French manager Gerard Houllier has passed away at the age of 73.
Houllier, who came to the Premier League in 1998 with Liverpool also managed Paris Saint-Germain, Lyon and Aston Villa, his last club, in 2011.
Tributes are now pouring out for Houllier, who Gary Lineker has described as "One of football’s smartest, warmest and loveliest people."
The Frenchman famously guided Liverpool to a unique treble of a UEFA Cup, an FA Cup and League Cup in 2001 but in October of that year, was rushed to hospital with a heart condition.
He gave so much to Liverpool Football club and left memories to cherish forever. Rest in peace, Gérard Houllier. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/5jpJRwAUdpDecember 14, 2020
Houllier fell ill, too, in his single season in charge of Aston Villa, during 2010/11. The Frenchman hasn't managed a club since.
Though never a professional player himself, Houllier was an amateur midfielder and famously attended his first Liverpool match in 1969 - a 10-0 thrashing of Irish club Dundalk.
Houllier will be fondly remembered for the youth policy that he implemented as a manager. Not only was he a key figure in nurturing the likes of Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard at Liverpool, he was famous for trusting in younger players in France, even managing the U18 and U20 sides of his native country.
He will go down as one of his country's finest-ever managers as well, having won Ligue 1 three times in his career.
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