FORMER Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier has passed away. He was 73.

The Frenchman, who spent six years at Anfield, passed away just days after a heart operation.

L'Equipe and RMC confirmed the news in France earlier this morning.

Houllier initially arrived at Anfield in July 1998.


He oversaw Liverpool's five cup haul of 2001, as they claimed the UEFA Cup, FA Cup, League Cup, Charity Shield and UEFA Super Cup.

He suffered emergency heart surgery that year, after falling ill on the bench during a Premier League fixture against Leeds.

He was rushed to hospital for an emergency operation.

However, he returned to the club after five months away to a rapturous ovation, and led the club to a second-place finish in the 2001-02 season.

During his time at Liverpool, Houllier managed players who went on to become club legends - Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Michael Owen.

Tributes soon flooded in, including from Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker, who tweeted: "Oh no! Gerard Houllier has passed away. One of football’s smartest, warmest and loveliest people."