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Gerry Marsden dies age 78: You'll Never Walk Alone singer passes away following short illness


Gerry Marsden has died age 78 following a short illness.

The Gerry And The Pacemakers front-man – who famously sang You’ll Never Walk Alone – suffered an infection in his heart, it was announced on Sunday.

The news was broken by Gerry’s friend, radio host Pete Price, who shared a photograph of the pair together. 

Sad news: Gerry Marsden has died age 78 following a short illness [pictured in 2015]

Sad news: Gerry Marsden has died age 78 following a short illness [pictured in 2015]

Pete, 74, tweeted: ‘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.

‘Sending all the love in the world to Pauline and his family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.’

Gerry is survived by wife Pauline Marsden, whom he married in 1965.

The couple have two daughters, Yvette and Victoria.

Pictured: Gerry And The Pacemakers in London in 1964. Les Maguire, Freddie Marsden, Gerry Marsden, and Les 'Chad' Chadwick are pictured

Pictured: Gerry And The Pacemakers in London in 1964. Les Maguire, Freddie Marsden, Gerry Marsden, and Les ‘Chad’ Chadwick are pictured

Heavy heart: The news was broken by Gerry's friend, radio host Pete Price, who shared a photograph of the pair together [Pete, 74, pictured R]

Heavy heart: The news was broken by Gerry’s friend, radio host Pete Price, who shared a photograph of the pair together [Pete, 74, pictured R]

Announcement: Pete tweeted the news to his social media followers on Sunday

Announcement: Pete tweeted the news to his social media followers on Sunday

Gerry underwent a triple bypass heart surgery in 2003, before having a second heart operation in 2016, and ultimately had a pacemaker of his own fitted, which he once joked wasn’t ‘funny’ given his band’s name.

Asked last year whether he found it ironic that his band was called The Pacemakers, Gerry replied: ‘No. I’m wearing one, for Christ’s sake!’

At of the time of writing, Gerry’s family have not commented publicly on his passing.

Gerry And The Pacemakers achieved fame for their chart-topping hit, You’ll Never Walk Alone, in 1963, which led to the band’s local football club, Liverpool FC, adopting it as one of their traditional chants.

It is still sung by masses of fans to this day and was used across 2020 across the UK and Europe as an anthem of support for medical staff, first responders, and those in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Father-of-two: The couple have two daughters, Yvette and Victoria [pictured in 1967]

Father-of-two: The couple have two daughters, Yvette and Victoria [pictured in 1967]

Swinging sixties: Gerry also had success with hits including I Like It, How Do You Do It, and Ferry Across The Mersey [pictured in 1960]

Swinging sixties: Gerry also had success with hits including I Like It, How Do You Do It, and Ferry Across The Mersey [pictured in 1960]

Gerry also had success with hits including I Like It, How Do You Do It, and Ferry Across The Mersey – the latter being a nod to Mersyside, where the band originated.

The band were the first ever act to reach number one in the UK charts with their first three single releases.

Gerry was part of the band with his brother Freddie Marsden, along with Les ‘Chad’ Chadwick and Arthur McMahon. They were tipped to rival the Beatles in their early days. The band were in fact signed by Beatles manager Brian Epstein.

Freddie  – who was the band’s drummer – died in 2006, age 66, from cancer.

Gerry And The Pacemakers achieved fame for their chart-topping hit, You’ll Never Walk Alone, in 1963, which led to the band’s local football club, Liverpool FC, adopting it as one of their traditional chants [Gerry is pictured singing it in 2010]

Gerry And The Pacemakers achieved fame for their chart-topping hit, You’ll Never Walk Alone, in 1963, which led to the band’s local football club, Liverpool FC, adopting it as one of their traditional chants [Gerry is pictured singing it in 2010]

It is still sung by masses of fans to this day and was used across 2020 across the UK and Europe as an anthem of support for medical staff, first responders, and those in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic [Gerry is pictured singing it in 2010]

It is still sung by masses of fans to this day and was used across 2020 across the UK and Europe as an anthem of support for medical staff, first responders, and those in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic [Gerry is pictured singing it in 2010]

Friends: Gerry was friends with fellow Liverpudlian icon Cilla Black. They are pictured in 1964

Pals: They are pictured in the 1990s. She died in 2015

Pals: Gerry was friends with fellow Liverpudlian icon Cilla Black. They are pictured L in 1964 and R in the 1990s. She died in 2015

He had left the band when they disbanded in 1967. The Pacemakers reformed again in 1973, without Freddie, who was running a driving school by then.

