Gerard Houllier: Former Liverpool manager dies aged 73

Former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier has died at the age of 73.

The Frenchman managed the Reds from 1998-2004 and led them to five major trophies, including the FA Cup, League Cup and Uefa Cup treble in 2000-01.

Prior to Liverpool, Houllier managed Lens, Paris St-Germain and the French national team, and after leaving the Reds won two Ligue 1 titles at Lyon.

His last managerial job was at Aston Villa, but he left in 2011 after nine months, following heart problems.

In a statement, Liverpool said they were “deeply saddened” by Houllier’s death.

“We are mourning the passing of our treble-winning manager, Gerard Houllier,” the club said.

“The thoughts of everyone at Liverpool Football Club are with Gerard’s family and many friends.”

Aston Villa said: “All at Aston Villa are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Gerard Houllier, our manager during the 2010-11 season.

“Our thoughts are with Gerard’s loved ones at this incredibly difficult time.”

Tributes and reaction to Houllier’s death

Houllier made his managerial name with Lens and PSG in the 1980s before taking over the French national side in 1992.

However, after Les Bleus failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup finals – with Houllier blaming a mistake from winger David Ginola for their exit – he resigned from the role.

In 1998, he moved to England and took charge of Liverpool as joint manager alongside Roy Evans.

Evans resigned three months later and Houllier took sole charge, rebuilding the Reds and leading them to the unprecedented treble in the 2000-01 season.https://emp.bbc.co.uk/emp/SMPj/2.36.7/iframe.html2001: Owen scores two late goals for Liverpool to win FA Cup

In October 2001, he had open heart surgery after suffering from chest pains during a home match against Leeds, but returned to the dugout at Anfield and remained there for another three years before leaving in May 2004.

After leaving Liverpool, he led Lyon to two French titles before joining the French Football Federation in 2007, but he was enticed back into management by Villa in September 2010, signing a three-year deal.

But the following April Houllier was admitted to hospital with chest pains and Gary McAllister stepped in to help steer Villa away from relegation trouble.

He stepped down from the role at the end of the 2010-11 season with concerns that a return to the dugout could cause further health issues.

He has since held the head of football role at Red Bull, and in November became technical director of women’s football clubs Lyon and OL Reign.

Houllier’s record at Liverpool (games as sole manager only)
Matches307
Wins160
Draws73
Losses74
Goals scored516
Goals conceded298

Treble winners pay tribute

Many of Liverpool’s treble-winning squad from 2000-01 were quick to pay tribute to their former boss.

Ex-Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp wrote on Instagram: “Incredibly sad news to hear of the passing of Gerard Houllier. A man that did an amazing job for Liverpool football club and for football as a whole. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I will never forget the day he gave me the Liverpool captaincy, the greatest honour of my career.”

Dietmar Hamann said: “Devastated to hear the news that our former manager Gerard Houllier passed away. Great manager and an even better man. You’ll never walk alone Gerard.

Phil Thompson, Houllier’s assistant manager at Liverpool, said he was “absolutely devastated and heartbroken”.

Football world pays tribute

The rest of the football world also paid tribute to Houllier, with many Premier League teams tweeting their condolences, including Tottenham, West Ham, Manchester United and Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals Everton.