Steven Gerrard has paid a moving tribute to his former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, who has passed away at the age of 73.
Houllier helped nurture Gerrard’s career after he had come through the ranks on Merseyside, and in October 2003 he took the decision to appoint the midfielder as Liverpool’s new captain at the age of just 23.
Gerrard had been a key member of Houllier’s sides in the seasons before that, with his energy from midfield proving a vital component in the Reds team which won the treble of FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup in 2001.
Houllier left Liverpool in the summer of 2004, but a year later Gerrard was lifting the Champions League trophy in Istanbul after Rafael Benitez had taken over as manager.
The Liverpool icon is a manager himself these days with Rangers, who he has guided to the top of the Scottish Premiership this season, and he has previously cited Houllier’s influence as being key to his coaching career.
“Devastated to hear the news my former manager Gerard Houllier has passed away,” wrote Gerrard on Instagram.
“I will never forget what this man did for me and my career. Rest in peace Boss.”
Fellow former Liverpool stars Michael Owen and Jamie Carragher have also paid tribute to Houllier.
Owen wrote on Twitter : “Absolutely heartbroken to hear that my old boss, Gérard Houllier, has sadly passed away. A great manager and a genuinely caring man.”
Carragher 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.”