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Tributes pour out as death of ex-Liverpool and Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier is confirmed

Tributes pour out as death of ex-Liverpool and Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier is confirmed according to reports on Monday morning.

The Frenchman died overnight according to French outlet RMC Sport and many players, managers and pundits of world football has expressed their sadness at the shocking news.

Gerard Houllier passes away at the age of 73 just days after having a heart operation.

The news was confirmed in France initially by both L’Equipe and RMC.

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker immediately paid tribute on social media, stating: “Oh no! Gerard Houllier has passed away. One of football’s smartest, warmest and loveliest people.”

Houllier initially arrived at Anfield in July 1998, joining the club as co-manager with Roy Evans.

Evans resigned on November 10, leaving Houllier in sole charge, from where he rebuilt a side that had been labelled the “Spice Boys”.

He may not have finished top of the Premier League table during his reigns did win five cups of 2001, as they claimed the UEFA Cup, FA Cup, League Cup, Charity Shield and UEFA Super Cup.

In October of that year, Houllier suffered emergency heart surgery after falling ill on the bench during a Premier League fixture against Leeds United.

He was rushed to hospital for an emergency operation due to the discovery of a heart condition, an aortic dissection.

Nevertheless, he returned to the club after five months away, and with the help of assistant Phil Thompson, led the club to a second place finish in the 2001-02 season.

Houllier ultimately left Liverpool in 2004, having also overseen an overhaul of the club’s youth system, being replaced by Rafa Benitez.


1973–1976 – Le Touquet
1976–1982 – Nœux-les-Mines
1982–1985 – Lens
1985–1988 – Paris Saint-Germain
1988–1992 – France (assistant manager)
1992–1993 – France
1994–1996 – France U18
1996–1997 – France U20
1998 – Liverpool (joint with Roy Evans)
1998–2004 – Liverpool
2005–2007 – Lyon
2010–2011 – Aston Villa


Paris Saint-Germain
Division 1: 1985–86

FA Cup: 2000–01
Football League Cup: 2000–01, 2002–03
FA Charity Shield: 2001
UEFA Cup: 2000–01
UEFA Super Cup: 2001

Ligue 1: 2005–06, 2006–07
Trophée des Champions: 2005, 2006

France U18
UEFA European Under-18 Championship: 1996

UEFA Team of the Year: 2001
European Coach of the Year—Alf Ramsey Award: 2001
World Soccer Magazine World Manager of the Year: 2001
Onze d’Or Coach of the Year: 2001
Ligue 1 Manager of the Year: 2007
Premier League Manager of the Month: December 1999, March 2002, October 2002

He had a lot of praise for current manager Jurgen Klopp on winning the Premier League, see what he had to say below…

Houllier told the Liverpool Echo: “Players need somebody who knows where he is going and what he wants to do. They follow somebody who has a vision.

“And they need ‘tough love’. You’ve got to be tough sometimes but you’ve got to love them. They need to understand that they can rely on you in case of a problem.

“But you love them. Jurgen is a good demonstration of that as well.”

He added: “When you’re a manager you need three things. You need to have results, you need to leave a legacy, and also you need to make players and the team improve.

“When I left there was a team in the Champions League spots. There was a different habit and a different tradition of preparing the team and approaching competitions.

“In terms of diet and looking after ourselves, we changed things which helped to be more competitive. There were new facilities with the new Melwood.

“Michael Owen won the Ballon d’Or. Players like Jamie Carragher, Danny Murphy, Robbie Fowler, Emile Heskey…they all improved when we were together there.

“And of course Steven Gerrard. I saw him when he was 17-and-a-half. He started training and playing with the first team. He became captain at the age of 23. That tells you everything.”

Tributes pour out as death of ex-Liverpool and Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier is confirmed

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