The Football League is saddened to learn of the death of Gary Ablett at the age of 46.

Ablett, the only player to win the FA Cup with both Liverpool and Everton, passed away on New Year's Day after an 18-month battle against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The Liverpool-born defender began his career for his home town club in 1985 and went on to make nearly 150 appearances for the Reds. He also spent loan spells with Derby County and Hull City early on in his time at Anfield.

After a nine-year spell he made the short move across Merseyside to sign for rivals Everton. At the end of his time with the Toffees he had a brief loan spell at Sheffield United before making a permanent switch to Birmingham City in 1996.

The left sided defender spent three years at St Andrews, including a brief loan stint with Wycombe Wanderers, before he signed for his final English club, Blackpool in 2000.

After 10 appearances for the Tangerines he moved to America and finished his playing career with Long Island Rough Riders, finally hanging up his boots in 2001 after over 400 career appearances.

A return to Everton saw him spent the next four years working in their Academy before he made the reverse trip to Liverpool to take over the coaching of the club's reserve side. In May 2009 he was appointed as the manager of Stockport County but couldn't prevent the Hatters, who were in administration at the time, from being relegated to League 2.

He left after 13 months in charge at Edgeley Park but was soon back in the dug out after he agreed to join the coaching staff at Ipswich Town in the summer of 2010. It was just a month into his new job working with the Tractor Boys when he was diagnosed with the blood cancer.

Everyone connected with The Football League would like to express its deepest sympathy to his family and friends.