24/10/2023 329comments  |  Jump to last

Long-time Board member and Chairman of Everton, Bill Kenwright CBE has died, the club and his theatre company have announced.

The Liverpool-born theatre impresario had battled ill-health for some time and was recently admitted to intensive care due to complications following surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from his liver.

He returned home to begin his recovery two weeks ago but it has now been revealed that he passed away last night at the age of 78 surrounded by his loved ones. “The club has lost a chairman, a leader, a friend, and an inspiration," a statement from Everton read.

The club's majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, sent his own message via evertonfc.com in which he expressed his sadness at the passing of his "great friend".

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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.

"He admired the hard work, dedication and effort of every member of staff across the club and Everton in the Community but most of all he recognised and empathised with the passion, loyalty and support all the Everton teams have had from Evertonians be that at home, away or abroad.

He was a special soul, a man successful in so many different walks of life. We will miss him but never forget him."

A life-long Everton fan and one-time small-part actor on Coronation Street, Kenwright built his career as a nationally renowned producer of plays. He was first elected to the Everton Board of Directors on 23 October 1989, and led a successful takeover over the Toffees in 1999, five years after his first consortium was edged out by the superior financial muscle of his predecessor at the Goodison helm, Peter Johnson.

Bill initially decided to take the title Vice-President and installed former supremo, Sir Philip Carter, as Chairman but eventually took the helm himself in 2004 when Carter became Life President until his passing in 2015.

Though the first decade of Kenwright's tenure as Chairman would see much-needed stability on the pitch under his appointment of David Moyes as manager in 2002, the club's financial footing was gradually eroded as the Board battled to keep the team competitive on the increasingly un-level playing field of the Premier League.

Kenwright had always maintained that he was the ordinary fan from the Boys Pen who had "done good" and realised the dream of owning his beloved Blues but that he was merely the custodian waiting for someone with deeper pockets and much bigger resources to eventually step in and buy him out.

His self-styled "24/7 search" for a billionaire to match the likes of Sheikh Mansour at Manchester City and Roman Abramovich in an increasingly unbalanced English Premier League finally ended in late February 2016 when it was announced that Moshiri, the British-Iranian businessman, was to acquire a 49.9% stake in Everton, a precursor to a full takeover at a later date.

Moshiri eventually increased his holdings in Everton to 94.1% of the outstanding shares while Kenwright's position was reduced to less than 2%.

In recent years, as the club has struggled on and off the pitch with a worsening financial outlook and two close calls with relegation, there had been loud calls from sections of the fanbase for Kenwright to either step down or for Moshiri to replace him as Chairman to bring new blood, ideas and expertise into the Boardroom and to the top of the club.

Initially on security grounds, he and the rest of the Board remained absent from the Directors Box at Goodison Park for the second half of last season, with the expectation among many being that the owner might initiate a clean sweep of the hierarchy over the summer.

However, Kenwright was retained in his role as chairman following the departures of CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale and Finance Director Grant Ingles to help facilitate a takeover of Everton by American investment firm, 777 Partners. That deal, expected to be finalised by the end of the year, must now proceed with the help of either an interim chairman or new hire.

His passing means that he will never get to see the club move into its new home on the banks of the Mersey, a dream he first tried to realise with the King's Dock proposal but was able to eventually set in motion with Moshiri's help at Bramley-Moore Dock, where the new stadium is a year or so away from completion.

Bill is survived by his partner of 29 years, Jenny Seagrove, and his daughter, Lucy, and his grandchildren.


Reader Comments (329)

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Michael Lynch
1 Posted 24/10/2023 at 13:50:34
RIP Bill. He was a huge part of Everton, and Everton was a huge part of him.
Brian Williams
3 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:03:38
I know how it feels. My mum died on Sunday morning, so I'll just say condolences to his family and friends.
Mike Hayes
4 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:05:49
Condolences, Brian, my mum passed recently at 90. 💙
Kieran Kinsella
5 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:06:08

Sorry for your loss, mate.

Ian Jones
6 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:07:09
Very sad news. And a statement on the club site.
Danny Baily
7 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:08:37
Very sad news.
Colin Glassar
8 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:08:53
May god rest his soul.
Peter Brogan
9 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:09:46
RIP Bill. He truly did love Everton. Sad day for all Evertonians.
Mick O'Malley
11 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:10:53
Brian sorry to hear that, condolences to you and the family.

Shocked to hear about Bill Kenwright, I didn't realise he was that ill, RIP 🙏

Kevin O'Regan
12 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:11:20
Rest in peace Bill.

Sincere condolences to Brian and Mike and anyone who has lost a loved one.

Geoff Lambert
13 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:11:52
RIP Bill.
Craig Walker
14 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:12:40
Rest in Peace, Bill.
Chris Jones (Burton on Trent)
15 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:13:13
RIP, and condolences to his family and friends.
Joe Hurst
16 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:14:12
Sad, sad news.

So much stick had been levelled in his direction, by many – and many on here, as we all know, but it remains to be such a sad piece of news.o

Oh, how it would be a wonderful thing: for our club to win something and dedicate it to him..

Phil Lewis
17 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:14:36
My sincere condolences to any person currently suffering the loss of a loved one to this hideous illness.
Graeme Hodgkinson
18 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:14:39
RIP Bill.
Your impact will forever be under-stated.
Garry Martin
19 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:14:53
RIP Bill, we had our differences lately but, RIP blueboy.
Alan Johnson
20 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:15:36
RIP Chairman Bill.
Ajay Gopal
21 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:17:13
Sad news to hear of his passing. I never doubted that he was a true Evertonian, just that it always seemed like he was fighting an uphill battle with the uneven playing field of the Premier League.

I wish he had seen his beloved Blues win something under his stewardship but it wasn't to be. RIP, Bill.

Dave Lynch
22 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:18:05
On a humanitarian level, may god rest his soul, never nice to hear of the death of someone.
Dave Older
23 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:18:12
A very sad day for all Toffees. RIP Bill, so sad that in the end some fans made him so unwelcome at Goodison that he could not even watch the club he loved. They should be ashamed of themselves. We will miss you Mr Kenwright.
Bill Fairfield
24 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:18:23
Deepest sympathies to all Bill's family and friends. RIP to a passionate blue. NSNO.
John Kavanagh
25 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:18:38
Commiserations to his partner and daughter on their loss.
David Cooling
26 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:19:33
Rest in peace, Bill, he loved the club, no one can deny that.

Condolences to his family.

Andrew Grey
27 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:20:21
RIP, Bill.
Peter Mills
28 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:21:06
Sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to Brian #3.
Jonny Flynn
30 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:21:40
Bill always had Everton's best interests at heart. He loved Everton like the rest of us. We've lost one of our own.