They also reformed in 1993 to mark 30 years of the band. 

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Gerry was a fixture on TV and the West End stage. But he quit showbusiness in November 2018.

The band were the first ever act to reach number one in the UK charts with their first three single releases [pictured in 1963]

The band were the first ever act to reach number one in the UK charts with their first three single releases [pictured in 1963]

Early career: Gerry's career lasted from the 1960s [pictured] until his retirement in 2918

An honour: Gerry received an MBE for Services to Liverpudlian charities at Buckingham Palace in 2003

Career: Gerry’s career lasted from the 1960s [pictured L] until his retirement in 2918. Gerry received an MBE for Services to Liverpudlian charities at Buckingham Palace in 200 [R]

He received an MBE for Services to Liverpudlian charities at Buckingham Palace in 2003, joined alongside two of his bandmates,

When awarded the honour by Prince Philip, the royal commented that it was nice to see the three old singers back together. Gerry famously replied: ‘Not so much of the old sir!’ 

As the news broke on Sunday, tributes flooded in for Gerry, including one from the ex-CEO of Liverpool FC, Peter Moore. 

'Tragic news': Tributes have flooded social media since the news was announced on January 3

‘Tragic news’: Tributes have flooded social media since the news was announced on January 3

‘Tragic news this morning. We have lost one of the most treasured members of the @LFC family. We were honoured to welcome Gerry to Anfield in 2018, and he rewarded us by singing YNWA just before kick off. #RIPGerry,’ was his tweet.

Liverpool FC echoed this on twitter, posting: ‘It is with such great sadness that we hear of Gerry Marsden’s passing. Gerry’s words will live on forever with us. You’ll Never Walk Alone.’

Piers Morgan tweeted: ‘RIP Gerry Marsden, 78. The man who with Gerry And The Pacemakers gave the people of Liverpool two of the city’s greatest anthems. Ferry Cross The Mersey and You’ll Never Walk Alone. Great singer, great character. Very sad news.’

Back in 2017, Gerry dramatically collapsed onstage during a gig with his band, falling flat on his back in front of shocked fans while singing Peaceful Easy Feeling by The Eagles.

Liverpool star: The band originated from Mersyside [pictured in 1992]

Liverpool star: The band originated from Mersyside [pictured in 1992]

Icons: Gerry is seen leaping over his supporting Pacemakers in 1964

Icons: Gerry is seen leaping over his supporting Pacemakers in 1964

The concert was taking part in Newport, South Wales, as part of his UK tour at the time.

Said to have looked ‘visibly shaken and in pain’ by those in attendance, he apologised to the concerned audience before leaving the stage – as the rest of the band carried on with the Gerry Cross The Mersey show.

An audience member said at the time said: ‘As a song ended Gerry turned away from the audience, stumbled and appeared to lose his balance.

Tea for four: The band are snapped backstage at the Sunday Night At The Prince Of Wales TV show at Christmastime 1963

Tea for four: The band are snapped backstage at the Sunday Night At The Prince Of Wales TV show at Christmastime 1963

Rivals? Gerry's band were tipped to rival the Beatles in their early days. The band were in fact signed by Beatles manager Brian Epstein [pictured at The Cavern in the 1960s]

Rivals? Gerry’s band were tipped to rival the Beatles in their early days. The band were in fact signed by Beatles manager Brian Epstein [pictured at The Cavern in the 1960s]

Behind-the-scenes: Gerry is pictured during rehearsals for Jeremy Summers' musical film, Ferry Cross The Mersey in 1965

Behind-the-scenes: Gerry is pictured during rehearsals for Jeremy Summers’ musical film, Ferry Cross The Mersey in 1965

Sorely missed: The band are seen performing in Ferry Cross The Mersey in 1965

Sorely missed: The band are seen performing in Ferry Cross The Mersey in 1965

‘The stage hand came on to help him and he appeared to regain his balance as the stage hand removed his guitar. Gerry then lost his balance again and fell back in front of the percussion area, landing on his back.

‘As the stage hand and a band member helped him up Gerry looked visibly shaken and in pain. He apologised to the audience explaining that he was due to go for a knee operation next week and that he had hoped to make it through the show.

‘He apologised once again and was lead off by the stage hand as the audience gave him a round of applause. ‘The band wished him well before proclaiming the show must go on before launching into The Love Affair hit, Everlasting Love.’

It was the following year that Gerry decided to retire from the spotlight. 



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