Chelsea's cardiologist tells Gerard Houllier to quit

Gerard Houllier has been advised to walk away from football by a leading sports cardiologist.

The Aston Villa manager remains in hospital after complaining of chest pains last week, and although he is nearing the point where he can return home, there remain serious doubts about whether he will return to work with assistant Gary McAllister taking control of team affairs until the end of the season.

Houllier, 63, has suffered from heart problems before, needing five months out of the game while in charge of Liverpool in 2001.

Dr Duncan Dymond, who has been consulted by Chelsea in the past, this morning told TalkSport that Houllier would be best advised to retire.

"My own assessment, without knowing Gerard Houllier or having seen him, quite frankly he's had one brush with the grim reaper already and now's he had one serious warning, and to put himself through this again with the stresses and strains of being a football manager, I think he should call it a day," Dymond said.

Houllier suffered from a dissection of the descending aorta, a condition where layers of the of the main vessel out of the heart can come apart, allowing blood to force its way out.

Dymond warned that the condition was "very dangerous" and added: "When you've had a defection once, you're more likely to get it again."

"One of the major risks of this is blood pressure," he said. "You only have to look at the pressure managers are under on the touchline.

"Their faces go red, the veins stand up in their necks, they get a bad decision and their blood pressure goes up. A lot of managers went through an assessment and their blood pressures go up to the sky."

Villa may well already be planning for life without Houllier, who has struggled to turn things around since taking over in September with the club still reeling from Martin O'Neill's exit on the eve of the season's start.

Reports this morning linked them with a move for former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, out of work since leaving Inter Milan.

Houllier released a statement last night to thank fans for their messages of support, but made no mention of whether he might return to Villa in the future.

Dymond hopes he is advised not to, adding: "If you've seen pictures of Sam Allardyce and Roy Hodgson, classic pictures of them you can find, when they're really getting wound up, their blood pressures can go up into the sky for the time they're under stress.

"It may come down again but we know those acutely stressful times, a car accident, losing your job, bereavement, financial stress, all those things can elevate blood pressure and precipitate a heart attack out of the blue, and so that's why in Gerard Houllier's case I think he'd be well advised not to do this any more."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits