Gerry Marsden of Gerry And The Pacemakers has died

Marsden fronted the Liverpool band who formed in 1959

Gerry Marsden, singer of the Liverpool band Gerry And The Pacemakers, has died, it has been confirmed.

The musician was 78 years old and died today (January 3) from an infection in his heart, friend and broadcaster Pete Price wrote on social media.

“It’s with a very heavy heart after speaking to the family that I have to tell you the Legendary Gerry Marsden MBE after a short illness which was an infection in his heart has sadly passed away,” Price said.

“Sending all the love in the world to Pauline and his family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Marsden was best known for Pacemakers songs including ‘Ferry Across The Mersey’, ‘I Like It’, and the band’s version of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. He founded the group in 1959 and they went on to become the second group signed by The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein.

They released their debut single ‘How Do You Do It?’ In March 1963, with the track reaching the top of the singles chart in April.

Later that year, the group released their take on ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, which has since become the anthem of Liverpool FC. At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the song also saw a spike in streams in the UK as it was used to show support for NHS and frontline workers. It was also covered by Lana Del Rey in 2020 for a documentary on Liverpool football club.

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.

Throughout his life, Marsden is said to have helped raise more than £35million for charity, including special releases with other artists in the wake of the 1985 fire at Bradford City’s stadium and the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

His charity work and his contribution to the culture of Liverpool led to him being awarded the Freedom Of The City Of Liverpool in 2009.

Tributes to Marsden have begun to pour in online since the news of his death broke. “It is with such great sadness that we hear of Gerry Marsden’s passing,” Liverpool FC tweeted. “Gerry’s words will live on forever with us. You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

The Cavern Club, where the Pacemakers played nearly 200 times, also honoured the musician. “Devastated to hear of the passing of Gerry Marsden earlier today,” they wrote. “The word legend is often overused but Gerry was not only a legend, but also a very good friend of The Cavern.”

Frankie Goes To Hollywood singer Holly Johnson added: “So sorry to hear about the passing of Gerry Marsden what a Liverpool legend. So glad I met him.”

 

See more tributes below.

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