Gerry Marsden, the iconic voice behind Liverpool anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, has died at the age of 78.
The singer with Gerry and the Pacemakers, who completed sell-out tours around the world, passed away following a short illness and the Reds paid tribute on Twitter.
Originally a showtune in musical Carousel, Marsden and his band covered the hit in 1963, and it was number one in the UK Singles Chart for four weeks.
It was soon adopted by the club’s fans as an anthem sung before and after games, while former striker Tommy Smith revealed legendary manager Billy Shankly was ‘in awe’ of the track when he heard it on a pre-season coach trip the summer it had been recorded.
Shankly loved the hit so much he reportedly told Marsden in 1964: “Gerry my son, I have given you a football team and you have given us a song.”
A year later the iconic Reds boss picked it as his final track on Desert Island Discs ahead of the 1965 FA Cup final.
It’s stayed with the club through both good times and bad, with rivals players revealing their love and admiration for the song.
Arsenal hero Thierry Henry said: “Liverpool’s fans are just amazing. The best feeling I have at away games is Anfield. It is just incredible. I love it. You get goose bumps when you see their supporters sing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.”
Meanwhile, after hearing Reds supporters singing it at half-time of their miraculous Champions League final comeback against AC Milan in 2005, football icon Johan Cruyff said: “There’s not one club in Europe with an anthem like ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’ There’s not one club in the world so united with the fans.
“I sat there watching the Liverpool fans and they sent shivers down my spine. A mass of 40,000 people became one force behind their team.”
Other sides have seen their supporters adopt the song though, with it being belted out by the likes of Celtic and Borussia Dortmund.
Marsden even performed the song ahead of a 2003 UEFA Cup quarter-final between the Scottish side and Liverpool.
You’ll Never Walk Alone also had a resurgence during the coronavirus pandemic after a cover of the song, featuring Captain Sir Tom Moore, reached number one in the UK singles chart.