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Monday 02 January 2012

Football mourns Merseyside legend Ablett

Former Liverpool and Everton defender passes away at the age of 46

Gary Ablett in action for Everton against Blackburn's Alan Shearer in 1995

Football has been paying tribute to Liverpool and Everton legend Gary Ablett, who died at the age of 46 on Monday.

Ablett, who played more than 100 matches for both Merseyside clubs and also represented Birmingham, passed away after a long battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Liverpool and Everton were both quick to pay their respective tributes to Ablett, who remains the only player to win the FA Cup with both teams.

"He served Liverpool proudly and credibly. It's very sad for everybody"
- Kenny Dalglish

Reds manager Kenny Dalglish, who played alongside and managed Ablett during a spell at Anfield that saw him win the League title in 1988 and 1990 and the FA Cup in 1989, expressed his sadness at the news.

"It's a sad, sad day for his family and everyone connected with Liverpool Football Club," said the Scot. "Obviously he had a long battle and I'm sure it was a lot of suffering and a lot of pain for him, but the only thing you can say is at least he won't be suffering any longer.

"He was a really good servant to the football club not only as a player, but also as reserve team coach. He served the club proudly and credibly. It's very sad for everybody."

Everton manager David Moyes led the tributes from the Blue half of Merseyside, the Toffees remembering a player who helped them to win the 1995 FA Cup.

"It is so, so sad about Gary," said Moyes. "He was a regular visitor here to Finch Farm [Everton's training ground] over the last six months and he was a lovely man, well liked by everyone.

"My thoughts are with all his family at this terrible time."

Ablett went into coaching after hanging up his boots in 2001, at first working with the Everton youth academy and then becoming Liverpool's reserve-team coach in 2006.

He was appointed manager of Stockport County in July 2009, but left Edgeley Park 11 months later.

Ablett had been fighting non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of blood cancer, for 16 months.

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Key Points

  • Football legend Ablett has died at the age of 46
  • Ablett lost 16-month fight with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Defender represented Liverpool and Everton