You’ll never walk alone (“you will never walk alone”) sounded in Liverpool, on news of Gerry Marsden’s death. The British singer, who died at the age of 78 on January 3, 2021, had many other successes to his name, but his interpretation of the Liverpool Reds football club anthem made him world famous.
“Gerry’s words will be forever etched in our memories. You will never walk alone ”, reacted the Reds on Twitter. You’ll never walk alone was a Broadway hit, written by American composers Rogers and Hammerstein for the musical Carousel in 1945, before the English musician delivered his version in 1963 with his group Gerry And The Pacemakers. The Reds adopted it in 1963 and other clubs such as Celtic, Feyenoord or Dortmund have also chosen it since.
Contemporary of the Beatles
Gerry Marsden was born in Liverpool on September 24, 1942, making him the exact contemporary of the Beatles. Paul McCartney, born for his part on June 18, 1942 in the port city of northern England, paid tribute to him on Twitter. “Gerry was a buddy when we started out at Liverpool. He and his group were our biggest rivals on the local scene ”.
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… pic.twitter.com/t1COAIwZVM
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) January 3, 2021
“His unforgettable interpretations of ”You’ll Never Walk Alone” and ”Ferry Cross the Mersey“Remain in the hearts of many people as memories of a joyous era in British music”, added the ex Beatles.
Liverpool knows music
Gerry and The Pacemakers, founded in 1959, were the second group signed by music producer Brian Epstein, the first being The Beatles. A first hit How Do You Do It in 1963, followed by a series of very popular songs at the time of rock’n’roll install the group in the charts. Ferry Cross the Mersey, which evokes the Mersey river whose docks are the outpost of the seaport of Liverpool, came out in 1964 and imposed itself in the United States.
Committed against hooliganism
The group broke up in 1966, and Gerry Marsden began a solo career. If he never found the popularity of the 60s, he was a figure much appreciated by the British for his many charitable commitments. He sang for the benefit of the families of the 56 victims of the Bradford Stadium tragedy in 1985.
Gerry’s voice accompanied our biggest nights. His anthem bonded players, staff and fans around the world, helping create something truly special ❤️
You’ll Never Walk Alone ❤️ pic.twitter.com/KE0tjClfqL
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 3, 2021
In 1989, the Hillsborough tragedy struck English football in Sheffield, when supporters forced a passage to the stadium: 96 people died crushed in the crowd or against the gates. Paul McCartney, Gerry Marsden, Holly Johnson and the group The Christians, all musicians born in Liverpool, join forces to sing for the victims and to demand action against hooliganism.
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Gerry Marsden, awarded the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2003, resumed service in April 2020. The singer from Liverpool had re-recorded You’ll never walk alone in tribute to the British National Health Service (NHS) in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.