Gerry Marsden of Gerry And The Pacemakers fame has died aged 78

The band cemented the song You'll Never Walk Alone as the anthem of Liverpool FC.

Gerry Marsden, singer and guitarist for Gerry And The Pacemakers, has died at the age 78 following a short illness.

Marsden’s band gained stardom in the 1960s, entering the British charts in 1963 with singles How Do You Do It?, I Like It and You’ll Never Walk Alone. The latter of these, a Rodgers and Hammerstein composition from the musical Carousel, became the anthem of Liverpool FC. How do you do it was also first recorded by The Beatles in 1962, but rejected by them and given to Marsden’s band by producer George Martin. It was their first number one in April 1963.

Gerry and the Pacemakers would play regularly alongside The Beatles, with both groups being part of Brian Epstein’s Liverpool-based management roster. The Pacemakers disbanded in 1967 but Marsden revived them in 1972 with a new line-up and continued to perform until he retired in 2018.

Marsden’s family said in a statement on Sunday: “Gerry died earlier today after a short illness in no way connected with COVID-19. His wife, daughters and grandchildren are devastated.”

Paul McCartney paid tribute to Marsden on Twitter, writing: “Gerry was a mate from our early days in Liverpool. He and his group were our biggest rivals on the local scene. His unforgettable performances of You’ll Never Walk Alone and Ferry Cross the Mersey remain in many people’s hearts as reminders of a joyful time in British music…”

Liverpool FC also paid tribute to Marsden, writing: “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.”

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