Liverpool mourn death of former manager Gerard Houllier

English Premier League champions Liverpool said they were "deeply saddened" by the loss of treble-winning manager, Gerard Houllier, whose death was announced yesterday.

RMC Sport and sports daily L'Equipe said Houllier, who also coached France, Paris Saint-Germain, Lyon and Aston Villa, died after a heart operation in Paris. He was 73.

The Frenchman managed Liverpool from 1998 to 2004, leading the Reds to a treble of the League Cup, FA Cup and Uefa Cup in 2000/01. He also took the club back into the Champions League.

"The thoughts of everyone at Liverpool Football Club are with Gerard's family and many friends," the club said in a statement. "Rest in peace, Gerard Houllier 1947-2020."

Houllier, who recovered from life-saving heart surgery during the 2001/02 campaign to return to the dugout, later guided Liverpool to a second League Cup triumph.

In October 2001, he fell ill at half-time during Liverpool's match against Leeds United and was diagnosed with an aortic dissection, which required emergency surgery. He suffered more health problems during a later stint with Villa and stepped down by mutual consent in June 2011.

Former Liverpool and England forward Michael Owen described him as a "genuinely caring man", while ex-striker Ian Rush called him a "true gentleman".

Ex-Reds defender Jamie Carragher tweeted: "Loved that man to bits, he changed me as a person & as a player & got @LFC back winning trophies. RIP Boss." - AFP, REUTERS