Gerry and the Pacemakers star Gerry Marsden dies aged 78

Gerry and the Pacemakers star Gerry Marsden dies aged 78
Photo credit: @ViewOfTheKop_ Twitter

Gerry Marsden, lead singer of the British band Gerry and the Pacemakers whose version of "You'll Never Walk Alone" became the thunderously sung anthem for Liverpool Football Club, has died at the age of 78, a friend announced on Sunday.

A proud Liverpudlian and Liverpool supporter Marsden was a key figure in the city's booming music scene of the 1960s. 

"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," radio broadcaster Pete Price posted on Twitter.

Marsden formed the band in 1959 and enjoyed chart success in subsequent decades as part of Liverpool's "Merseybeat" movement that included contemporaries such as The Beatles.

The band's 1963 version of You'll Never Walk Alone has become the sound of Liverpool F.C.

"Gerry's voice accompanied our biggest nights. His anthem bonded players, staff and fans around the world, helping create something truly special," the club tweeted. 

You'll Never Walk Alone re-entered the UK charts in March last year after people starting singing it on their doorsteps to support healthcare workers during the country's first COVID-19 lockdown. 

Captain Tom Moore, who raised money for the NHS by walking laps of his garden just shy of his 100th birthday, recorded a version with Michael Ball to raise money for COVID-19 related charities. 

Marsden himself was no stranger to charity. Raising more than $70 million, including for charities linked to the Hillsborough disaster of 1989, when Liverpool supporters died. 

In 2009 he was given the Freedom of the City of Liverpool.