RIP Bill, hopefully we win something soon in your memory.

Christine Foster
31 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:22:58
A chapter in the book of Everton FC has closed. It did not make enjoyable reading but, despite all our frustrations, we will never know the full story of the man, his love of the club and his motivations.

It was ever such that his departure from the club would only ever be as a result of his passing. Perhaps now we can all move on and focus on the club rather than the man.

One cannot doubt his love for the club, he got the opportunity to live his dream of owning it. An Evertonian undoubtedly his impact and influence will linger for some time to come. My condolences to those who loved him, to his family especially. No more curtain calls.

Tommy Coleman
32 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:23:00
RIP Bill. Thanks for the hospitality on that Monday night game vs Arsenal. I'll never forget it.
Kunal Desai
33 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:23:57
Sincere condolensces to his nearest and dearest.
Howard Don
34 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:24:37
No doubting his passion for Everton, pulled us out of the mire post Johnson, absolute master stroke appointing Moyes a manager who initially kept us up and then made us compete for Top 6 at a time when the club was pretty well skint. Went sour for him latterly, which I found sad, he deserved better.

RIP Mr Kenwright

Lloyd Brodrick
35 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:24:41
My condolences to his family and friends. RIP Bill.
Alan Corken
36 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:25:14
We all know that families can fight amongst themselves and that these can seem to be the bitterest fights.

When however someone from that family dies, they will close ranks because, when all is said and done... he was one of our own! RIP Blue Bill!

Neil Copeland
37 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:26:37
RIP Bill, sincere condolences to your family.

Brian #3 and Mike #4, sincere condolences to you also.

Dave Williams
38 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:27:46
Great comments here showing that ToffeeWebbers know when to put feelings to one side and show respect and decency.

I knew him personally for 20 years, and enjoyed his company and hospitality in the Directors Box. He was a true blue as were his parents and brother and he will have shared our pain of the last couple of years.

He made a huge impact on our club and deserves to be remembered as a man who did his best for us as a true blue.
RIP Bill.

Dave Cashen
39 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:28:12
We all know how devastating a death in the family can be.
Condolences to his family and loved ones.

May God rest his soul.

Rob Rothwell
40 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:29:01
Here, here, Joe #16.

I haven't frequented ToffeeWeb as much over the past year due to the abuse directed at Bill from many on here.

He gave his all for the club, saved us when we needed saving, and was a true blue. He also brought in £500M worth of investment when we needed it. Can't directly blame him for poor signings. And was clearly lied to by Moshiri about funds and funding.

Newer blues take note, the last few years shouldn't define his legacy.

RIP Bill.

Mal van Schaick
41 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:29:14
Nobody can deny that Bill was a true blue and served Everton with passion and to the best of his ability. A sad day RIP and condolences to his family.
Dale Self
42 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:29:35
Take this either way and it could be best appreciated both ways: it was the performance of a lifetime.

Rest in Peace, Bill. Thank you and your family for everything you did right and we'll just forget about anything else.

Paul Hughes
43 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:30:28
Condolences to his family and friends. RIP.
Steve Brown
44 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:31:13
RIP Bill and condolences to his family.

You certainly had a massive impact on the club.

Rick Pattinson
45 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:31:38
A true Blue 100%. RIP Bill... condolences to the family.
Mick Davies
46 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:32:21
What a difference a death makes.
Kevin Molloy
47 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:33:52
The end of an era, what a shock. RIP.
Lee Jamieson
48 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:35:00
RIP Bill, a true blue and was a nice fella to talk to when me and my kids met him. Probably the last true Evertonian that will own the club. Pity he didn't get to see us get to Bramley-Moore Dock.
Joe McMahon
49 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:36:10
RIP Bill. Condolences to your family and friends.
Christy Ring
50 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:36:21
My deepest sympathy to his partner and family. RIP.
Billy Bradshaw
51 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:36:29
RIP Bill.
Paul Sleight
52 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:40:23
God bless you, Bill. I remember your kindness.
Chris Jones
53 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:40:28
I wish to express my sincere condolences to Bill's family at this distressing time.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum, God Bless

RIP Bill Kenwright, an Evertonian and a custodian of our great club.

Tony Abrahams
54 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:40:48
There can be nothing worse than death and the realization that it is final, and a person’s life is over for eternity, so I’m very sorry to hear about your mother, Brian, just like I’m sorry for the people who loved Bill Kenwright.
Rob Halligan
55 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:42:28
A sad, sad day for the club. RIP Bill…

Once a Blue, Always a Blue.

Ed Prytherch
56 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:44:56
Was he not the sole board member and does Moshiri have to appoint a new chairman?
Jonathan Oppenheimer
57 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:45:01
As a newer Blue, I’ll remember Bill for loving our club, doing his best to bring in ownership that would keep us competitive, and leading us to the new stadium. The rest of it can be debated in the years to come.
Ian Linn
58 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:46:07
RIP Bill.
Chris Bond
59 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:46:26
Rip Bill. One of us and no doubt a true blue.
Paul Smith
60 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:47:27
RIP Mr Chairman; I didn't agree with everything but there is no doubt you were one of us.

Thoughts and prayers with his close friends and family at this sad time. 💙

Tony Everan
61 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:47:43
Very sad news. Rest in peace Bill Kenwright. Condolences to his friends and family.
David Israel
62 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:51:48
RIP, Chairman Bill. We all know you did your best, even if that was not always good enough.
Danny O’Neill
63 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:52:23
Well, regardless of what we think of his stewardship and influence on Everton, we have to put into perspective that an ill man has died.

He has overseen the decline of our great club and should have gone years ago. He hung on too long and caused friction and fractures with the supporters.

But tonight is not about that. A family has lost a relative. A woman her partner. I can't wish ill health on any human being.

Let's keep that in mind over our thoughts. I hope he is in peace and he rests in peace.

Meanwhile, we've got West Ham at the weekend, which I will be attending.

Sam Hoare
64 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:53:39
RIP Bill. Best wishes and condolences to his family and loved ones.
Jay Harris
65 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:53:44
RIp, Bill and condolences to the family.

On this occasion, I think we can all put our differences with the man to one side and express our sadness at his passing.

James Carroll
66 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:53:59
Putting aside what people think of him as Chairman, I'll always remember his undoubted loyalty and passion – and was undoubtedly a huge fan.

He often took a regular train, alongside fans, from London up to games – not even in first class. On one trip, late 90s I think it must've been, the train got stranded and massively delayed for no apparent reason, I think at Crewe. It likely would not have got to Liverpool in time.

Bill was on his phone trying to find alternatives – and must have found a driver or a taxi or something to complete the journey. He got up from his seat and announced that he'd just managed to find a driver, and that 4 of us could join him if they wanted a lift to the ground. That's who he was.

