May 16, 2024

Bill Kenwright, the chairman of Everton FC, died at the age of 78.

The club revealed the death of its long-term chairman, who passed away on Monday evening, in a statement on its website.

“The club has lost a chairman, a leader, a friend, and an inspiration,” according to the statement. “The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Everton are with his partner Jenny Seagrove, his daughter Lucy Kenwright, grandchildren and everybody who knew and loved him.”

 

 

Kenwright first joined the board at Everton in 1989 and became deputy chairman a decade later after buying a majority share in the club.

He had been chairman of Everton for almost 20 years.

Kenwright was diagnosed with liver cancer in early August and left hospital around a fortnight ago after undergoing emergency surgery to remove a cancerous tumour.

Earlier this year, Kenwright had agreed to remain on the board at Everton at the request of owner Moshiri to help the club through a transitionary period.

Moshiri, who first invested in Everton in 2016, agreed the sale of Everton to 777 Partners last month. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval.

He wrote his own tribute to his “great friend”, describing Kenwright as “a special soul, a man successful in so many different walks of life”.

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“There can be no mistaking that Bill loved Everton football club,” Moshiri wrote. “He spoke with an infectious enthusiasm about every aspect of Everton, from the legends of yesteryear to his unconditional support for everyone that wears the blue shirt and represents the club…

“Bill loved Goodison Park, a stadium that held so many special memories but he also shared in an incredible vision for our new stadium and when the club moves in I don’t think anyone would have been prouder.

“The new Everton Stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock will provide an iconic new home for the club on the banks of the Royal Blue Mersey and will stand as a lasting legacy to his memory.”

Former Everton striker Duncan Ferguson, who made more than 250 appearances for the club across 10 years in three spells, paid tribute to Kenwright, having also served as his caretaker manager at Goodison Park on two separate occasions.

He wrote: “I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Everton chairman and true Blue, Bill Kenwright. He loved the club with a passion and he loved the players who wore the famous Royal Blue shirt, every one of them.

“None more so than The Cannonball Kid, Dave Hickson, his childhood and forever hero. He was my chairman for many years and a confidant. You were loved, Bill, and you will be missed. Rest In Peace. God bless, Dunk.”

Former Everton forward Wayne Rooney, who broke through at Goodison Park as a 16-year-old, also paid tribute to Kenwright.

He said: “I’m devastated to hear about the passing of Mr Everton, Bill Kenwright. I can’t thank you enough Chairman for giving me the opportunity to play for our club and the support throughout my career on and off the park.

“I’ll miss our calls and stories about Everton. RIP chairman.”

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