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Ex-Liverpool, Everton defender Ablett dies at 46

Updated: January 02, 2012, 07:03

FILE- Everton's Gary Ablett, at London's Wembley stadium in this file photo dated Sunday Aug. 13, 1995, during a Charity Shield match against Blackburn Rovers.  Former Everton and Liverpool soccer player Ablett has died after a 16-month battle against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the League Managers Association announced Monday Jan. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/ Max Nash, File)

LONDON(AP) Gary Ablett, the only player to win the FA Cup with both Liverpool and Everton, has died. He was 46.

The former defender died on Sunday night after a 16-month fight against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, England's League Managers Association said Monday.

"There was also a steely determination about Gary,'' said Paul Walsh, who played alongside Ablett at Liverpool. "You don't get in the Liverpool team and come through the ranks at Liverpool and play 100 times for them if you haven't got that little bit of steel.''

While never appearing for the England national team, Ablett won the league championship twice and the FA Cup in 1989 during a 147-game stint at Liverpool between 1986 and 1992.

He made the rare switch to neighbor and rival Everton in 1992 in a 750,000-pound transfer.

At Everton, he became the only player to win the FA Cup with both Merseyside clubs when the Toffees beat Manchester United in the 1995 final.

After four years at Everton, Ablett also played for Sheffield United, Birmingham and New York club Long Island Rough Riders in the closing years of his playing career.

As a coach, Ablett also worked with the youth teams at both Everton and Liverpool, which he left in 2009 to manage Stockport for a season.

Ablett took up a coaching role with Ipswich in July 2010 but was diagnosed with cancer after falling ill while at the club's training ground.

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