Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Ablett dies after cancer battle

Tributes have been paid to footballer Gary Ablett who has died after a long battle against cancer
Tributes have been paid to footballer Gary Ablett who has died after a long battle against cancer

Former Liverpool and Everton defender Gary Ablett has died after a long battle against cancer, the League Managers Association has said. He was 46.

Ablett, who had a season as Stockport manager in 2009-10, lost his 16-month fight against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on Sunday night.

"On behalf of Gary Ablett's family the LMA has today confirmed that Gary passed away peacefully last night following a hard fought 16-month battle against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma," said an LMA statement.

"Respected throughout the game by players, coaches and managers alike Gary will be sadly missed.

"The LMA's thoughts and condolences are with Gary's wife Jacqueline and children."

Former Liverpool manager Roy Evans told Sky Sports News: "It's a big shock. Obviously we know Gary's been ill for a while. It's a really sad day."

Recalling Ablett as a player, Evans added: "He was good at everything he did as a player.

"He went into coaching and stamped his personality onto that and was doing a very good job, certainly at youth level. I remember he had bit of a difficult first spell at Stockport, but overall he's had a great career in football, he's a big loss to the sport. He made a big contribution to the game."

David Fairclough, who played for Liverpool between 1974 and 1983, added: "He was a lovely lad, he always conducted himself in the right way. He was great with people, always personable. What always came through with Gary was his attitude was just always very, very right."

Ablett took up a coaching role with Ipswich in July 2010 but was taken ill while at the club's training ground and was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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