Warm and affectionate tributes have been paid after Everton Football Club’s greatest ever manager and former captain, Howard Kendall, died aged 69 on Saturday.
A minute’s silence was replaced by appreciative applause before Everton’s 3-0 loss to Manchester United at Goodison Park later the same day, as the players wore black armbands.
Kendall, who is best known for his glory days as manager at the club in the 1980s, first made his name as a player in midfield alongside Alan Ball and Colin Harvey during the 60s and 70s. The trio became known as the ‘Holy Trinity’ by the Goodison faithful. During his playing time with the Toffees, he won one league title, one Charity Shield and appeared in an FA Cup final.
In 1981, eight years after leaving Everton, he returned as player-manager. He made just four appearances before hanging up his boots to concentrate on management, Kendall put together one of the best Everton teams there has ever been.
He bought young players from smaller clubs, such as Peter Reid and Neville Southall, and won two league titles, an FA Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in the first of no fewer than three separate spells as manager. He was also crowned manager of the year twice in his first spell as boss.
Since the announcement of his passing on Saturday morning, there has been an outpouring of emotion from former football players, clubs and fans alike.
Everton released a statement on their official website expressing their sadness at the news, saying: “The thoughts of everyone associated with the club are with Howard’s family at this difficult time and it would be appreciated if everyone could respect their request for privacy.”
In addition, they released a video which showed some of his best moments, both as a player for Everton and their manager.
Neville Southall, one of the young players who was given a chance by Howard Kendall, tweeted: “A great manager, an even greater man. Whatever I did was solely down to him. Gentleman, friend, mentor. Will miss him. Gutted.”
Kendall was known around the city with warmth by both Blues and Reds fans. He was said to have time for anyone who wanted to talk about football, and especially Everton.
A petition has now been set up to rename the Park End at Goodison after the legendary manager, with 2,700 people, including Labour MP Andy Burnham, have signed it so far.
Kendall leaves behind a wife, Lil, and three children, Hailey, Lisa and Simon.