Gérard Houllier, the former Liverpool manager, is to visit the island in March as part of a series of functions organised by the Bermuda Football Coaches Association.
Houllier will share tales from his storied managerial career, which included spells at French clubs Paris-Saint Germain and Lyon, as a guest speaker at a fundraiser for the BFCA at Pier 6 on Friday, March 2.
The Frenchman, who guided Liverpool to the FA Cup, League Cup and Uefa Cup in the 2000-01 season, will take part in an invitation-only dinner at Beau Rivage restaurant on Harbour Road the following night.
He will also join Jacques Crevoisier, his former assistant at Anfield, as the guests of honour at a Liverpool Supporters Club luncheon at The Docksider before watching their home match against Newcastle United on Sunday, March 4.
Attracting a figure of Houllier’s stature to the island resembles a real coup for the BFCA, said Richard Todd, the association’s president.
“Gérard Houllier is a huge name and, of course, many locals will associate him with Liverpool,” said Todd, a former Bermuda Football Association academy director. “He went on to become a folk hero at the club, winning five trophies during his time at Anfield, not to mention his success in France, where he won Ligue 1 three times.”
Houllier, who also managed Aston Villa, briefly served as manager of France in 1992, but resigned a year later after they failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the United States.
The 70-year-old is now the global sports director at Red Bull Global Soccer, which includes RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga and the New York Red Bulls in the MLS.
“To have someone like Gérard coming to share his story with local coaches and fans will be a great experience for all.” said Todd, who was voted in as the new BFCA president last month. “We’re excited about it and it helps raise the profile of the BFCA.”
All money raised from the three events will go towards the BFCA’s continued drive to educate and qualify all local coaches to internationally recognised licence standards.
“We’re doing some very important and valuable work in terms of coaching education,” Todd said. “Better coaches are going to prepare better young players, which will raise the level of our domestic game and in turn help improve our national game.”
He added: “We’re using [Houllier’s visit] as a major fundraiser to help underwrite the costs associated with developing coach education opportunities on the island.
“Hopefully it will be the first of multiple events annually, with different football personalities coming to Bermuda.”
Todd added that Crevoisier, a BFCA affiliate, has played a crucial role in bringing Houllier to the island. Crevoisier, also 70, has been visiting Bermuda to oversee the BFCA’s licence courses since it was formed in 2013.
“Jacques has been an invaluable resource for the BFCA,” Todd said. “He has provided continuity spanning through much of the coaching education that has happened in Bermuda recently, through four organisations: the Bermuda Football Foundation, the Bermuda Football Association, the ABC Football School and now the BFCA.”
Tickets for the main event at Pier 6 cost $75 per person, which includes hors d’oeuvres, fish chowder and two drinks. There will also be a cash bar.
For more details about the dinner with Houllier at Beau Rivage e-mail Ross@bda.bm.