Sixties pop icon Gerry Marsden, famous for You’ll Never Walk Alone, is hanging up his guitar after almost 60 years of touring.
The 76-year-old lead singer of Gerry And The Pacemakers announced his retirement on his website, saying he wants to spend more time with family.
The post said: “Gerry would like to say a special thank you to all his fans for the unconditional support down the years and will sadly miss them all. He looks forward to this new chapter in his life.”
An insider close to Gerry told the Mirror the star, who had a second heart operation two years ago, was not retiring due to health reasons.
Gerry has been the frontman for Liverpool act Gerry and the Pacemakers since 1974
Gerry had a second heart operation two years ago – and spends most of his time living in a villa in Spain
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The friend said: “He wound up things at the end of last year and fulfilled his obligations. He’s in good health, but he lives most of the time in Spain and he wants to enjoy being there, and spending time with his family.”
Gerry has been married to wife Pauline for 53 years and they have two daughters Yvette and Victoria. The Pacemakers band – the second group to sign to manager Brian Epstein after The Beatles – made history as the first Liverpool band to reach number one.
They were also the first band to have their first three singles reach the top of the charts. Their hits included How Do You Do It?, I Like It, You’ll Never Walk Alone and Ferry Cross The Mersey – which became an anthem for Liverpool FC.
The Beatles with Paul Young and Gerry Marsden – The Pacemakers band was the second group to sign to manager Brian Epstein after The Beatles
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The group, which included Gerry’s brother Freddie, Arthur Mack, Les Chadwick and Les Maguire, split in 1966 – but were reformed by Gerry in 1974.
They continued touring all over the world until 2003, when Gerry had to have triple bypass heart surgery. At the time, daughter Yvette joked her father would find resting “a challenge”.
Gerry And The Pacemakers performed for the last time together in Portsmouth, Hampshire, in March.
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