Gerry Marsden

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gerry Marsden
Marsden in 1964
Marsden in 1964
Background information
Birth nameGerard Marsden
Born(1942-09-24)24 September 1942
Toxteth, Liverpool, England
Died3 January 2021(2021-01-03) (aged 78)
Arrowe Park, Merseyside, England
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, musician, television personality
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar
Years active1959–2021

Gerard Marsden MBE (24 September 1942 – 3 January 2021) was an English singer-songwriter, musician and television personality, best known for being leader of the Merseybeat band Gerry and the Pacemakers. He was the younger brother of fellow band member Freddie Marsden.

Gerry and the Pacemakers had the distinction of being the first act to have their first three recordings go to number 1 in the UK charts.[1] Although they never had a number 1 in the United States, they were the second-most successful group from Liverpool, after the Beatles, to have hits on the United States pop charts. Their 1965 musical film Ferry Cross the Mersey was co-written by Tony Warren.

Early life[edit]

Marsden was born at 8 Menzies Street, Toxteth, Liverpool,[2] to Frederick Marsden and Mary McAlindin. His interest in music began at an early age. He remembered standing on top of an air-raid shelter singing "Ragtime Cowboy Joe", and getting a great reception from onlookers.[3]


Gerry and the Pacemakers formed in 1959.[4] They were the second group signed by Brian Epstein, the first being the Beatles, and remained among his favourite artists.[3] Their first single was 1963's "How Do You Do It?", recommended by George Martin after it was initially given to the Beatles. This was the first number one hit for the Pacemakers. It was recorded at Abbey Road Studios and was released on EMI's Columbia label.[5]

The group's second number one was "I Like It", followed by "You'll Never Walk Alone", both released later in 1963. The group's other singles included "It's Gonna Be Alright", "I'm the One", "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying", and "Ferry Cross the Mersey", all released in 1964.[5] A musical film Ferry Cross the Mersey, considered to be their version of the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night, was co-written by Coronation Street creator and writer Tony Warren, and was released in 1965.[6]

The Pacemakers disbanded in October 1966.[4] After leaving the group, Marsden maintained a low-key career on television,[5] including a regular slot on children's television in The Sooty Show.[7] He also starred in the West End musical Charlie Girl alongside Derek Nimmo and Anna Neagle, replacing another pop singer, Joe Brown. A new song, "Liverpool", was added to the score to tie in with Marsden's Liverpool accent.[8][9]

Marsden returned to #1 in the charts twice during the 1980s with re-recordings of two of his old hits, with all profits going to charity. In 1985 after the Bradford Football Club stadium tragedy in which 56 were killed,[10] he formed a group called the Crowd, which included other musicians, singers, and radio disc jockeys, to produce a new version of "You'll Never Walk Alone".[6]

On 18 April 1989, three days after the Hillsborough disaster in which 97 Liverpool F.C. fans died, he joined forces with Paul McCartney, the Christians, Holly Johnson, and his production trio Stock, Aitken & Waterman on a new version of "Ferry Cross the Mersey".[6]

In 1993 Marsden published his autobiography, I'll Never Walk Alone, co-written with former Melody Maker editor Ray Coleman.[11][12] In 1990, he recorded the song "Red White and Blue", with The England Supporters Club,[13][14] that also appears on the Euro 96 album England's Glory.[15][16]

Marsden performing in 2011

In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, he released a version of "You'll Never Walk Alone" in tribute to the National Health Service.[17]

Personal life and death[edit]

Marsden had an older brother, Freddie, who co-founded and played drums in Gerry and the Pacemakers and who died in 2006.[18]

In 1965, Marsden married Pauline Behan, and they had two daughters, Yvette and Victoria.[6]

In September 2003, Marsden had triple bypass heart surgery at Broad Green Hospital in Liverpool.[19] He had a second heart operation in 2016, and announced his retirement in November 2018, although he appeared with Take That at their concert at Anfield in June 2019.[6]

