Gérard Houllier celebrates the Liverpool Triple Cup 2001 in an outdoor bus parade with Steven Gerrard and Sami Hyypia.
The former manager of Liverpool, Gérard Houllier, died at the age of 73.
The Frenchman led the Reds from 1998 to 2004 to five major trophies, including the FA Cup, the League Cup and the UEFA Triple Cup in the 2000-2001 season.
Prior to Liverpool, Houllier Lens coached Paris Saint-Germain and the French national team. After leaving the Reds he won two Ligue 1 titles with Lyon.
His last managerial position was at Aston Villa, but he left the club in 2011 after nine months of heart problems.
Liverpool said in a statement that they were deeply saddened by Houllier’s death.
We mourn the loss of our triple coach Gérard Houllier, the club announced.
The thoughts of everyone at Liverpool football club go out to Gerard’s family and his many friends.
Aston Villa said: Everyone at Aston Villa is deeply saddened by the death of Gerard Houllier, our director for the 2010/11 season.
Our thoughts are with Gerard’s loved ones in these incredibly difficult times.
Houllier made a name for himself with Lens and PSG in the eighties before taking over the French national team in 1992.
But because Les Bleus did not qualify for the 1994 World Cup final – where Houllier blamed winger David Ginola for an error in the elimination – he resigned.
In 1998 he moved to England and led Liverpool as co-director with Roy Evans.
Three months later, Evans resigned and Houllier took over as sole director. He rebuilt the Reds and led them to an unprecedented tripling in the 2000-2001 season.
2001 : Owen scored two late goals against Liverpool to win the FA Cup.
In October 2001 he underwent open-heart surgery after chest pain during a home game against Leeds. However, he returned to the Anfield bank and stayed there for three years before leaving the club in May 2004.
After leaving Liverpool, he led Lyon to two French titles before joining the French Football Association in 2007. In September 2010, however, he was tempted to return to the management of the Villa and sign a three-year contract.
But the next April, Houllier was hospitalized with chest pain and Gary McAllister intervened to alleviate the desire for graduation problems.
At the end of the 2010-11 season he stepped out of that role, fearing that a return to the stand could lead to further health problems.
Since then he has been head of football at Red Bull, and in November he became technical director of the women’s football clubs of Lyon and OL Reign.
Triple winners are honored
Many of Liverpool’s triple winners of the 2000/01 season were quick to honor their former boss.
Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp wrote on the Instagram External link : Incredibly sad news about the death of Gérard Houllier. A man who has done an incredible amount of work for the Liverpool football club and football in general. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I will never forget the day he gave me the title of captain of Liverpool, the greatest honour of my career.
Dietmar Hamann said: Killed by the news of the death of our former director Gérard Houllier. A great manager and an even better person. You never go alone, Gerard.
Phil Thompson, deputy manager of Juliers in Liverpool, said he was absolutely heartbroken.
Soccer World pays homage to
The rest of the football world has also paid homage to Houllier. Many Premier League teams have tweeted their condolences, including Tottenham, West Ham, Manchester United and Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals Everton.
Current and former Liverpool players also paid tribute, with Djibril Cisse tweeting : I’m very sad today. Thanks to you I was able to play the game with this beautiful @LFC. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me.
Neil Mellor said: Thank you for believing in me and allowing me to make my professional debut.
Former Liverpool goalkeeper Chris Kirkland, who signed for Houllier in 2001, said this live on Radio 5: I’ve always been a Liverpool fan. My first race was in 1988, when I was seven years old, and then he made my dream come true by signing me up.
He was a special man, it wasn’t just about the football, it was about the man. His door was always open. He had such a warm feeling that when you talked to him, you felt like a million dollars. He’ll be sorely missed.
He changed the dynamics in Liverpool, he changed everything and the way they went forward.
His speech about the team was something special, especially when it came to getting results on Champions League nights and in the big Premier League games. He kept you on the edge of your seat and listened to every word.
He was so calm. Some managers chatter and romp, but he always takes a few minutes, always calms down before entering the dressing rooms. As soon as he came in, the dressing room was quiet and everyone clung to his words.
He agreed with the fact that you were losing, said he supported you and said you had to trust each other. You had to be there to see how special his team’s calls were, and nine times out of ten they worked.
Live on Radio 5, Hullier’s former co-manager Roy Evans said the death of Gerard Houllier is a very sad day for all Liverpool fans.
About the difficulties of working as co-manager, he added: It was more or less impossible, you have two people trying to get a job done. Football is about different opinions and things and that’s why I left at the time.
But I never blamed Gerard, he came to do a job and he did it right.
The last time I saw him was about 12 months ago in Ireland and we had a good discussion. Another Liverpudlian legend came along with it.
Huller in the opening game of the Reds in Southampton (2-1), but the collaboration lasted only 17 games before Evans retired.
The manager of English women, Phil Neville, said Houllier was a real gentleman.
When I became coach, [he] was very supportive, he came to me for every game at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup to wish me good luck and tell me about the game he loved, Neville said on Instagramxternal-link.
Former England full-back Ashley Young, now with Inter Milan, played under Houllier in Aston Villa.