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Gerry Marsden, the lead singer of Gerry and the Pacemakers, whose version of Never Walk Alone is played before Liverpool home games, has died at the age of 78.
Marsden formed the band with his brother Fred, Les Chadwick and Arthur McMahon in 1959 and they soon became a cornerstone of the Merseybeat scene of the 1960s, alongside The Beatles.
His first three singles in the UK reached number one, the last being a cover of the showtune, I’ll Never Walk Alone, in 1963. Soon after, Liverpool adopted it as their pre-match anthem. Celtic also uses the song.
News of Marsden’s death was released by his friend and broadcaster, Pete Price, who issued a statement Sunday afternoon.
“It is with great regret after speaking with the family that I have to tell you that the legendary Gerry Marsden MBE after a brief illness that was an infection in his heart, has sadly passed away,” began (via Sky News).
“Sending all the love in the world to Pauline and her family. You will never walk alone.”
The statement sparked a host of tributes from prominent Reds supporters and the club itself released its own tribute.
“Liverpool Football Club is deeply saddened by the passing of Gerry Marsden,” it read (via Liverpool FC).
Scouser and a lifelong Liverpool fan, Marsden was the lead singer of the 1960s Merseybeat band Gerry and the Pacemakers, whose portrayal of You will never Walk alone it was adopted by the Kop in 1963. “
“The group’s third number one single, a cover of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, became famous around the world as the Liverpool FC anthem and was played moments before the start of all home games at Anfield.”
“Sung in times of celebration and commiseration, Gerry’s rendition of You will never Walk alone He will always be inextricably linked to the club he loved. “