Andrea Jacobs
67 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:54:21
‘Kenwright became Everton Chairman in 2004 but his time in charge was not a success, with the club enduring the longest trophy drought in its history and several stadium projects collapsing on his watch.'

Fair assessment from Andy Hunter in The Guardian.

Paul Ferry
68 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:54:41
Brian, Mike, my sincerest condolences and best wishes; sincerest condolences, also, to Bill Kenwright's family and friends, a very sad day, RIP. I had hoped that he would have had some peaceful years after stepping down as chairman.
Kevin Naylor
69 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:54:55
I think we can all say that he wouldn't have wanted it to end like this.

RIP Bill and try to extol some divine intervention that makes this club great agian.

Jason Broome
70 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:55:23
Very sad to hear this.

I met him in 2019 in Kensington Gardens. He was on the phone with Marcel Brands. When he found out that I was an Evertonian, he gave me a hug and seemed so proud that we were both blue. He then gave me his phone so that I could speak with Marcel. He had a heart of gold.

I hope he rests peacefully.

Julian Exshaw
71 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:56:45
Whatever he did or didn't do as Chairman, this news saddens me.

God rest him.

John Graham
72 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:57:47
Very sad news. A true blue fanatic.

For all his failings and his right or wrong decisions, his heart was always in the right place and he always tried to do the best for the blues.

Shame he never got to attend the first game in the new ground but I bet he will be there in spirit.

Hopefully he will get a great round of applause and send-off at our next home game to show our appreciation of a huge Everton fan. A True Blue.


Daniel A Johnson
73 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:59:29
Regardless of my own personal opinions of the man, RIP, William Kenwright and condolences to his family.

It is also sad he never got to see the new Everton stadium finished and full of Blues.

Derek Wadeson
74 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:59:54
I'm back on ToffeeWeb today to pay my tribute to a true Evertonian.

My daughter passed away last month. Bill, give her a cuddle for me. Goodnight Mr Chairman.

Nathan Ford
76 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:00:59
Rest in peace Bill 💔
Paul Ferry
77 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:01:05
I'm so sorry Derek. I feel for you and wish you all the best.
Ray Roche
78 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:03:05
Regardless of what one thinks of Kenwright, and he has his critics on ToffeeWeb, he showed with the generous donation and help to the family of Bradley Lowery, to his exceptional attitude towards LFC after Hillsborough, and also his lifelong passion for Everton that we should remember that he had a heart and will be missed by, not only his family, but by many fans of Everton and other football clubs. RIP Bill.
Jon Hirshman
79 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:03:07
RIP Bill Kenwright, condolences to Jenny and family.
Eddie Dunn
81 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:04:18
Sad news to hear when one of our own goes regardless of our views on the rights and wrongs of football issues.

Lost my brother last week far too early.

Condolences to the Kenwright family.

Ian Burns
82 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:04:19
Sad day - no matter what, nobody can deny his love for EFC, never to see BMD is cruel - RIP Bill.
Hans Fyhrqvist
83 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:05:46
Very sad to hear the passing of Bill Kenwright.

As we all know, he loved Everton Football Club, and of course always acted with the best interests of our club at his heart. Sometimes succeeding, and sometimes not, as is the case with us all in life generally.

RIP Bill.

Paul Ferry
84 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:05:50
Joe Anderson is certainly not respecting Bill's memory with his idiotic vitriolic twittering against the fans who, he says, caused BK more damage than his cancers.
Tom Edwards
85 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:07:17
No matter what your opinion was of his handling of things with the club, it can never be doubted that he was a massive Blue. We have lost one of our own today. A sad time.

I lost both my parents over 30 years ago and it still hurts. My dad was a Blue and a long-time season ticket holder.

If there is an afterlife, he will be waiting at the bar to get a pint for another fellow chosen one.

RIP Bill. My condolences to your family.

Oliver Molloy
86 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:08:04
I echo the thoughts and words of many Evertonains, and condolences and sincere sympathy to his family and friends - he was without doubt a true blue.

RIP Bill Kenwright.

Len Hawkins
87 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:10:29
Brian and Mike you have my deepest sympathy at Losing the one woman who never stopped loving you – your Mothers.

My condolences to Mr Kenwright's family at the news of their sad loss.

Also sympathy to Eddy and Derek on your sad losses.

Brent Stephens
88 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:10:33
RIP. Condolences to the family and friends.
Phil Wood
89 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:10:36
RIP Bill. A true Blue.
Brent Stephens
90 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:11:42
Eddie, just seen your post. My thoughts are with you.
Brent Stephens
91 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:13:13
And Derek #74, having hust scrolled back further, I saw your post. My thoughts are with you as well.
Christopher Timmins
92 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:13:38
RIP Bill Kenwright. Condolences to who his extended family and friends.
Dave Williams
93 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:17:16
Is this the same Joe Anderson who was arrested not long ago on suspicion of some serious stuff?
If so why would anyone be interested in his views. Well said Paul and Phil.
Mike Gaynes
94 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:20:01
My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Kenwright. He was loved. I particularly want to share my condolences with Bill's longtime friend Brian Viner.

Brian Williams, my dear friend, my deepest sympathies to you and yours as well. I'm so sorry. A big hug for you.

Mike Hayes, warmest thoughts for you and your family. 90 is a magnificent life, but it does not ease the sense of loss.

Eddie, condolences to you as well. The loss of a brother is particularly painful. I hope your memories of him can ease that pain a bit.

Derek, the loss of a child is the most unimaginable loss of all. I'm so terribly sorry. Wishing you and your family all the comfort possible.

Ben King
95 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:20:40

I actually think his heart was in the right place and that's worth something.

If he was that ill, then I can understand why he was left as Chairman. No point kicking a man when he's down.

We've lost another blue and, like us, he would have been delighted to see us win a trophy.

RIP Blue Bill.

Mike Gaynes
96 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:22:26
Ray #78, well said, sir.
Ian Edwards
97 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:24:18
A Blue who cared deeply for the club has died and we should mourn that. So sorry to all on here who have posted about lost loved ones.
Mike Hayes
98 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:24:54
Thanks to all those who acknowledged the passing of my mum – and my condolences to those who have posted their losses recently. 💙
Mike Hughes
99 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:30:22
RIP - Bill Kenwright.
A sad day.
Deep condolences to his family and friends.
Ian Riley
100 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:31:05
RIP Mr Kenwright. My thoughts are with all your family and friends. Thank you for your loyal service and love for Everton FC.
Brian Williams
101 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:34:55
I second what Mike @98 says. Today is a day to park all issues and show respect to the passing of all those mentioned.
Thanks again for the good wishes.

Mike, thanks brother!

Julian Wait
102 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:35:35
RIP Bill.

Personally I loved the Moyes years for so many reasons, despite the lack of silverware, and Bill was a big part of that.

