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Former Liverpool and Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier has died aged 73, sadly leaving behind his wife, sons and grandchildren.
French outlet RMC Sport have reported that the veteran boss passed away during the night on Sunday, leaving the footballing world in mourning.
Houllier became joint first-team manager of the Reds together with Roy Evans back in 1998, and became sole manager in November of the same year.
He went on to guide the club to FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup glory before leaving the club in 2004 as Rafael Benitez led the club to a Champions League triumph.
Gary Lineker has offered his condolences by tweeting: "Oh no! Gerard Houllier has passed away.
"One of football’s smartest, warmest and loveliest people. #RIPGerard."
Houllier opened up on his time at Liverpool earlier this year, and admitted that he had some regrets despite his treble winning campaign.
“Yeah, but we would have liked to win the title on top of that!” Houllier said.
“We finished third that year and second the following season. Liverpool's DNA is about silverware. About winning things. Winning the League Cup [in 2001] gave confidence to get to the other finals.
“Winning the UEFA Cup was huge because it was a long time since Liverpool had won a cup in Europe. That was important. You could see the pride of the people in the street.
“We, the team, the club, the people, the players, the staff… we put Liverpool back on the European map. That's what it meant.”
Having managed Lens, PSG and France among other before moving to the Premier League, Houllier returned to his native country to lead Lyon to two league titles before a short spell with Aston Villa.
Houllier admitted after leaving the club that he would not be going back into management because of medical advice, despite his love for the job.
He said in August of 2011: “I will not be returning to management. I want to live.
“It’s difficult. It’s like you being told you can’t write any more. Like a singer being told they can’t sing any more. I loved the job, the emotion, the adrenaline.
“But there is no point hiding. The doctors have advised me that it would not be good to work again.
“No more stress”, they said. So I can’t. There would be too much risk. I have had to retire through ill-health, because I have a lot more living to do.”
- Liverpool FC
- Premier League
- Aston Villa FC
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