Liverpool Defender Gary Ablett Dies At Age 46

Former Liverpool and Everton defender Gary Ablett has died following a 16-month battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Nash Herringtonby Nash Herrington

Ablett was diagnosed with the form of blood cancer after falling ill at Ipswich’s training ground, where he was helping then-manager Roy Keane. The League Managers Association said of his passing: "On behalf of Gary Ablett's family the LMA has today confirmed that Gary passed away peacefully last night following a hard fought 16-month battle against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"Respected throughout the game by players, coaches and managers alike Gary will be sadly missed. The LMA's thoughts and condolences are with Gary's wife Jacqueline and children."

Ablett was a defender for both Liverpool and Everton and helped both teams lift the FA Cup, winning in ’89 for the former and ’95 for the latter, the only player in history to do so. During his career he also played for Birmingham City, Derby County, Sheffield United and Hull City, before becoming the Stockport manager.

The 46-year-olds former colleagues have spoken out to pay their respects, with former Liverpool manager Roy Evans saying:  "He was good at everything he did as a player. He went into coaching and stamped his personality onto 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."

Liverpool also released a statement: "Liverpool Football Club were today saddened to learn of the death of former player Gary Ablett. The staff of Liverpool FC would like to send our condolences to the family and friends of Gary."

Speaking out in a campaign to raise awareness for cancer last September, Ablett said this of his experiences being diagnosed with the illness: "Jacqueline took one look at me and took me straight to the doctors. 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."

Birmingham City will be holding a minute’s silence for Ablett before their match against Peterborough today, while Ipswich will wear black armbands and hold a minute’s applause before their third round tie with Wolves.