Gerard Houllier (middle) with former Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxbrough in 2014. (Kristian Dyer Photo)

By Michael Lewis

FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

Gerard Houllier, who forged his reputation as a trophy-winning coach at Liverpool and who ran the Red Bull global soccer empire for a few years, has passed away.

He was 73.

Houllier also had say in running the Red Bulls, RB Salzburg and RB Leipzig as the organziation’s head of global football.

He passed away after a heart operation. Houllier had heart problems for several years.

The Frenchman earned world-wide fame by directing Liverpool to a 2001 treble in 2001 as the Red captured the FA Cup, English League Cup and UEFA Cup. That highlighted his six-year tenure at the English Premier League club.

Houllier also coach at Aston Villa, Paris St Germain, Lyon and French national team.

“We are mourning the passing of our treble-winning manager, Gerard Houllier,” Liverpool said on Twitter. “The thoughts of everyone at Liverpool Football Club are with Gerard’s family and many friends. Rest in peace, Gerard Houllier 1947-2020.”

 

On the Red Bulls Twitter account, Mark de Grandpre said: “We lost a great soccer mind and even better person with a big heart. We will forever cherish his generosity & the mentorship he provided to our club. RIP, Gérard Houllier. Your #RBNY family will always be grateful for your guidance, support & leadership.”

 

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson described Houllier as a “great ally” and said his death came as a “total shock.”

One never to hide his thoughts or opinion, Houllier many times told it like it was.

During the summer of 2014, Houllier told Kristian Dyer of BigAppleSoccer.com that he had a sense that Thierry Henry might retire.

“I’ll have a talk with Thierry soon and of course I’ll know. I have an idea, I think he wants to retire,” Houllier told Dyer on July 26, 2014. “I think he wants to retire but we need to check with him. His performance today was good.”

Henry retired after the Red Bulls were eliminated from the MLS Cup Playoffs later that year.