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The late Gerard Houllier, pictured at Anfield in 2014 © AFP/File Paul ELLIS

English Premiership

Liverpool pay tribute to treble-winning boss Houllier

LONDON, United Kingdom, Dec 14 – Premier League champions Liverpool said they were “deeply saddened” by the loss of treble-winning manager, Gerard Houllier after his death was announced on Monday.

Paris Saint-Germain and Lens confirmed the death of Houllier, who managed Liverpool from 1998 to 2004. He was also France national coach from 1992 to 1993.

The Frenchman led Liverpool to a treble of League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup in 2000/01 and returned the club to the Champions League.

“The thoughts of everyone at Liverpool Football Club are with Gerard’s family and many friends,” the club said in a statement. “Rest in peace, Gerard Houllier 1947-2020.”

Houllier, 73, who recovered from life-saving heart surgery during the 2001/02 campaign to return to the dugout, later guided Liverpool to a second League Cup triumph.

He left the following year after overseeing 307 matches and successfully re-establishing the club as a modern force.

In October 2001, Houllier fell ill at half-time during Liverpool’s match against Leeds and was diagnosed with an aortic dissection, which required emergency surgery and led to a five-month spell out of the dugout.

He suffered further health problems during a later management spell with Aston Villa. He was admitted to hospital in April 2011 after falling ill, and did not return work before stepping down by mutual consent in June.

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Houllier died after undergoing heart surgery.

Former Liverpool and England forward Michael Owen described him as a “genuinely caring man”, while ex-striker Ian Rush called him a “true gentleman”.

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher tweeted: “Absolutely devastated by the news about Gerard Houllier, I was in touch with him only last month to arrange him coming to Liverpool. Loved that man to bits, he changed me as a person & as a player & got @LFC back winning trophies. RIP Boss. ”

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