Gerry And The Pacemakers star Gerry Marsden who sang You'll Never Walk Alone dies aged 78

3 January 2021, 17:07 | Updated: 4 January 2021, 06:26

Gerry And The Pacemakers star Gerry Marsden - whose hits included You'll Never Walk Alone - has died aged 78.

The singer died at Arrow Park Hospital on the Wirral on Sunday morning, his agent Robert Pratt said.

Mr Pratt added: "Myself and The Pacemakers are devastated at the sad news of the passing of Gerry Marsden MBE.

"Losing such a legend is never easy. We were all blessed to work with Gerry for many years. We send our condolences and deepest sympathies to his wife... and the family at this sad time."

Marsden, who was born in the Toxteth area of Liverpool in 1942, is perhaps best known for covering the Rogers and Hammerstein song You'll Never Walk Alone with his band - leading Liverpool football club to adopt it as their official motto and anthem.

He re-recorded the track in April last year in tribute to the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.

Marsden also penned '60s hits Ferry Cross the Mersey and Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying.

Gerry And The Pacemakers followed The Beatles into chart success, starting a local Merseybeat music scene in Liverpool - but the original group later split up in 1967 after seeing a decline in popularity.

Marsden reformed the group with a new line-up a few years later and, up until 2018, continued to tour venues.

Tributes poured in for the musician, with Liverpool mayor Steve Rotherham telling Sky News: "Gerry Marsden will go down as being one of those icons of the 60s, but transcended decades and generations.

"Gerry was a tough lad in his youth and a tough man - but he was also a very caring and loving man and he will be missed".

Liverpool tweeted: "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."

Beatles star Sir Paul McCartney said Gerry And The Pacemakers were his band's "biggest rivals on the local scene", adding: "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."

Former Liverpool player and manager Sir Kenny Dalgleish tweeted: "Saddened to hear the news of Gerry Marsden's passing today. You'll Never Walk Alone is an integral part of Liverpool Football Club, and never more so than now."

Phil Thompson, who captained Liverpool in the 70s, said Marsden and "his anthem will be forever in our hearts."

Legendary Liverpool music venue The Cavern Club, which Marsden performed at more than 200 times, called him a "legend" and a "very good friend".

Angela Eagle, MP for Wallasey, said: "I worked with him to save the Seacombe ferry - can't 'ferry across the Mersey' without somewhere to land - He was a fun generous & lovely man".

Marsden is survived by his wife, Pauline, who he was married to for 55 years, and his two daughters, Yvette and Victoria.