Gerard Houllier’s last text message has emerged after the former Liverpool manager passed away aged 73 on Monday. The Frenchman, who managed Liverpool and Aston Villa, as well as Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain, had struggled with heart problems during the final years of his life.
RMC sport and French sports newspaper L’Equipe have reported that he had died after having a heart operation in Paris.
Houllier had a history of ill health during his time in the Premier League managing Liverpool and Aston Villa.
While in charge of the Reds, he had open heart surgery in October 2001 after suffering from chest pains during a home match against Leeds United.
And in April 2011, when he had returned to English football with Villa, he was once again admitted to hospital with chest pains, forcing him to step down from his managerial duties.
Houllier had reportedly undergone aortic aneurysm surgery in a Paris hospital three weeks ago before returning home yesterday.
Jamie Carragher, who played under Houllier at Liverpool, tweeted: “Absolutely devastated by the news about Gerard Houllier, I was in touch with him only last month to arrange him coming to Liverpool. Loved that man to bits, he changed me as a person & as a player & got LFC back winning trophies. RIP Boss.”
“Absolutely heartbroken to hear that my old boss, Gérard Houllier, has sadly passed away. A great manager and a genuinely caring man,” added ex-Reds striker Michael Owen.
“Devastated at the passing of Gérard Houllier. A true gentleman of the game, always put others first,” said former Liverpool striker Ian Rush.
“A great man and a great manager. Liverpool will be forever grateful. Gérard Houllier – Repose en paix,” tweeted Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson.