- Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has died at the age of 78, the club has announced
- Kenwright has been Everton’s chairman since 2004 till the time of his demise
- Several players and former players have expressed their condolences to Kenwright’s family including Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young
The football world was shaken by the news of the passing of Everton chairman, Bill Kenwright, at the age of 78, after his valiant battle with cancer. Having joined the board at Goodison Park in 1989 and assuming the role of chairman in 2004, succeeding Sir Phillip Carter, Kenwright had become an integral figure within the Everton community. The club released an official statement expressing their deep sorrow and highlighting Kenwright’s immense contributions to Everton over the years. The chairman passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones.
Earlier this year, Kenwright underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his liver, with initial reports suggesting a successful operation. Unfortunately, complications arose, leading to an extended period of intensive care before Kenwright continued his recovery at home.
Hailing from Liverpool, Kenwright initially made a name for himself as a successful theatre and film producer before his involvement with Everton. In 1999, he acquired a majority 68 percent stake in the club before serving as deputy chairman, eventually ascending to the role of chairman, a position he held until his passing.
In June, Everton owner Farhad Moshiri requested Kenwright to remain as chairman to guide the club through a period of transition, despite facing criticism from a segment of the fan base regarding the club’s management. Notably, the club had announced a deal for its sale to American investment firm 777 Partners the previous month.
Kenwright’s passing prompted an outpouring of tributes from current and former players. Wayne Rooney, who began his illustrious career at Everton, expressed his devastation and acknowledged Kenwright’s profound influence on his life and career saying on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Devastated to hear the sad news about Bill Kenwright.
“Known Bill since I was young and he’s had a huge impact on me as a person and my career. Great man and a big inspiration. Thoughts are with all Bill’s family and friends.”
Tony Cottee, an FA Cup runner-up with Everton in 1989, wrote on X: “So sad to hear of the passing of Bill Kenwright. Everton have lost a great Evertonian and I have lost a friend… RIP Bill”.
Tony Cottee and Ashley Young also paid their respects, emphasizing Kenwright’s role as a supportive friend and mentor. Even Jamie Carragher, a lifelong Everton fan with strong ties to Liverpool, fondly recalled Kenwright’s unwavering support for the Hillsborough memorial.
The football community at large, including rivals Liverpool and the Premier League, offered their condolences and recognized Kenwright’s significant contributions to the sport. They extended their sympathies to Kenwright’s family, friends, and the wider Everton family during this challenging time.