David Moyes has led the tributes towards Gary Ablett, who sadly died over the weekend.
Ablett is best known for winning the FA Cup with both Liverpool and Everton, and the likes of Moyes, pundit Pat Nevin and academy coach Neil Dewsnip were quick to praise the man who spent four seasons at the Toffees in the early 90s.
“It is so, so sad about Gary,” Moyes said on Monday morning.
“He was a regular visitor here to Finch Farm over the last six months and he was a lovely man, well liked by everyone. My thoughts are with all his family at this terrible time.”
“He was a fantastic person, in the sense of being incredibly hard-working and incredibly positive at all times,” said Dewsnip.
“He was a credit to himself and his family and to our football club during the time he worked with us.
“He had a big impact into the development of some of the young players while he was with us.
“It is a very subdued place this morning, that is for sure, It’s our first day back and the normal routine would be wishing everyone a happy new year, so it’s obviously very difficult this morning.”
Nevin added: “Gary was a lovely, lovely guy who was liked by everyone. I don’t think anyone will have a bad word to say about him.
“He was a classy defender and had decent quality going forward as well and he was not dirty in any way. But because of his understated way he was maybe under-rated by many people.
“It says something that I enjoyed playing against him even in the Merseyside derby, which is one of the most stressful games in world football, because he was just such a nice guy. I’m shocked and saddened.”