Forever A Blue. Thank you.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
103 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:36:02
They always say "Never speak ill of the dead". Seriously tested some on here today.

Evertonian through and through. Sad day, and sadder still that some "banned" him from his beloved Everton and Goodison Park for the last 9 months of his life.

Sorry, Jenny. I know he loved the club.

Paul Ferry
104 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:38:42
Nobody 'banned' Bill from Goodison Park, Phil. Why say that and ruffle feathers on such a sad day as this?
James Lawton
106 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:39:27
Very sad. Feel for his family and friends. RIP Bill.
John Wignall
107 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:39:42
RIP, Bill, deepest sympathy to all his family.

Now is not the time to name-call. Let his family bury him. God bless.

Paul Avery
108 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:42:45
A proper proper blue.
RIP Blue Bill 💜 NSNO
Gerry Quinn
109 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:43:58
Ray, 78, one of the nicest and saddest comments so far - well said, RIP Bill, and thanks for being a blue like us...
Robert Williams
111 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:49:26
And now, the end is here
And so I face that final curtain
My friend, I'll make it clear
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain

I've lived a life that's full
I traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way…

Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
I saw it through without exemption

I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way…

Yes, there were times I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way…

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
Not to say the things that he truly feels
And not the words of someone who kneels

Let the record show I took all the blows
And did it my way

Seems to sum the man up in my mind.

Andy Crooks
112 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:50:02
Brian W, sincere condolences to you and to the friends and family of Bill Kenwright.
Dave Lynch
113 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:50:28
I've been thinking about this for the last couple of hours... it really is a sad end to his life as the custodian of our club.

I think I speak for a lot of people when I say I wish he could have taken the club forward, walked out at Bramley-Moore Dock to rapturous applause and basically got the adulation and success he craved for both himself and I believe the fans.
Sadly not to be...

RIP Blueboy.

James Lawton
114 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:51:49
Ray Roche @78. Well said.
Jason Li
115 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:52:01
RIP Bill, a lot of people in the news have said revealing colourful decent personal messages today. Being involved in the new stadium is a great legacy.

Condolences to other blues losing greatly loved and dearest.

Richard Parker
116 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:54:07
A sad day when we lose an Evertonian. Virtually only classy comments on here which is a great thing to see.

Thoughts with his loved ones.

Barry Rathbone
117 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:55:29
Always sad to hear of the passing of one of ours and that's what he was regardless of protests to the contrary.

He made mistakes, who doesn't? But his biggest problem was being a millionaire in a multi-billionaire game.

I don't doubt for a minute he made decisions based on what he thought best for the club and, whether right or wrong, it hardly matters given the real catalyst of success is hard cash – he just didn't have enough.

He did his best for the club – something you can't say about all owners including the latest "sell to anyone" duo of Moshiri and Usmanov.

Bill Kenwright was a character, a blue and a self-made man and his passing will show if the vitriol and blame aimed his way was justified.

Well in, Bill, enjoy chatting to the legends in heaven.

Tony Cleary
118 Posted 24/10/2023 at 18:56:53
So sad to read of Bill's passing. Whatever the disappointments since 2004, which he shared with us, he was a devoted True Blue, and a kind and generous gentleman.

It is so sad also that he will not take his seat in the new stadium, but let's hope we can win one of the cups this season to dedicate to his memory.

Roger Bingham
119 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:11:18
Wanting Bill to step down from his club duties seemed to be a popular thing. Being blamed generally for all Everton's ills, he was an Evertonian and whether I or others could under the same circumstances have performed better will forever be a point of disagreement.

RIP peace Sir, and thank you for your service.

Colin Quayle
120 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:13:06
God Bless you Bill. When I read this news it took my breath away. Such sadness. I'm sure you will be watching from the heavens. RIP
Geoff Harrison
121 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:14:19
Devastated by this news. Not for his achievements necessarily, but for his heart and soul. Condolences to his friends and family x
Dan Parker
122 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:16:10
Sad news. Such an integral part of the club for decades. Condolences to his family and friends. Advocated for the club at all levels.
Neil Carter
123 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:16:28
RIP Bill – we've lost a man with Everton always in his heart.
Lyndon Lloyd
124 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:17:11
My personal condolences to all those who knew and loved Bill but also to Brian and Derek at this sad time.

There will be plenty of opportunity to discuss his legacy at a later time but, as others have said, it shouldn’t be forgotten that he BK was a compassionate and generous man.

The affection that my own dear friend David France has for Bill and the degree to which he treasured his friendship with him speaks volumes.

May he rest in peace and if any of the footballing gods are kicking around in the after life, maybe he could have a word with them about the vendetta they seem to hold against our club!

Bill Gall
125 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:20:40
RIP to Mr Bill Kenwright and my sincere condolences to his family and friends who knowingly after loosing my wife after 62 years a few weeks back, the sadness and loss will remain for a long time.

His reputation may have diminished by supporters over the last number of years, but I believe he was still a supporter of our great club until the end.

Paul Ferry
126 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:23:45
Oh Bill, I'm so sorry to hear that awful news. 62 years! I can only imagine how you feel now but I hope you get some solace from your nearest and dearest and in your memories of an amazing marriage.
Brendan McLaughlin
127 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:24:38
Sad news.

Nice to see that despite the fact many ToffeeWebbers were unimpressed with his tenure the posts on this thread are overwhelmingly empathetic.

RIP Bill.

Soren Moyer
128 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:26:17
Horrible, unexpected news! Had no idea he was that ill TBH!

Rest In Peace, Mr Kenwright.

Christine Foster
129 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:28:39
Goodness Bill, so, so sorry to hear about your wife of 62 years, the loss must be indescribable for you, but what wonderful memories you must have! smile a little when you remember them. God bless..
David West
130 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:33:32
Sad news.

I always thought he tried his best for the club. That is all you can do, even if some don't agree with you, you have to have a belief you are doing the right thing.

I don't for a second believe he ever took a decision that he thought was detrimental to the club he loved.

I don't think he did the job for money or for profits. He did it to make a genuine difference to the club. How many current owners could say that?

Some decisions may not have turned out the way he planned or wanted but he was prepared to put himself and his reputation on the line for this club.


Julie Naybour
131 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:35:05
So so sad and depressing that so many levelled so much vitriol to one of our own, that his final months were spent not only fighting illness, but made to feel so hated, so unwelcome, by so many from those he loved so much.

End of Everton as a family club. End of a chapter in our history and I fear for what's to replace it. But lots on here now have their wish.

RIP Bill, A True Blue.

Hope you know the vocal few did not represent everyone.

Steve Dowdeswell
132 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:37:55
RIP Bill. You were chosen by the greatest club in the land.

