Merseyside was left sombre yesterday as news spread of the premature death of ex-Liverpool and Everton player, Gary Ablett, who was just 46.
Ablett, who was the only player to have won FA Cup winners medals with both Merseyside teams, unfortunately lost his lengthy battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Gary’s wife, Jacqueline Ablett tweeted her thanks last night, in reply to the outpouring of messages that the family received: “Me and the children are totally overwhelmed by all your tweets. Sat on the couch snuggled up reading them all. Massive thank you to you all.”
Shortly afterwards, Gary and Jacqueline’s daughter Scarlett sent out a heartfelt message in tribute to her father: “Words can’t express how heartbroken we are, you behave up there Big G. Me, mum, Reece, Roo, Fraser and Josh love you so so much. Our hero x.”
Throughout his impressive career, Ablett made more than 100 appearances for both Liverpool and Everton.
He joined Liverpool FC as an apprentice before making his debut in 1986, during current Red’s boss Kenny Dalglish’s first spell as manager at the club.
As part of Dalglish’s dominant side of the 80s he helped the team win League titles in 1988 and 1990 and the FA Cup in 1989. He also lifted the FA Cup with Everton in 1995.
Gary also played at Birmingham City, among other sides, and during the 2009-10 season he became manager of Stockport County.
Tributes have flooded in showing love and admiration for Ablett. Kenny Dalglish told Liverpoolfc.tv: “It’s a sad,
sad day for his family and everyone connected with Liverpool Football Club. The most important thing just now is to pay our respects to Gary, his wife Jacqueline, the two boys and his wee girl.
“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.
“I gave Gary his debut and remember him scoring on his first start at Anfield against Nottingham Forest. 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, also paid his own tribute to the ex-Everton defender: “It is so, so sad about Gary. He was a regular visitor here to Finch Farm 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.”