Paris (AP) – The football coach Gérard Houllier passed away at the age of 73.

“With the death of Gerard Houllier, France has lost a great coach and footballer”, French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu wrote on Twitter on Monday. According to the sports newspaper “L’Équipe”, Houllier died a few days after an operation on the aorta.

Born in Thérouanne in Northern France in 1947, Houllier was never a professional footballer but had a remarkable career as a coach. He coached the French national team, Liverpool FC and Olympique Lyon, among others. In 2001, he led the Reds to win the UEFA Cup. In the 2000/01 season he also won the FA Cup and the League Cup with them. In France he had led Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique Lyon to the championship. He also worked for Red Bull Soccer.

“Gerard Houllier excelled at all levels of football,” said Noël Le Graët, the boss of the French federation. “French football owes him a lot.” Liverpool FC said on their website: “Everyone at the club is deeply saddened by the loss of Gérard and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard, now coach of Glasgow Rangers, wrote on Instagram that it was “devastated” about the death of his former coach. “I will never forget what this man has done for me and my career,” Gerrard wrote. “Rest in peace, boss.”

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