Marsden died on 3 January 2021 at Arrowe Park Hospital in Merseyside, after being diagnosed with a blood infection in his heart. He was 78 years old.[20][21]

Awards and honours[edit]

In 2003, for his services supporting the victims of the Hillsborough disaster, Marsden was made Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).[6][22]

In 2009, he was awarded the Freedom of the City by Liverpool.[6][23][24]

In 2010, Marsden was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University.[25]

Solo discography[edit]


  • A Tribute to Lennon & McCartney (Dominion, 1995)[26]
  • One 2 One (Pulse Records, 1999)[27]
  • Much Missed Man: Tribute to John Lennon (Ozit, 2001)[26]
  • My Home Town (Angel Air, 2021)



  1. ^ Paul Gambaccini; Jo Rice (July 1991). British Hit Singles: Every Single Hit Since 1952. Random House Incorporated. ISBN 978-0-8230-7572-0.
  2. ^ "Gerry Marsden – The Florrie Archive". Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Gerry Marsden MBE". Liverpool John Moores University. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Biography by Richie Unterberger". Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  5. ^ a b c "Gerry & the Pacemakers". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Sweeting, Adam (3 January 2021). "Gerry Marsden obituary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  7. ^ Dafydd Rees; Luke Crampton (1999). Rock Stars Encyclopedia. DK Pub. p. 409. ISBN 978-0-7894-4613-8.
  8. ^ Kurt Gänzl; Andrew Lamb (1989). Gänzl's Book of the Musical Theatre. Schirmer Books. p. 207. ISBN 978-0-02-871941-2.
  9. ^ "Charlie Girl". East Surrey Operatic Society. Archived from the original on 7 November 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  10. ^ Scrivener, Peter (11 May 2005). "Bradford remembers fire disaster". BBC. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  11. ^ Leigh, Spencer (3 January 2021). "Remembering Gerry Marsden, the musician who sung Liverpool FC's 'You'll Never Walk Alone'". The Independent. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  12. ^ "I'll never walk alone. Review". Kirkus. 20 May 2010.
  13. ^ "Gerry Marsden & The England Supporters Club - Red, White & Blue - 7" Record". Atlas Records. Archived from the original on 8 January 2021. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  14. ^ "Gerry Marsden And The England Supporters Club Discography - UK". 45cat. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  15. ^ "England's Glory - England Squad and Supporters 1966-1996". England Football Online. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  16. ^ England's Glory: England's Squads & Supporters 1966-Euro '96 - Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic, retrieved 4 January 2021
  17. ^ "Football: Liverpool salute Marsden after You'll Never Walk Alone singer dies aged 78". The Straits Times. 4 January 2021. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  18. ^ "Freddie Marsden". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  19. ^ "Gerry Marsden Has Triple Heart Bypass Op". NME. 15 September 2003. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  20. ^ "Musician Gerry Marsden dies aged 78". The Independent. 3 January 2021.
  21. ^ Robertson, Chris (3 January 2021). "Gerry And The Pacemakers star Gerry Marsden who sang You'll Never Walk Alone dies aged 78". Sky News. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  22. ^ "Liverpool FC anthem singer Gerry Marsden dies aged 78". BBC News. 3 January 2021. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  23. ^ "Gerry Marsden to receive Freedom of Liverpool". The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  24. ^ Mitchell McCluskey. "Gerry Marsden, lead singer of Gerry and the Pacemakers, dies at 78". CNN. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  25. ^ "Honorary Fellows Index". Liverpool John Moores University. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  26. ^ a b "Gerry Marsden". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  27. ^ "Gerry Marsden - One 2 One". Discogs. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Gerry Marsden Discography - UK - 45cat". Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  29. ^ "ferry cross the mersey | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company".
  30. ^ "Paul McCartney guests on Hillsborough charity single with Robbie Williams". The Guardian. 23 November 2012.

External links[edit]