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Gary Ablett, Liverpool and Everton FA Cup hero, dies at the age of 46

Discussion in 'News Archive' started by admin, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. admin

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    <div class="track"><img alt="" src="http://hits.guardian.co.uk/b/ss/guardiangu-feeds/1/H.22.4/73447?ns=guardian&pageName=Gary+Ablett%2C+Liverpool+and+Everton+FA+Cup+hero%2C+dies+at+the+age+of+46%3AArticle%3A1682802&ch=Football&c3=GU.co.uk&c4=Football%2CEverton+%28Football%29%2CLiverpool+FC+%28Football%29%2CStockport+%28Football+club%29%2CSport&c5=Europa+League&c6=Mark+Tallentire&c7=12-Jan-02&c8=1682802&c9=Article&c10=News&c11=Football&c13=&c25=&c30=content&h2=GU%2FFootball%2FEverton" width="1" height="1" /></div><p class="standfirst">• Ablett lifted FA Cup with Liverpool in 1989 and Everton in 1995<br />• 'Our thoughts are with Gary's wife Jacqueline and children'</p><p>Gary Ablett, the only man to win the FA Cup with Liverpool and Everton, has died after a 16-month battle against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of blood cancer.</p><p></p><p>Ablett, also a former Everton and Liverpool youth coach, and most recently manager of Stockport, passed away on Sunday evening aged just 46. He took up the role assisting Roy Keane at Ipswich in July 2010 but was taken ill while at the club's training ground soon after and diagnosed with the illness.</p><p>In October 2011 Ablett spoke of his shock at being diagnosed with the disease. "[My wife] Jacqueline took one look at me and took me straight to the doctors," he said in an interview with Everton's official website to support Blue September – a campaign to raise awareness of forms of cancer specifically affecting men.</p><p></p><p>"The following day they whisked me to Ipswich hospital and the sister asked us if we knew why we were there. We said 'for tests', but she told us they had found a really aggressive lymphoma and that without immediate treatment I'd be in serious trouble. From diagnosis to that first session of chemotherapy was less than three days, so it was a massive shock."</p><p></p><p>Ablett won the FA Cup in 1989 as a Liverpool player, against Everton, and was in the 1995 Everton side that defeated Manchester United. His career also saw him play for Derby County, Hull City, Birmingham, Sheffield United and in the US.</p><p></p><p>"He was good at everything he did as a player," said the former Liverpool coach and then manager, Roy Evans. "Obviously we know Gary's been ill for a while. It's a really sad day.</p><p>"He went into coaching and stamped his personality on to 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."</p><p></p><p>Birmingham have announced a minute's silence will be observed before their Championship match at Peterborough on Monday, with another to be held at St Andrew's on Saturday prior to their FA Cup third-round tie with Wolves.</p><p>"The thoughts of everyone connected with Birmingham City are with the friends and family of Gary Ablett," read a statement. "Just like he battled as a fierce competitor on the pitch, Ablett fought non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for over year before passing away peacefully last night."</p><p></p><p>Ipswich's players will wear black armbands for Monday afternoon's visit of Nottingham Forest and Ablett will be honoured with a minute's applause.</p><p>"It's desperately sad news," their chief executive Simon Clegg told itfc.co.uk. "I stayed in touch with Gary as he battled his illness over 18 months, which he did with bravery and dignity and our thoughts go out to his wife Jacqueline and their children at this very difficult time."</p><p></p><p>Paul Walsh, who played alongside Ablett at Liverpool in the 1980s, described the news as "absolutely tragic".</p><p>He said: ""I'm absolutely stunned at the news, I knew he wasn't well, but 46 years of age is absolutely tragic. He was a hell of a nice person. He was a top lad. Just wanted to get in there and do well, didn't do anything fancy but a great pro who trained hard with a great attitude to everything he did.</p><p>"There was also a steely determination about Gary. You don't get in the Liverpool team and come through the ranks at Liverpool and play 100 times for them if you haven't got that little bit of steel."</p><p></p><p>David Fairclough, who played for Liverpool from 1974-83, 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."</p><p></p><p>While Michael Owen, the Manchester United and former Liverpool striker, tweeted: "So sad to hear the news that Gary Ablett has passed away today aged 46. He played for some great clubs and had a career to be proud of. RIP"</p><p></p><p>The League Managers Association, which broke the news on Monday morning, said: "The LMA's thoughts and condolences are with Gary's wife Jacqueline and children."</p><div class="related" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"><ul><li><a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/everton">Everton</a></li><li><a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/liverpool">Liverpool</a></li><li><a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/stockport">Stockport</a></li></ul></div><div class="author"><a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/marktallentire">Mark Tallentire</a></div><br/><div class="terms"><a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk">guardian.co.uk</a> &copy; 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our <a href="http://users.guardian.co.uk/help/article/0,,933909,00.html">Terms & Conditions</a> | <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/help/feeds">More Feeds</a></div><p style="clear:both" />
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