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Ex-Cardiff, Swansea, Liverpool player in a serious condition in hospital

Ex-Cardiff, Swansea, Liverpool player John Toshack MBE in a serious condition in hospital say reports in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Toshack, 74, has been admitted to A&E in Barcelona six days ago, with the former coach of Real Madrid placed into an Intensive Care Unit in the Catalan capital due to severe pneumonia from Covid.

The Swansea Independent claim that in last few hours things have reached quite an extreme and he has very low blood oxygenation.

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The former footballer began to feel ill last weekend but felt confident that he would be able to cope with the initial symptoms. He was immediately admitted in to the intensive care unit and Toshack has a full vaccination schedule.

He is currently suffering with breathing difficulties, and he needs mechanical help to keep his breathing stable, with his wife, Maite being kept informed with updates.

Known in Catalonia as the ‘the Basque of Wales’, she has said to a reporter of the Swansea Independent that “John has always been a strong and stubborn man and I’m sure he’ll get his way this time too. Of course he is not going to give up and we have to trust that in the next few days his condition will improve.”

Twitter users reacted with the ex-Cardiff, Swansea, Liverpool player in a serious condition in hospital…

@Ieuan_Swan: Sending the legend John Toshack, all the strength and support in the world, stay strong YJB.

@Liddellpool: John Toshack is in intensive care in a Spanish hospital battling pneumonia brought on by Covid. Get well soon

@dickiebow81: Love and prayers to big John Toshack and his family. Keep fighting 🖤🤍

@JordanEynon22: Sending prayers to big John Toshack, footballing legend hopefully he pulls through 🙏

@ChrisStonadge: NWA John Toshack. Pull through legend 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

@RichBratley: Just read John Toshack in intensive care with Covid/pneumonia. Hope he pulls through YNWA

@ChieFren: Get well soon john toshack Liverpool legend.

@ABevington11: A top player with Cardiff, Liverpool, Swansea and Wales. Hugely successful manager. One of the best British overseas bosses. Giant of a man, big personality. 🙏 #Tosh @LFC @Cymru @realmadriden @CardiffCityFC @SwansOfficial @RealSociedadEN

Toshack started his playing career as a teen with his hometown club Cardiff City, becoming the youngest player to make an appearance for the side when he made his debut in 1965. After breaking through the first-team, he went on to make over 200 appearances and scored 100 goals in all competitions after forming a striking partnership with Brian Clark.

In 1970, he joined First Division side Liverpool, where he formed a forward partnership with Kevin Keegan and Steve Heighway that helped guide the club to win two league titles, the European Cup, the UEFA Cup on two occasions, the FA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup. His partnership with Keegan was so effective that the two were described as telepathic. A number of injuries saw him released from Liverpool to join Swansea City as player-manager in March 1978. He led the club to three promotions in four seasons, taking them from the Fourth Division to the First Division in a feat that led former Liverpool manager Bill Shankly to describe him as the “manager of the century”. During his career, he scored over 150 goals in the Football League in more than 350 appearances and also represented Wales at international level, winning 40 caps and scoring 13 goals.

He resigned from the Swans in 1984 after suffering relegation and launched a managerial career abroad, taking charge of Sporting CP in Portugal and later Spanish side Real Sociedad, winning the Copa del Rey in 1987. Two years later, he was appointed boss of Real Madrid and led them to a fifth consecutive La Liga title with a record total of points and goals scored. However, a disappointing start to the following season resulted in his dismissal in November 1990 and he returned to Real Sociedad. In 1994, he was appointed part-time manager of Wales alongside his job at Sociedad but resigned from the role after just 47 days having been in charge for one match, citing the strong support for ex-manager Terry Yorath among fans and a “political war” as reasons.

After time in Turkey with Beşiktaş, he went back to Real Madrid for a second time but was sacked 10 months later after refusing to retract criticism he had made of his players in a press conference following a defeat. In 2004, he was appointed as manager of Wales for a second time and stayed with the side for six years, presiding over three ultimately unsuccessful qualifying campaigns. He later managed Macedonia and Azerbaijani side Khazar Lankaran before managing outside Europe for the first time in his career with Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca and Tractor of Iran.

TOSHACK’S CAREER

Playing career
1965–1970 – Cardiff City – 162 games (74 goals)
1970–1978 – Liverpool – 172 games (74 goals)
1978–1984 – Swansea City – 63 games (24 goals)
Total – 397 games (172 goals)

National team
1968–1969 – Wales Under-23 – 4 games (0 goals)
1969–1980 – Wales – 40 games (13 goals)

Teams managed
1978–1983 – Swansea City (Player–manager)
1983–1984 – Swansea City
1984–1985 – Sporting CP
1985–1989 – Real Sociedad
1989–1990 – Real Madrid
1991–1994 – Real Sociedad
1994 – Wales
1995–1997 – Deportivo
1997–1999 – Beşiktaş
1999 – Real Madrid
2000–2001 – Saint-Étienne
2001–2002 – Real Sociedad
2002–2003 – Catania
2004 – Real Murcia
2004–2010 – Wales
2011–2012 – Macedonia
2013 – Khazar Lankaran
2014–2016 – Wydad Casablanca
2018 – Tractor

Honours

Player
Cardiff City
Welsh Cup: 1967–68, 1968–69

Liverpool
Football League First Division: 1972–73, 1975–76, 1976–77
FA Cup: 1973–74
FA Charity Shield: 1976
European Cup: 1976–77
UEFA Cup: 1972–73, 1975–76
UEFA Super Cup: 1977

Player-manager
Swansea City

Football League Fourth Division Third-place promotion: 1977–78
Football League Third Division Third-place promotion: 1978–79
Football League Second Division Third-place promotion: 1980–81
Welsh Cup: 1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83

Manager
Real Sociedad
Copa del Rey: 1986–87

Real Madrid
La Liga: 1989–90

Deportivo
Supercopa de España: 1995

Beşiktaş
Turkish Cup: 1997–98

Khazar Lankaran
Azerbaijan Supercup: 2013

Wydad Athletic Club
Botola: 2014–15

Individual honours
La Liga Coach of the Year – Don Balón Award: 1989, 1990[95]

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