Revered former Liverpool striker Ian St John has shown his trademark determination by pledging that he will 'battle on' after undergoing major surgery in an attempt to combat cancer.

The Scot, who turned 76 on Saturday, had an operation to remove his bladder and prostate in April during a two-week stay in hospital, following several years of suffering from the illness.

St John requires further, although less serious surgery but is currently convalescing at his home on Merseyside and is being cared for by his wife, Betsy, as he fights strongly against the disease.

"I hope that the operation will be conclusive, that it will hopefully tidy up what is down there," said the man who made 425 appearances for the Reds across a decade at Anfield.

"It is an operation to mop things up - that is a technical term! There is nothing you can do about it other than battle on.

"There is no point in crying about it and saying 'poor me'. You just battle on. People who have had it will tell you: 'You can get fit again.'

"I'm getting back to a certain fitness level and gradually getting fitter by the day. I've got a little gym at home and do a little bit, gradually building up.

"I've had bladder cancer for the last two or three years but it spread into my prostate and therefore the decision was made to remove both of them. That was done eight to 10 weeks ago.

"I was told the options and they included chemotherapy and radiotherapy; there are different ways to treat cancer.

"But my specialist felt it might be better to do what he did, which was to remove both the prostate and the bladder."

St John was a goalscorer supreme for Liverpool, finding the target 118 times to help the Reds climb out of the Second Division and win the championship twice under Bill Shankly.

It was his extra-time header, too, that earned the club a first ever triumph in the FA Cup in May 1965; Leeds United were downed 2-1 and the long wait for the trophy was over.

Brendan Rodgers has shown his support for St John by sending a signed Liverpool shirt with a special message - which has clearly contributed to keeping his spirits high.

He said: "The manager sent me a signed shirt, which I will wear when I get fit and am jogging around the garden!"

Everybody at Liverpool Football Club wishes Ian all the best in his continuing recovery.