ENTERTAINMENT
04/01/2021 07:32 GMT

Paul McCartney Leads Tributes To Gerry Marsden Following Death Of You’ll Never Walk Alone Singer

The Gerry And The Pacemakers frontman died on Sunday at the age of 78.

Sir Paul McCartney has said he will always remember his long-time friend and fellow Merseyside singing star Gerry Marsden with a smile.

Gerry, whose band Gerry And The Pacemakers were behind classic hits like You’ll Never Walk Alone and Ferry Cross The Mersey, died in hospital in the early hours of Sunday aged 78.

He worked the same Liverpool/Hamburg music club circuit as The Beatles’ Sir Paul and many other groups in the early 1960s.

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(L-R) Paul McCartney and Gerry Marsden

Sir Paul tweeted: “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…

“My sympathies go to his wife Pauline and family. See ya, Gerry. I’ll always remember you with a smile. – Paul.” 

Former Beatle Sir Ringo Starr also paid tribute to Marsden, and sent “peace and love” to all his family.

You’ll Never Walk Alone became a football anthem for Gerry’s home club of Liverpool.

Sir Kenny Dalglish, who was Liverpool’s manager at the time of the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989, 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. RIP Gerry, our thoughts are with Pauline and his family.”

The singer went into hospital on Boxing Day after tests showed he had a serious blood infection that had travelled to his heart.

It was a short illness but Gerry had suffered previous heart scares, including a triple bypass, an aortic valve replacement and ironically he also had a pacemaker.

His daughter Yvette Marbeck told the PA news agency: “My sister Vicky and myself have always been very, very proud of dad.

“He has always been a good man. He had his feet on the ground. He made us laugh every single day. He was our hero, wonderful.”

You’ll Never Walk Alone enjoyed a resurgence during the pandemic after a cover of the song, featuring Captain Sir Tom Moore, reached number one in the UK singles chart.

In April, Gerry recorded a new version of the band’s hit alongside a music video, which featured a number of messages about the NHS.

In 1962, Beatles manager Brian Epstein signed up the band and their first three releases reached number one in 1963 – How Do You Do It, I Like It and You’ll Never Walk Alone.

The group split in 1967 and Gerry pursued a solo career before the band reformed in 1974 to tour the world – a tour they later repeated.

The entertainment world has paid tribute on Twitter...

Gerry was awarded an MBE for his charity work in 2003. He married wife Pauline in 1965 and the couple had two daughters and two grandchildren.