Roy Evans has paid tribute to his former Liverpool co-manager Gerard Houllier following the news of his death on Monday.
The pair were in joint charge of Liverpool during the 1998-99 season until Evans stepped down after a few months, admitting sharing the managerial duties was simply not working.
Evans – who had been manager since 1994 – previously hinted he felt pushed out of his role at Anfield as Houllier eventually took sole charge of the club.
But there was certainly no lasting animosity between them thereafter, as Evans proved in his heartfelt message paying respects to the Frenchman.
“Incredibly sad news hearing of the passing of Gerrard Houllier,” Evans posted on Twitter.
“A gentleman I have the greatest respect for and what he achieved at Liverpool football club. Condolences to his family. RIP.”
Houllier’s former No.2 at Liverpool, Phil Thompson, also took to social media in response to the sad news.
Thompson was brought in to assist Houllier after Evans’ departure, and even managed Liverpool in his boss’s absence during his break from football to recover from a heart attack.
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“Absolutely devastated and heartbroken at the sad news of the passing of Gerard,” Thompson wrote. “My mate, my colleague, my boss.
“One of the greatest moments of my life was when we come together in 1998.
“Just to be in his company was an absolute treat. So loyal, so passionate and extremely fierce.”
Houllier and Thompson led Liverpool to an illustrious treble in the 2000-01 season, winning the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup, as well as securing Champions League qualification for the following campaign.
Where does Houllier rank among Liverpool’s greatest ever managers? Have your say below.
The Reds then added the Charity Shield and Super Cup later the same year in what was the peak of Houllier’s time at the helm.
Thompson added: “So many wonderful times, bringing smiles back to peoples faces. 2001 should never be forgotten.
“Since we finished, at the end of every conversation we had, I told him I loved him and would always be grateful for him giving a wonderful partnership. RIP Boss.”