Gerard Houllier, former Liverpool manager, has passed away at 73
Former France manager Gerard Houllier, who rebuilt Liverpool from Premier League underachievers into a cup treble-winning side in 2001, has died aged 73.
Houllier spent six years at Anfield between 1998-2004, winning four major trophies including the League Cup, FA Cup, and UEFA Cup in 2001.
The Frenchman spent 38 years as a manager, also taking charge of the France national team, Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain, where he won Ligue 1 in 1986 – the first of PSG’s nine titles.
RMC Sport reports the former Liverpool manager died after having a heart attack.
Liverpool released a statement this evening on their Twitter page, giving a tribute to their former manager :
“We are mourning the passing of our treble-winning manager, Gerard Houllier,”
“The thoughts of everyone at Liverpool Football Club are with Gerard’s family and many friends. Rest in peace, Gerard Houllier 1947-2020.”
Houllier has had a history of heart problems which date back to 2001 when he was rushed to the hospital at halftime during a Premier League game between Leeds United and Liverpool.
Houllier who spent his playing career in the lower leagues of France began his coaching in the year 1973, becoming the manager of Lens. He then moved to PSG where he won his first title as a manager.
He became France’s assistant coach in 1988 and then manager in 1992 but had an unsuccessful spell in charge where France failed to qualify for the 1994 world cup.
He rebuilt his managerial career at Liverpool where he won a treble in 2001, Liverpool went from underachievers to winners under him, there was huge optimism among the fans that the club would win the league under him after a topsy turvy transition in the Premier League, but that couldn’t happen as Liverpool always felt short. That led to the downfall of Houllier’s career at Liverpool and he moved back home.
He enjoyed considerable success at Lyon as well, as he won back to back Ligue 1 titles, he returned to the Premier League with Villa but couldn’t continue for long due to heart problems. He has since then been the global head for the Red Bull group where he oversaw their academies.
Liverpool now face RB Leipzig in the Champions League rounds of 16. Two clubs whose path to this point was shaped in part by the intelligence and passion of Gerard Houllier. A fitting end to a footballing great.
Image Credit – Liverpool FC Twitter