‘He was a special man, a caring man, a loving man. He was more than just a manager’: Steven Gerrard pays a heartfelt tribute to his former boss at Liverpool, Gerard Houllier, following his tragic death at the age of 73
- Former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier died at the age of 73 on Monday
- Houllier and Steven Gerrard won five trophies together at the Anfield club
- Gerrard admits the Frenchman made him a better player, person and leader
- The Rangers boss also stated it would be hard to add the care Houllier carried
Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has paid an emotional tribute to former Anfield boss Gerard Houllier.
The former Liverpool and Aston Villa manager – who won five trophies with Gerrard at the Anfield club – died at the age of 73 on Monday.
Rangers boss Gerrard said: ‘I would like to pay tribute to him. Yesterday [Monday] was a really tough day for myself and (Rangers assistant boss) Gary McAllister.
Steven Gerrard has paid an emotional tribute to former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier
The former Liverpool and Aston Villa manager (left) died at the age of 73 on Monday
‘Gerard obviously played a huge part in both our careers – and also our lives.
‘So the news yesterday was very difficult to take. It’s a huge blow.
‘I came in yesterday morning really happy after our result at the weekend and then to receive that news was a bitter blow.
‘He was a special man, a caring man, a loving man. He was more than just a manager.’
Gerrard said that Monday was a ‘really tough day’ for him and assistant Gary McAllister (right)
Gerrard added: ‘Throughout your career, different people look after you and shape you.
‘In your younger days Steve Heighway, Hugh McAuley and Dave Shannon for example. Then they pass you on to the first-team staff which was Gerard Houllier, Phil Thompson and Sammy Lee, who did an incredible job in terms of where I was at my age and as a player.
‘Gerard was at the forefront of that in terms of shaping me into a better player, a better person, a better leader.
Gerrard and Houllier won five trophies together during the early part of the former’s career
‘So I’ve got an awful lot to thank the man for and I’m finding it really hard to come to terms with it right now.’
The Ibrox boss added: ‘I always try and take all the best bits from all the coaches and managers I worked. It’s impossible for me to add the charisma, the care and the love that Gerard carried.
‘I think every player that has worked with him will certainly echo that. He was just a special human being.
Gerrard added he would struggle to add the care and love that Houllier carried with him
‘This is not a guy who would focus solely on football and what you gave to him in terms of the relationship player-to-manager.
‘This was someone who, at my age, wanted to change me as a human being into an elite professional, who wanted me to be a better person, who wanted me to really understand the tactics and the game in a different way and become an even better player and build all the other stuff around the talent I had at that age. I’ll never forget that.
‘I need to send my condolences to his family who I know will be in pain at the moment. It’s just a sad, sad day for football and for me personally. It will take me a little while to get over this one.’
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