Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has paid tribute to former club captain and coach Ronnie Moran ahead of his side’s Merseyside clash with rivals Everton.
Moran served Anfield for 49 years as a player, coach and caretaker manager, and notably lifted the old First Division title in 1964 and 1966 as captain.
The former defender played until 1968 and stayed on at the club after being invited on to the coaching staff by Bill Shankly.
According to reports, Moran, known as ‘Mr Liverpool’, was diagnosed with vascular dementia four years ago and was admitted to a 24-hour care home last October. He passed away on Wednesday 22 March at the age of 83.
Writing in Saturday’s match-day programme, Klopp praised the individual for his contributions to the club.
“Finally, today is the first game we play since the very sad news that Ronnie Moran has passed away,” he wrote. “I know that as a team and as a club we are marking the occasion this afternoon.
“I had the good fortune to meet this very special person last season and even greater fortune to have learned about his amazing story and contribution to LFC.
“For the family there is great grief to have lost someone they loved so much. But there is also celebration and joy at a life of such fulfilment and achievement.
“Ronnie has joined our other giants, who have made their great impact at LFC but now left our lives. From everything I have heard and read he wouldn’t have appreciated all the fuss but, goodness me, he deserves every second of the tributes that have been paid – including today’s at Anfield.”
Prior to kick-off, players and fans paid their respects with a minute's applause while sections of Anfield sang ‘You’ll never work alone’.
His funeral took place on Thursday and was attended by a number of current and past Liverpool icons, including Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Kenny Dalglish.