughout their careers.
So when they have to go their separate ways, how will they cope ? Perhaps they should work on their golf partnership or become a comedy duo. They will find something, they are inseparable twins after all.