Former Liverpool defender Gary Ablett loses cancer battle
Former Liverpool and Everton defender Gary Ablett has died at the age of 46 after a long battle against cancer, the League Managers Association said.
Ablett, who had a season as Stockport manager in 2009-10, lost his 16-month fight against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on Sunday night.
"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," said an LMA statement. "Respected throughout the game by players, coaches and managers alike Gary will be sadly missed."
The statement continued: "The LMA's thoughts and condolences are with Gary's wife Jacqueline and children."
Ablett was a Liverpool apprentice before making his debut for the club in 1986 during current boss Kenny Dalglish's first spell in charge.
Having won two league titles and an FA Cup at Anfield he made the switch across Stanley Park to Goodison and became the first player to win the FA Cup with both Merseyside clubs after the Toffees' Wembley win over Manchester United in 1995.
He also played for Birmingham, Wycombe, Blackpool and the American club Long Island Rough Riders before retiring from playing.
His early coaching career saw him start in the Everton youth set-up before replacing Paco Herrera as the coach of Liverpool reserves, where he won both the Premier Reserve League North and also the national title in 2008.
Ablett left Liverpool a year later and was appointed Stockport manager at a difficult time for the club - they were in administration - and left after a change of ownership.
Ablett took up a coaching role with Ipswich in July 2010 but was taken ill while at the club's training ground and was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.