Gerry Byrne, English footballer, Died at 77

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Gerald ‘Gerry’ Byrne was born on August 29, 1938, and died on November 28, 2015 due to Alzheimer’s disease.

He was an English footballer who spent his entire playing career at Liverpool Football Club.

Born in Liverpool, Merseyside, England, Gerald, like Jimmy Melia, joined Liverpool straight from school as a 15-year-old in 1953, again like Melia, Byrne impressed manager Don Welsh, who offered the full-back a professional contract the day after his 17th birthday on 30 August 1955.

It was just over two years later that Byrne made his debut, it was a day to forget for Byrne as Charlton Athletic thrashed the Reds 5–1 in a league match at The Valley on 28 September 1957, Gerald had to wait a further 4½ years for his first goal which came in the 52nd minute of a 3–1 2nd Division win over Brighton at Anfield on 3 February 1962.

Gerald debut was his only appearance during season 1957 to 1958.

Bill Shankly was appointed manager in December 1959 and at the season’s end had a clear out of 24 players. Notably Byrne was retained as was Roger Hunt.

It wasn’t until the arrival of Bill Shankly that he really got his chance; Gerald featured in 38 league and cup matches as the Reds finished third for the fifth time in a row in the second division.

Considering Gerald only played seven times in the previous three seasons, this was a major improvement in Gerry’s career; in fact, he was on the transfer list when Shankly arrived, soon to be removed.

Shankly again used Byrne’s grit and determination to its fullest, he was an ever-present as Liverpool, finally, romped to the 2nd division title, beating Leyton Orient into second spot by eight points.

Gerald played in 38 of Liverpool’s 42 league games their first year back in the big time and he also played in all seven of Liverpool’s cup ties during their run to the 1965 FA Cup final, a game in which Byrne would write his name in Liverpool folklore forever more.

Gerald Byrne passed away at age 91 in November 2015.

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