Gerard Houllier: Liverpool fans remember ex-manager who died, aged 73

Gerard Houllier: Liverpool fans remember ex-manager who died, aged 73

Liverpool fans have paid tribute to the team’s former manager Gerard Houllier remembering the Frenchman as “a gentleman” who “returned pride” to the club.

Houllier, who led Liverpool to five major trophies, died earlier on Monday, aged 73.

He “brought the good times back”, said Reds supporter John Gibbons.

One fans’ group is already looking to arrange a memorial tribute to Houllier at Anfield.

Andy Knott, who twice previously arranged crowd mosaics in Houllier’s honour, said he “most definitely” would look to remember him in a special way once supporters are allowed to return in numbers.

Liverpool fans first showed their appreciation for their then manager in November 2001, spelling out his initials ‘GH’ after he underwent open heart surgery at Broadgreen Hospital, having been taken ill a month earlier.

On the Frenchman’s return to management duties in March 2002, supporters once again united to spell out the words “Allez, allez” to mark his recovery.

Mr Knott, who is a contributor to Liverpool fanzine, Red All Over The Land, met Houllier at the club’s Melwood training base soon after, and remembers him as “a likeable gentleman”.

“He was busy, but came down and had a good chat with us and said how he was so grateful,” he said.

Houllier is a figure that will forever remain “very much loved” in Liverpool for the FA Cup, League Cup and Uefa Cup treble-winning season of 2000-2001.

Lifelong Reds fan Damian Kavanagh was there for all three finals.

“What a time of our lives that was,” he said.

“That is how he should be remembered. no-one is perfect, he didn’t get every single decision right, but he really did bring Liverpool up to date when we needed it because we were struggling before he took charge.

Kavanagh said Houllier’s history in the city, having worked as a teacher in the Liverpool in the 1960s when he also watched the team as a fan at Anfield, ensured a “strong connection”.

“The fact he had been on the Kop and lived amongst us all here showed that he understood how much the team means to us,” Kavanagh continued.

“In our short lives all you can ever leave behind is smiles and Houllier can certainly rest peacefully that there are a hell of a lot of people that support Liverpool that he made smile.”

For John Gibbons, a podcaster for the Anfield Wrap, Houllier is manager that delivered glory to a new generation.

“We loved it (treble season) because for us winning trophies is what Liverpool did on video, on VHS tapes,” he said. “We were wondering when it would be our turn and when Houllier came, it was our turn.

“He gave us a lot of our pride back and brought good times back to the club. We will always be grateful for that.”

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