Condolences to his family and all those who have lost someone close recently.

Danny O’Neill
133 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:40:20
As it was mentioned above, I pulled up this one:

Sunderland fan Bradley Lowery 'loved' being Everton mascot vs Man City

Let's be respectful.

Jon Bentley
135 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:41:38
We've all been frustrated with how our beloved Blues have been managed at board level over the years but I don't think anyone could doubt how much Blue Bill loved the Blues.

And there is, I guess, his greatest failing. I genuinely think he loved them too much and couldn't make cold dispassionate decisions.

RIP, Bill. (One less Blue in the world, is one too many.) And condolences to all the other Blues having lost recently in the messages above. X

Lee Courtliff
136 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:42:52
RIP Bill, and condolences to his family and friends.

If only he'd stepped down back in 2016 then he would have been far more fondly remembered.

Paul Ferry
137 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:44:19
"So so sad and depressing" Julie that anyone on this of all days could find it within them to post that, what can I call it, stuff.

There will be a time and place for a discussion of these things at the appropriate time, and I dearly hope that it is not framed in your language and sentiments.

Anthony A Hughes
138 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:46:16
RIP Bill, look down on the Blues and keep up the spiritual support. Once a Blue
Steve Shave
139 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:48:53
Shocked and saddened by this, RIP Bill.

Relieved to see some decorum on here and people showing some respect for his love of Everton FC. x

David Edwards
142 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:57:59
Very sad news. RIP, Blue Bill.

No one can deny you always had the best interests of the team, even if of late it's been a difficult time for all of us, even you, in recent years. I'm sad you won't be able to see your dream of a new stadium come into fruition.

I have so many great memories of you making some superb gestures over the years, with Bradley and Hillsborough most notable, showing what a genuinely decent blue you were…

And most of those Moyes years were special, despite, sadly, the lack of silverware. It is a shame that a millionaire in a billionaire's playground can't do it all – but I honestly think you tried your best and your blue heart was always in the right place.

God bless and thinking of Jenny and the family at present… and can I add my condolences to so many of the posters who have lost some special people themselves in recent weeks, as I have done in recent years. A time for quiet reflection…..

Neil Copeland
143 Posted 24/10/2023 at 19:58:46
Paul #137, well said.

Today is a very sad one for Bill's family and Everton FC. Let's show respect as proper Evertonians do.

Christy Ring
146 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:02:34
Everyone on ToffeeWeb including myself have passed on our condolences to family and friends of Bill Kenwright may he rest in peace 💙
Dave Evans
147 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:02:55
Shocking news. My deepest sympathy to Bill's family on their sad loss.

Have a good rest, Bill. Once a Blue, always a Blue.

Ernie Baywood
149 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:06:25
You don't have to rate someone's life work to consider their passing to be saddening. And lifelong blues and their families get a special place in my thoughts.

RIP Bill.

Mark Frere
151 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:11:17
RIP Bill, condolences to all your family and friends.
Jerome Shields
152 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:12:29
RIP Bill Kenwright.Condolences to Family and Friends.

Condolences to Eddie on the loss of his brother.

Simon Dalzell
153 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:18:04
Very Sad Day. True blue. Compassionate, caring and very talented man. Condolences and best wishes to the family and friends of a wonderful human being. RIP Mr Kenwright.
Richard Nelson
154 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:19:32
Years ago, I bumped into him on the M62 services at Burtonwood getting fuel, on his way back to London with his partner Jenny Seagrove at the wheel.

We chatted for a couple of minutes about the game & why Gazza wasn't selected that day. He signed our programme and we found him to be approachable and amicable, a decent man... RIP, Bill Kenwright.

Dave Brierley
155 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:19:38
Very sad news. Great shame he won't get to see the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.

RIP Bill. Condolences to all his family and friends.

Jamie Morgan
156 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:21:52
Some beautiful comments on here tonight guys! My sincere condolences to all ToffeeWebbers who have recently lost loved ones!

RIP Bill. Always a True Blue. One of us. Now let's put the past behind us. Together we are stronger!

Paul Tran
157 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:22:14
RIP Bill. Best wIshes to your loved ones and to all on this thread who have recently suffered loss.
Alastair Donaldson
158 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:23:25
RIP Bill.

You made an indelible mark on our Club and did your best in an incredibly difficult job. Thank you for your huge contribution.

It's my Birthday today and that of a certain Mr W Rooney, I know we were both hoping for a happier one!

I trust the Club will honour his contribution fittingly.

Terry Farrell
159 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:24:31
God bless Bill and your family and all the fellow blues who have mentioned the passing of their loved ones on this thread. Very sad that you will not witness the opening of Bramley Moore Dock
Will Mabon
160 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:26:22
I'd guess we've mostly all been there to know it.

Being bereaved as family and close friends are the hardest of life experiences. My condolences to those in that loss - the families of Bill, and other affected posters above in their own grief.

Ant Sorvoja
161 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:27:16
RIP Bill.

Once a Blue always a Blue. Although we mourn the loss, we can remember that Bill showed his unwavering dedication by working countless hours, days, weeks, months and years for our beloved club.

Bill was an Evertonian till the end. Sending deepest condolences.

Denis Richardson
162 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:31:07
Wow, truly shocked by this news.

Can never doubt the man's passion for all things Everton. RIP and condolences to his family. 78 isn't old these days.

A significant era in the club's history comes to a close.

Dave Williams
163 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:31:51
Can I add my condolences to those who have lost their own loved ones recently. Life is hard and the unity shown here this evening will hopefully help them all to carry on. God bless to you all!
Andrew Clare
164 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:32:41
Sad news. RIP, Bill Kenwright. Sorry to lose a great Evertonian. Condolences to his family.
Gavin Johnson
165 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:36:13
RIP Chairman Bill, Condolences to your partner and family.
David France
166 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:37:26
Like all good Evertonians, I am saddened by the death of Bill Kenwright.

While I disagreed with him (to his face) about Destination Kirkby, Kings Dock, etc., we remained good friends for some 30 years.

Besides being a proud Evertonian, he should be remembered as a good man with a compassionate heart who was more than willing to aid those less fortunate in life.

Bill Kenwright was one of us.

Kevin Edward
167 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:41:10
Very sad news today for all connected with the club.
RIP Bill and condolences to family and friends.
Ian Jones
168 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:45:51

I think your comment 'End of Everton as a family club' ...could be very true. I feel being a family club sets us apart from many clubs.

I imagine the club's employees and fans will try their best to keep it as a family club. May be difficult given what is around the corner re ownership issues etc.

Farhad Moshiri has issued a great statement on the main club site. Think it hits the right tone. Good on Farhad.

Mike Gaynes
169 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:47:39
Thank you, Dr Everton #166, for your perspective. You knew him better than any of us. Please accept my condolences on the loss of your friend.

