Former Liverpool manager Roy Evans said Ronnie Moran will be remembered “with great love and affection” following his death at the age of 83.
Moran played for the Reds between 1952 and 1968 before joining the coaching staff at Anfield, serving the club for a total of 49 years.
He twice filled in as caretaker manager, firstly in 1991 following Kenny Dalglish’s resignation and once again in 1992 when boss Graeme Souness underwent heart surgery.
Evans, who worked alongside Moran for many years before including him in his coaching staff when he took over as manager, paid tribute to his former colleague.
“It’s a sad end to a great man’s life,” Evans told BBC Radio Five Live.
“He’s one of these guys that day in, day out, did his job and did a great job for Liverpool Football Club.
“Liverpool and the fans will remember him for the great man that he was and he’ll be sadly missed.
“I’m sure he will be remembered with great love and affection for what he did for our football club and it’s a sad time for us.
“Ronnie Moran is one of the greats of Liverpool.”
“Truly wonderful, inspirational…”
Former Reds defender Phil Thompson, who wrote the foreword for Moran’s book ‘Mr Liverpool’ earlier this year, spoke fondly of his “mentor” and said the Merseyside club would not have won half the trophies they did without Moran.
Liverpool won 13 league titles, five FA Cups and four European Cups – among other silverware – during Moran’s near-half-century with the club.
“He was truly wonderful, inspirational, our guide,” Thompson said on Sky Sports News. “You’re saying ‘Ronnie’ but to us he’s known as ‘Bugsy’, his nickname.
“Throughout all those times, those glory days, you needed somebody to keep the feet on the ground of all these superstars, and this guy was the man. Every day, he was the driving force.
“Sometimes as a young man you’d think, ‘nothing satisfies this man’, but without him we would not have won half the trophies. This is not just a flippant comment – Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley… great. Ronnie Moran is up there with those two greats.
“He was my mentor. Ronnie was so important. I had the opp of going into the bootroom and seeing how Ronnie Moran worked. He did everything – everything was meticulous. To see him work was an absolute wonder.”
Former players were also quick to pay tribute on social media, with ex-defender Jamie Carragher crediting Moran for finding his best position.
He posted on Instagram: “Gutted with the news this morning that the @liverpoolfc Legend Ronnie Moran has passed away.
“The one man who was involved throughout the years Liverpool dominated at home & abroad, and the man who first made the decision to play me at Centre back. That showed the influence he continued to have long after he’d left the club.#liverpool #legend #ronniemoran.”
Gutted with the news this morning that the @liverpoolfc Legend Ronnie Moran has passed away. The one man who was involved throughout the years Liverpool dominated at home & abroad, and the mans who first made the decision to play me at Centre back. That showed the influence he continued to have long after he’d left the club. #liverpool #legend #ronniemoran
All-time leading scorer Ian Rush tweeted: “It’s a sad day in Football! RIP Mr. Liverpool #RonnieMoran you will be greatly missed! @LFC”
Former striker Michael Owen wrote: “So sad to learn that Ronnie Moran passed away last night. A truly pivotal figure @LFC during the most successful years in their history.”
Another ex-frontman, Robbie Fowler, retweeted Paul Moran’s confirmation of Ronnie death and added: “So sorry to hear this Paul..Deepest sympathy to you and all the family, thoughts and prayers with you … The man deserves the legend status”
Former goalkeeper Ray Clemence wrote: “Deeply saddened by the passing of Ronnie Moran he had an influence on all of us who played @LFC thoughts are with family and friends #YNWA”
Ex-midfielder Jason McAteer posted: “Absolutely devastated to here the news of Ronnie Moran I will be forever indebted to him for my time @LFC the man’s a true legend god bless.”
Former forward Stan Collymore tweeted: “Saddened to hear of Ronnie Moran’s passing, a giant of #LFC and British football. Condolences to family, friends and all @LFC. #YNWA”
— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) March 22, 2017