Gerry Marsden, the lead singer of Gerry and the Pacemakers whose version of You’ll Never Walk Alone is played before Liverpool’s home matches, has died aged 78.
Marsden formed the band with his brother Fred, Les Chadwick and Arthur McMahon in 1959 and they soon become a cornerstone of the Merseybeat scene of the 1960s, alongside The Beatles.
Their first three UK singles all went to number one with the last of these being a cover of the showtune, You’ll Never Walk Alone, in 1963. Soon after it was adopted by Liverpool as their pre-match anthem. Celtic also use the song.
News of Marsden’s death was broken by his friend and broadcaster, Pete Price, who released a statement on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s with a very heavy heart after speaking to the family that I have to tell you the Legendary Gerry Marsden MBE after a short illness which was an infection in his heart has sadly passed away,” it began (via Sky News).
“Sending all the love in the world to Pauline and his family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
The statement led to an outpouring of tributes for prominent Reds’ supporters with the club itself releasing its own tribute.
“Liverpool Football Club is deeply saddened by the passing of Gerry Marsden,” it read (via Liverpool FC).
“A Scouser and lifelong Liverpool fan, Marsden was the lead singer of 1960s Merseybeat band Gerry and the Pacemakers, whose rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone was adopted by the Kop in 1963.”
“The group’s third number one single – a cover of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic – became famous throughout the world as Liverpool FC’s anthem and is played moments before kick-off of every home game at Anfield.”
“Sung in times of both celebration and commiseration, Gerry’s interpretation of You’ll Never Walk Alone will forever be inextricably linked to the club he loved.”