And I hope you and your good lady Elizabeth are doing well and staying happy.

John Raftery
170 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:54:36
A sad day for everyone who knew him. I think history will be kinder to Bill than his contemporary critics. I hope so because he always seemed to have the best of intentions for the club.
Mike Gaynes
171 Posted 24/10/2023 at 20:59:07
Lyndon #124, thank you.

Julie #131, I profoundly hope and believe you are mistaken. I am an outsider, but I believe that the "family" aspect of this club emanates from the fan base -- specifically its working-class neighborhood origins in this unique city -- and that Mr Kenwright's passing will not end that tradition.

Certainly he represented our family values well and decently, but they didn't begin with him, and I cannot convince myself those values will be lost because of his departure. It just doesn't seem possible.

Chad Schofield
172 Posted 24/10/2023 at 21:03:28
RIP Bill 💙
Wesley Coles
173 Posted 24/10/2023 at 21:09:06
So sorry to hear Bill passed away due to a shocker of an illness. His passion and love for the club rank him as a proper true blue. It can't have been easy steering our ship!
Christy Ring
174 Posted 24/10/2023 at 21:09:11
Eddie Dunn, I also pass on my deepest sympathy at the sad passing of your brother RIP.

Bill Gall, my deepest sympathy at the sad passing of your wife, RIP, and to any Evertonians on here who have lost a loved one recently, my condolences.

Iakovos Iasonidis
175 Posted 24/10/2023 at 21:24:28
Rest in peace... He is part of history now.
Ray Jacques
176 Posted 24/10/2023 at 21:26:30
Whatever we may have expressed about his stewardship of the club on this site, it doesn't seem to matter now.

A true blue has passed away, condolences to his friends and family A sad day, God bless Bill.

Danny O’Neill
177 Posted 24/10/2023 at 21:27:12
David, we will meet up. In Arizona and Elizabeth gets to meet me and the family, or when you are next across in the homeland for a Goodison swansong.

As we enter a new era, regardless of opinions, we need to be respectful to an Evertonian who has passed away and the family he leaves behind.

Meanwhile, on to West Ham. Let's follow the blues and roar them on as we always do.

I'll see many of you there.

Matthew Salem
178 Posted 24/10/2023 at 21:28:08
I wish Mr Kenwright's friends and family my sincerest condolences as I do all those on here, who lost loved ones.

RIP Blue Bill

Sean Kelly
179 Posted 24/10/2023 at 21:41:49
RIP Bill Kenwright. Condolences to your family and friends on this sad day. You were an Evertonian and loved this club.

To my fellow ToffeeWebbers who have lost close family recently my sincere sympathies. May you all see brighter days.

Roger Helm
180 Posted 24/10/2023 at 21:45:05
Poor Bill, his last years could not have been easy, with his health failing and everything going pear-shaped at Everton. No-one wants to fail and I am sure he was doing his best.

Anyway, condolences to his family. He was a prominent figure in the worldwide Everton family and at least he will have a great new stadium as part of his legacy.

Derek Thomas
181 Posted 24/10/2023 at 21:46:33
RIP; mourne his passing now, discuss his legacy later.
Mark Taylor
182 Posted 24/10/2023 at 21:54:21
I have little to no time for Kenwright's contribution to the club, especially recently and in term of outcomes, but I'd echo Danny's comments @177, death is not a moment to dwell on shortcomings and I suspect we've almost all on here lost loved ones, probably very many to the awful disease of cancer, so now is a time to offer best wishes to his family, because it is not easy to cope with loss.

On a minor note, I see many on here who knew him or met him in passing, saying positive things about his personal warmth and commitment to the club. Enough, given I did not know him personally, that I'll take them at face value and conclude that, even if the outcomes were poor and the methods sometimes dubious, his heart was roughly in the right place.

Bobby Mallon
183 Posted 24/10/2023 at 22:02:34
Dave Older @23. When this thread is over we need to debate your post.
Paul Kossoff
184 Posted 24/10/2023 at 22:18:07
Hope all the ones on here who said he was lying about his health are ashamed. We all wanted him gone but not this way. God speed Bill.
Laurie Hartley
185 Posted 24/10/2023 at 22:18:17
God rest his soul and comfort his family. They will be very sad today.

Mike Gaynes
186 Posted 24/10/2023 at 22:24:06
Bill #125, apologies for overlooking your post... deepest sympathies on your unimaginable loss.
Neil Cremin
187 Posted 24/10/2023 at 22:25:40
Everton is the People's Club, and a family club. Today we lost one of our most loyal family members. A true Blue.

Condolences to his partner, family, friends. May you rest in peace.

Mark Taylor
188 Posted 24/10/2023 at 22:35:07
Paul 184,

While I agree with your general sentiment, I'm not sure whether it was people on here lying about Kenwright's health. I point you in the direction of the club's PR release of a few weeks ago, one of the very few commenting on his illness. I'm not sure that release counts as lying, but the best that can be said is that it was overly optimistic and misleading, even if that was not the intention.

I have lost two loved ones to cancer and maybe another one on the way. From what I've learned, if you have a cancer so serious it requires an operation, and you are 78, it is unlikely you would be able to function properly, even before the procedure goes wrong.

Jerome Shields
189 Posted 24/10/2023 at 22:37:13
Bill Gall deepest sympathies on the loss of you wife.
Matt Byrne
190 Posted 24/10/2023 at 22:38:05
It is with a sad heart that we reflect on Bill's passing.

Whilst Bill owned Everton between 1999 and 2016, there was stability with him employing just Moyes and Martinez as managers after reluctantly letting Walter Smith go in 2002. Everton were regular top 5 or 6 finishers and were often regarded as the best of the rest.

Sadly, the relative limited funds meant we struggled to break that glass ceiling. If Yak had stayed fit or imagine a 2013 2014 Lukaku in that Moyes team of Arteta, Cahill, Pienaar etc.

Since Moshiri took over, we have ludicrously over spent on wages and recruitment and lost that sense of identity we previously had. It is a mournful day to see a good blue pass away.

I also find it sad to think that he won't get the chance to see Everton play in the new stadium. Nobody can deny that we had an owner who loved the club as much as we do. It was always tough competing with the billionaires.

He has been unwell since 2015 and it is regretful that he didn't retire then and enjoy a more relaxing final few years. Condolences to his family and friends on a very sad day.

Mike Gaynes
191 Posted 24/10/2023 at 22:43:44
Mark #188,

I would characterize the statement as optimistic but not misleading, and I doubt anyone reading it misunderstood the seriousness of the situation. I'm sure that among Mr Kenwright's loved ones, there was every hope, until there wasn't, that he might recover.

