Friend and broadcaster Pete Price confirmed his death, saying Marsden had a heart condition.
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“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.”
Marsden was born in the Toxteth area of Liverpool in 1942.
Gerry and the Pacemakers was part of the original British invasion of the 1960s, arriving from the Merseybeat music scene in Liverpool.
The band were the first ever act to reach No. 1 in the UK charts with their first three single releases. His hits included “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” which was adopted by the Liverpool FC as its official motto, and “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying.”
Fellow Liverpool native Paul McCartney paid tribute to Marsden.
My sympathies go to his wife Pauline and family. See ya, Gerry. I’ll always remember you with a smile. – Paul
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) January 3, 2021
Marsden was part of the band with his brother, Freddie Marsden, along with Les “Chad” Chadwick and Arthur McMahon. They were rivals to the Beatles in their early days, even signing with Fab Four’s manager Brian Epstein.
The group split in 1967 but reformed with a new lineup a decade later. Marsden continued on the oldies revival circuit until 2018.
He received an MBE for Services to Liverpudlian charities at Buckingham Palace in 2003, joined alongside two of his bandmates.
When awarded the honor by Prince Philip, the royal commented that it was nice to see the three old singers back together. Gerry famously replied, “Not so much of the old, sir!”
Marsden is survived by his wife, Pauline, to whom he was married for 55 years, and his two daughters, Yvette and Victoria.
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