Boss of Women’s Champions League title-holders Lyon pays tribute to Liverpool icon Gerard Houllier

JEAN-LUC VASSEUR joined football’s biggest names in paying respects toGerrard Houllier who passed away in France at the age of 73. 

The Anfield legend, who won a historic treble with the Reds in 2001, was a technical director of European women’s football giants Lyon. 

In 2019, Houllier was present at Hungary's Groupama Arena to watch the French title-holders claim their sixth Women’s Champions League trophy by defeating Barcelona.

Manchester City heroine Lucy Bronze and Reading ace Jess Fishlock were among the WSL stars who were part of that triumphant side. 

Vasseur, whose current Lyon team will take on Juventus in a second-leg Women’s Champions League clash, says Houllier played a pivotal role in his career as a player. 

And the ex-Liverpool boss said he was fortunate to know Vasseur as “a man and a player’’ following the 51-year-old’s appointment as boss of the Ligue 1 Women’s football champs in 2019. 

On Houllier’s passing Vasseur said: "I wish to pay tribute to Gérard Houllier. 

“I send my condolences to his relatives. 

"He launched me as a professional player. He was a sparkling person."

Jamie Carragher and Phil Thompson, Houllier’s coach between 1998 and 2004, are among the other big names who paid tribute to the popular former Prem boss. 

Houllier famously oversaw Liverpool to FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup glory in 2001.

In October of that year, he underwent an emergency heart operation after becoming unwell during a Premier League match against Leeds United.

Houllier was rushed to hospital for a surgery following the discovery of a heart condition.

He resumed place on the touchline five months later and led Liverpool to a runners-up spot in the 2002 season.

And two years later Houllier Liverpool who went on to appoint Rafa Benitez as his replacement. 

In November 2020 he became a technical director of Lyon Women and of NWSL side OL Reign.

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