PARIS: Gerard Houllier, the former France, PSG and Liverpool manager, has died at 73.
Houllier began his management career domestically with Lens and Paris Saint-Germain then headed the French national team before being appointed at Anfield. He managed Liverpool from 1998-2004 and led them to five major trophies, including the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup treble in 2000-01.
His last managerial job was at Aston Villa, but he left in 2011 because of heart problems after nine months. Subsequently Houllier was a regular member of international federation technical assessment groups.
In a statement, Liverpool said: “We are mourning the passing of our treble-winning manager, Gerard Houllier. The thoughts of everyone at Liverpool Football Club are with Gerard’s family and many friends.”
Houllier made his managerial name with Lens and PSG in the 1980s before taking over the French national side in 1992.
However, after Les Bleus failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup finals – with Houllier blaming a mistake from winger David Ginola for their exit – he resigned from the role.
In 1998, he moved to England and took charge of Liverpool as joint manager alongside Roy Evans. Houllier had always dreamed of a return to the city where he had once worked as a teaching assistant.
Evans resigned three months later and Houllier took sole charge, rebuilding the Reds and leading them to the unprecedented treble in the 2000-01 season which climaxed with the dramatic 5-4 extra-time victory over Alaves in the UEFA Cup Final in Dortmund.
In April 2001, he had open heart surgery after suffering from chest pains during a home match against Leeds, but returned to the dugout at Anfield and remained there for another three years before leaving in May 2004.
After leaving Liverpool, he led Lyon to two French titles before joining the FFF in 2007, but he was enticed back into management by Villa in September 2010, signing a three-year deal.
But the following April Houllier was admitted to hospital with chest pains and Gary McAllister stepped in to help steer Villa away from relegation trouble.
He stepped down from the role at the end of the 2010-11 season with concerns that a return to the dugout could cause further health issues.
He has since held the head of football role at Red Bull, and in November became technical director of women’s football clubs Lyon and OL Reign.