Aston Villa boss Houllier thanks fans after heart scare

Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier.
Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier.
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ASTON Villa manager Gerard Houllier has thanked fans of the club as well as people throughout the footballing world for their messages of support during his time in hospital.

The 63-year-old should be discharged from hospital in the next few days following his admission last Wednesday due to chest pains.

It was confirmed that the cause of Houllier's pain was a dissection of the descending aorta, which occurs when a tear in the inner wall of the aorta causes blood to flow between the layers of the wall of the aorta and force the layers apart.

Whilst in hospital the former Liverpool manager received a plethora of messages wishing him well and he was quick to stress his gratitude.

"I am extremely touched by all the messages I have received and by the reaction of people throughout the world of football. It has been overwhelming actually," he said in an official club statement.

"I'm especially grateful to the Villa fans for their genuine concern and encouragement and to the fans of clubs up and down the country. There has been a groundswell of goodwill and I appreciate this so much."

Villa drew 1-1 at home to Stoke in Houllier's absence at the weekend to continue a good run of form which has seen them climb away from the relegation battle and the Frenchman has praised his players and backroom staff alike for not being distracted by off-field events.

"I'm grateful to my players for their texts and messages and, of course, for their efforts in extending our recent unbeaten run on Saturday against Stoke and also to Gary McAllister and the rest of my staff for stepping in and taking the reins at this time," he said.

"My condition is improving and extremely encouraging. Dr. Mark Waller, the club's doctor, is better placed to explain things from a medical viewpoint, so suffice to say again that I am very moved by the fact that so many people have me in their thoughts just now."