Paul McCartney pays tribute to Gerry And The Pacemakers’ Gerry Marsden: “I’ll always remember you with a smile”

Marsden's death was confirmed earlier today (January 3)

Paul McCartney has paid tribute to Gerry And The Pacemakers’ Gerry Marsden, whose death was confirmed earlier today (January 3).

Marsden was 78 years old and died after suffering an infection in his heart, his friend and broadcaster Pete Price confirmed on social media.

Gerry And The Pacemakers formed in Liverpool in 1959 and were the second group to be signed by The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein. They performed at the city’s iconic music venue The Cavern Club nearly 200 times in their career.

“Gerry was a mate from our early days in Liverpool,” McCartney wrote on Twitter. “He and his group were our biggest rivals on the local scene. His unforgettable performances of You’ll Never Walk Alone and Ferry Across The Mersey remain in many people’s hearts as reminders of a joyful time in British music.”

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

The Pacemakers’ version of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, which originally featured in the musical Carousel, became the anthem of Liverpool FC, who also paid tribute to Marsden online as news of his death broke.

“It is with such great sadness that we hear of Gerry Marsden’s passing,” a spokesperson for the club wrote on Twitter. “Gerry’s words will live on forever with us. You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

As well as finding musical success with the Pacemakers until his retirement in 2018, Marsden spent his life helping to raise more than £35million for charity. Some of that sum was funded through special releases with other artists in the wake of the 1985 fire at Bradford City’s stadium and the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.