Certainly the circumstances hinted otherwise, and anyone who has been through those circumstances with a loved one would have had cause for concern, but there was no reason for anyone to say anything publicly that wasn't positive.

Paul Birmingham
192 Posted 24/10/2023 at 22:45:20
RIP, Bill Kenwright, and deepest condolences to the Kenwright family and friends.

Always a sad day, when we an Evertonian, passes on.

Bill Gall, deepest condolences on the loss of your wife, may she rest in peace.

Tony McNulty
193 Posted 24/10/2023 at 22:46:25
RIP. The end of an era. What the new one will bring is anyone's guess…
Brendan McLaughlin
194 Posted 24/10/2023 at 22:49:18
Sorry Mark #188,

On that very thread when it was acknowledged Bill had been unwell but now wanted privacy... there were still people questioning his "ill-health"?

It's still available if you want to read it.

Eddie Dunn
195 Posted 24/10/2023 at 22:50:48
Thanks to all above who were so kind about my own loss.

My condolences go out to Bill (how dreadful to lose your wife of so many years).

Brian W, Mike H, so sorry to hear your news and Derek- the worst thing losing your daughter. My heartfelt sympathy.
This shows what a cracking bunch of people we have here.

Let's all forget our own misgivings for now and rally behind Bill's family and support the club, as we face unknown threats to our future.

Martin Farrington
196 Posted 24/10/2023 at 22:56:42
Condolences to the family and friends.
Tom Bowers
197 Posted 24/10/2023 at 22:57:50
He took a lot of stick over the last few years from a lot of people and some of it may have been justified, we just don't know, as many of us are not privy to what really went on behind the scenes.

It's easy to point a finger and just like many of the players get stick after disappointing performances (and there were many) he was not singularly to blame.

We have had many managers some of whom were big names with successful careers at other clubs and when they came, most of us were upbeat about the future and didn't give Bill any stick but, as soon as it went pear-shaped, he got lambasted.

Bill was a consummate Evertonian like many of us and for many decades, so he felt what we felt after every defeat, I have no doubt about that.

RIP, Bill.

Frank Wolfe
198 Posted 24/10/2023 at 23:05:06
100% Tom (197).

No doubting his love and sincerity for the club.

RIP Bill.

Mark Taylor
199 Posted 24/10/2023 at 23:10:17
Brendan @194,

Yes they're were a few but they may have been provoked into that by this, from that press release:

"The procedure was completely successful, but complications during surgery necessitated a prolonged period in an intensive care unit.

Mr Kenwright is now out of intensive care and has left hospital. He has returned home to continue his recovery which is expected to be lengthy, but complete.

Right up until the day of the procedure the Chairman had continued to carry out all his club duties, working hard alongside Mr Moshiri to facilitate the proposed takeover by 777 Partners and supporting Kevin Thelwell with the Club's summer transfer activity."

As I said, wishful thinking bordering on implausible. To me, the usual fog of disinformation, so perhaps people could be forgiven for being cynical in disbelieving.

But I think now is not the time for this. Some on here dislike Kenwright because of what our club has become and his part in that, others disagree which is their right. But now, even for someone in the former camp like me, is the time for sympathy with family for losing a loved one to a seriously nasty disease.

Mark Taylor
200 Posted 24/10/2023 at 23:17:02
Mike @191,

Sorry I missed your post. My reply to Brendan partly covers a reply to you. I suggest that in being not just optimisitic, but overly so, it was misleading, even if not intentionally so, hence the cynicism.

From my own experience, it seems unlikely in the extreme that anyone with cancer that serious could function adequately in the key role for the club. I think we have been rudderless for months.

But as I say, maybe now is not the time for such post mortems, people have lost a loved one to a nasty disease, regardless what has gone before. That deserves and has my sympathy at least.

Si Cooper
201 Posted 24/10/2023 at 23:21:25
We mourn the passing of all those whose threads are interwoven with our own, and even those whose paths are simply parallel.

Bill Kenwright, thank you for your dedication and best intentions, may you rest in peace. Condolences to his loved ones and all who have experienced bereavement recently.

Don Alexander
202 Posted 24/10/2023 at 23:21:35
Sincere condolences to the various Toffees on this thread who've announced the tragic loss of their loved ones, whilst always giving to our club.

And when it comes to multi-millionaires being publicly applauded for their perceived charity, I always reflect on what Michael Schumacher said, irritated as he was in 2004 about being identified as a $10,000,000 donor to the hundreds of thousands who'd suffered unimaginable trauma and death in the Boxing Day tsunami.

He said, given the size of his fortune, that his donation to him was easy, and many more had given far more of their personal wealth to the cause.

Brendan McLaughlin
203 Posted 24/10/2023 at 23:22:29
Seriously Mark #19

So you see no hypocrisy with getting your 5 paragraph rebuttal in and at the same time concluding with "now's not the time".

The point is that there were people made that "ill-health" allegation on that thread but it has also been made consistently for a number of years.

So much so... I could name a poster who has raised the issue more than once over the years. I obviously won't.

Kieran Kinsella
204 Posted 24/10/2023 at 23:23:02
Let's keep it dignified fellows. A man has died. A fan has died. Some of us knew him, many didn't. Some agreed with him, some didn't. It doesn't matter now.

It's not the time for recriminations or debate. It's a time for respectfully acknowledging his passing and keeping his loved ones in our thoughts.

I was a critic of his actions as Everton Chairman and my views haven't changed but so what? He was like every other one of us with loved ones, critics, rivals and admirers. We are all human.

Rest in peace, Bill Kenwright.

Andrew James
205 Posted 24/10/2023 at 23:25:25
He's looked not quite right for about half a decade and you did wonder just how profoundly ill he must be.

I wasn't his biggest fan and I have relatives who worked at the club who have been on the wrong end of Little Miss Dynamite.

Yet, having myself recently been diagnosed with a brain tumour and having organs removed, what he must have gone through must have been extremely unpleasant. I would not wish that on anyone. I dread to think how he must have been feeling in recent years.

I think he genuinely wanted the best for Everton but maybe was a throwback to the chairmen of the 1970s-90s in an era that was highly competitive, ever changing and evolving.

I can only hope he suffered as little as possible in the last few weeks. From my own experience, those painkillers can be lovely.

Joe Digney
206 Posted 24/10/2023 at 23:45:47
RIP Bill.

Hearing news like this really puts life into perspective. I hope everyone on here is traveling well and living everyday like it's our last.

Tony Abrahams
207 Posted 24/10/2023 at 23:47:01
I was one of those cynical people, Brendan and others, but please leave the arguments for another day because my own opinion is that today is definitely not a day for falling out.

Today is simply a very sad time for Bill Kenwright's, friends and family.

Jim Johnson
208 Posted 24/10/2023 at 23:47:41
My sincere condolences to the family.

