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Sir Alex Ferguson pays tribute, amid rivalry, to his ‘Good friend’ Gerard Houllier

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Following his tragic death at the age of 73, Sir Alex Ferguson paid tribute to former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier.

At the turn of the century, when Liverpool were once again a power in England, the former Manchester United boss celebrated several fights against his opposite number.

Finally, Houllier took silverware back to Anfield, winning the treble in 2001 when United was at the height of their forces.

And Fergie, after the Frenchman passed away this morning, spoke of his sorrow.

“The news has come as a total shock this morning. Gerard Houllier was still a young man at the age of 73,” the Scot said.

During his time at Liverpool, Gerard became a very good friend. After he left, we remained great friends and he was always a great ally to have.

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During his extensive and varied career, he had fantastic football knowledge that he acquired.

Often we would enjoy a chat when we saw each other at UEFA meetings or other activities, he was such a great company and I’m going to miss him dearly. He was a genuine gentleman.

This morning, social media was ablaze with tributes, with a lot of big names paying Houllier their respect.

“Official Twitter from Liverpool tweeted: “We are grieving the passing of Gerard Houllier, our treble-winning boss.

“The thoughts of everyone at Liverpool Football Club are with Gerard’s family and many friends. Rest in peace, Gerard Houllier 1947-2020.”

On talkSPORT, Liverpool hero Danny Murphy said: “He put in place what was necessary for Liverpool to be where they are now.”

“I can’t even put the impact he made on my career into words. I’m the person I am because of him now.”

And Jamie Carragher wrote: “Absolutely devastated by Gerard Houllier’s news, I only contacted him last month to arrange for him to come to Liverpool.”

He changed me as a person & as a player & got @LFC back to winning trophies. He loved that man to the bit. RIP Boss.

Between 1998 and 2005, Houllier managed the Reds, handing over the reins to Liverpool after a prosperous stint in charge.

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Kazuto Kirigaya, born as Kazuto Narusaka, is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Sword Art Online series of light novels written by Reki Kawahara.

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