Gary Ablett

Gary Ablett, the only player to win the FA Cup both with Liverpool and Everton, died at the age of 46 on 01/01/2012 following a 16 month battle against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The defender played more than 100 games for both Merseyside clubs and Birmingham City. He also managed Stockport County.

LMA Chief Executive Richard Bevan paid this tribute "Gary was respected throughout the game by players, coaches and managers alike and will be sadly missed.

"Our thoughts and condolences are with Gary's wife Jacqueline and family."

Having joined Liverpool as an apprentice in 1982, Ablett made his debut in December 1986.

Under manager Kenny Dalglish, he helped win the Football League title in 1988 and 1990 and the FA Cup in 1989.

He was sold to rivals Everton for £750,000 in January 1992 and went on to lift the FA Cup with them in 1995.

Ex-Liverpool striker Ian Rush paid tribute to his former team-mate.

"Gary was a really versatile player, somebody who would play anywhere the manager asked him," Rush told BBC Sport.

"The fact he played for both Liverpool and Everton says something about how good he was as a player.

"He summed up what Liverpool people are all about. He gave 100% to the team and my favourite memory of him was after the 1989 FA Cup final - he was so proud to win something for the team.

"Off the pitch, he was the perfect gentleman. He had a lovely family, which he brought up really well, and he was such a respectable person. If he could help you with anything, he would."

Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson also shared fond memories of Ablett, who was his boot boy at the club

I think I had left the club when he broke into the first team, but it was obvious he was always going to get there," Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

"He knew he had to work hard to make it, and that is what he did.

"He had lots of pace to recover and he was very good on the ball, as many left-sided defenders tend to be.

"He was a good team-mate too; you could never have enough Gary Abletts in your team."

Pat Nevin played with Ablett for six months while the pair were at Everton and regularly lined up against him before Ablett moved to Goodison Park.

"Gary was a lovely, lovely guy who was liked by everyone," he said. "I don't think anyone will have a bad word to say about him.

"He was a classy defender and had decent quality going forward as well and he was not dirty in any way. But because of his understated way he was maybe under-rated by many people.

"It says something that I enjoyed playing against him even in the Merseyside derby, which is one of the most stressful games in world football, because he was just such a nice guy. I'm shocked and saddened."

Gary Ablett Career

Gary Ablett entered football management in the Football League with Stockport County in July 2009. He also enjoyed coaching spells with Everton, Liverpool and Ipswich Town.

He spent one full season at Edgeley Park with the club competing in League One, before parting company with County in June 2010.

Ablett initially began his coaching career in 2002, with Everton as the coach of the under-17 side. After working for several years at Everton, Ablett joined Liverpool in the summer of 2006, as reserve team manager.

In April 2008, Ablett led the side to the Premier Reserve League North title, and after beating Aston Villa they became national champions.

Ablett, who held the UEFA Pro License, also enjoyed a very successful playing career, representing Liverpool, Derby County, Hull City, Everton, Sheffield United, Birmingham City, Wycombe Wanderers, and Blackpool.  Ablett ended his playing career with a spell in the USA with the Long Island Rough Riders.

As a player, Ablett's honours included two Division One league titles (1988, 1990), three FA Charity Shield victories (one shared) and a FA Cup triumph in 1989 with Liverpool.

Ablett also won the FA Cup and the FA Charity Shield with Everton in 1995 and 1996. His international honours included one U21 cap and one England B appearance.

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