Former Liverpool captain Ronnie Moran has died at the age of 83.
The player, who also worked as a coach at the Merseyside club, was Liverpool’s longest-serving employee when he retired in 1998.
His son Paul Moran confirmed the news on Twitter, writing: “I am devastated to tell everyone on behalf of the family that my dad passed away this morning after a short illness.”
Moran was part of the club’s legendary Boot Room coaching staff, which included Bill Shankly, Joe Fagan,Bob Paisley and Reuben Bennett.
In his 16-year playing career, Moran was part of the team that won the Second Division in 1961-62 and then went on to claim the First Division crown in 1963-64 and 1965-66.
Very sad news with the passing of Ronnie Moran this morning, a legendary figure @LFC & learnt me & others an awful lot. R.I.P.
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) March 22, 2017
“There are a lot of legendary figures involved at Liverpool football club in the history,” Carragher said on Wednesday. “Ronnie Moran would be close to number one. The managers, the four or five great managers that started with Bill Shankly, Ronnie Moran was a big part of that.” The former Liverpool defender also tweeted: “The man who decided at 18 I should play centre back before anyone else had even thought of it. Thank you Bugsy!”
The former left-back also won the FA Cup with the Reds in the 1964-65 season, and after retiring from playing picked up numerous different jobs at the club.
He was caretaker manager twice following the departure of Kenny Dalglish and when Graeme Souness was absent to undergo heart surgery.
Dalglish said on Wednesday: “The contribution and help he gave me was enormous and I’ll be eternally grateful for that – both as a player and a manager. I don’t think anybody that worked with him during his spell at Liverpool will have anything but total admiration and respect and gratitude for what he did for them.
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that in the most successful spell in the club’s history, Ronnie Moran was of great importance to it. He was there at the outset with Bill Shankly, and the football club as it stands today is because of what Bill Shankly set in place and Ronnie was a big part of that.
“His contribution to the football club should never, ever be underestimated. Although it might be understated, and he might be understated, he made a massive contribution.”