My father passed away in 1990 at the age of 75 from liver cancer. I was fortunate enough to be at Wembley in '66 and a few weeks later watched Potugal v Brasil at Goodison, before emigrating to Australia.

I feel sure Bill would have been there at those games as well. There is an overwhelming impression from fans that he was undoubtedly a True Blue. He will surely be remembered that way.

I have always gone to the games on my visits home over the years, especially in 1985 with my dad. The Moyes time was very good (though lacking in prizes) and was indicative of Bill's stewardship and commitment.

My older brother stopped going to the games when the Premier League started, saying that he refused to give his money to a corrupt system; how pertinent after last weekend and the conduct of officials.

Regardless, Bill never stopped fighting for the good of the club. RIP Bill.

Paul Ashcroft
209 Posted 24/10/2023 at 23:50:04
RIP Mr Kenwright, once a Blue always a Blue.

He just wanted only the best for Everton. Respect.

Mark Stone
210 Posted 24/10/2023 at 23:50:33
Very sad indeed, my thoughts are with his immediate friends and family.

Rest in peace, to a true blue.

Bob Parrington
211 Posted 24/10/2023 at 23:57:26
RIP Bill. So sad that you didn't live to be at the opening of the new stadium. My thoughts go out to your family and close friends.
Brendan McLaughlin
212 Posted 24/10/2023 at 00:01:56
Wow, Andrew #205

What's the saying about walking in another man's shoes…

I hope your surgery and treatment results in a positive outcome. Meantime enjoy the medication.

God bless... even if you're not religious.

Jim Potter
213 Posted 25/10/2023 at 00:11:24
Sad news. A real Evertonian and nice guy has passed away. RIP Bill.

A dreamer, who unintentionally ended up, giving us a nightmare.

Nevertheless – a true Blue.

Brendan McLaughlin
214 Posted 25/10/2023 at 00:12:17
Tony #207

I know you were one of those cynical people but I read your response to Bill's passing earlier in the thread and it was empathetic and in no way controversial.

Unfortunately there are one or two posters on TW who don't realise the wisdom of the old saying: "If you can't say anything good...”

Bill Watson
215 Posted 24/10/2023 at 00:14:06
He was a Blue through and through, right to the end, and probably the last of the breed of real, local, fans who have 'made good' and taken over their boyhood club.

We have had our differences but, at the end of the day, he was one of us.

RIP Bill.

Kieran Kinsella
216 Posted 25/10/2023 at 00:45:39
Going back to an earlier point, he was one of the the last at Premier League level of the old school Chairman and owners. The likes of John Moores, Doug Ellis, Ken Bates, Peter Swales etc.

We will all have opinions as to whether that's good or bad, optional or inevitable. With David Gold having passed, I'd say David Sullivan is the last man standing of the old guard.

And funnily enough he's also someone like Bill who gets a lot of grief from his own fans but from a neutral distance seems to have done a good job.

Anyway, times change for better or worse.

Andy Burke
218 Posted 25/10/2023 at 00:58:13
RIP Blue Bill.

My heart is with all that have lost someone. It’s not easy. x

Mike Gaynes
220 Posted 25/10/2023 at 01:15:18
Mark #199-200, not sure of your cancer experience, but I can tell you from my own that your opinion may be far off target.

Even at a painful stage 4, I ran my own company with undiminished effectiveness -- until the day I went under the knife and then into treatment and, like Mr Kenwright, into ICU for a spell.

That's when the rudder fell off (not to mention the sails, masts and rigging). But not before.

Robert Miller
221 Posted 25/10/2023 at 02:27:21
RIP Mr Kenwright. You were a true fan. For better or for worse – just like the rest of us. Thanks.

Thought and prayers with all family and friends,

Alan J Thompson
222 Posted 25/10/2023 at 03:19:36
Everything else pales in perspective. RIP
Seb Niemand
223 Posted 25/10/2023 at 03:31:47
God bless you Bill, and thank you for all you did. Hope the view is good from the Boys Pen in the Blue Half of Heaven.
Steve Brown
224 Posted 25/10/2023 at 05:40:49
Bill was a passionate blue and loved his involvement in the club, beyond a point where it was good for his health.

I know that some doubted his credentials as a true Evertonian, but I always thought that was nonsense. His decision-making was often quite sentimental and he found a home at the club for many former players in need. That was perhaps to the detriment of the professional running of the club.

Undoubtedly, Usmanov and Moshiri used Bill as air cover for their own disastrous decision-making. Given his serious health issues, that is pretty distasteful and cynical; they took advantage of his love of being involved with Everton to my mind. Even when the other board members left in the summer, he was asked to stay on when Moshiri must have been aware that he was seriously ill.

He is probably the last of the fan-owners-chairmen that we will see in the Premier League. He loved the club and he was a blue to his core. I just wish he could have found it within himself to walk away when he sold the club to Moshiri, as he could have enjoyed watching the team and retiring with greater goodwill from us all.

I fear that Bill may be remembered for the events since January as much as his enthusiasm and commitment to the club he loved.

I hope that is not the case, and we can all find it tn ourselves to remember him for what he was - a passionate blue.

Paul Ferry
225 Posted 25/10/2023 at 07:11:41
From the club site in its memorial tribute to Bill Kenwright:

"Heavily involved in transfer negotiations before the Club appointed a Director of Football for the first time in 2017, his unrivalled contacts and shrewd acumen saw Everton regularly pull off transfer coups.

Tim Cahill… Joleon Lescott… John Stones… Leighton Baines…"

Agreed, but, erm, Seamus Coleman?

I'm not being critical, but surely our Seamus with all that he has given to us over a much longer period than any one of the above should be on the club's own list. His own words on his friend Bill were lovely and beautifully judged.

Four defining images for me in the last two hard and draining seasons: the fans, the coach, and the flares; Richarlison and the flare; Frank Lampard – I can never bad mouth him because I will never forget this – dancing and singing and skipping off the main stand after that game; and, so poignant, Seamus, on that stretcher at Leicester, probably with the previous game there in mind, fist pumped and raised to the greatest supporters in the world.

Brendan McLaughlin
226 Posted 25/10/2023 at 07:35:33
Paul #225,

I agree with you re Seamus as one of our best signings but perhaps the club is simply being honest and only mentioning players where Bill personally played a significant role in bringing them to the club.

Watching the BBC's coverage of his death... some very moving comments.

Danny O’Neill
227 Posted 25/10/2023 at 07:46:34
Kieran, you put some interesting names in the mix there.

Ken Bates. Opinionated and controversial. I know they were very different times in terms of the matchday experience, but barbed wire and electric fences talk. Did he actually implement them? And he eventually landed an owner to take Chelsea onto another level. Again, a different landscape when open cheques were acceptable.

Doug Ellis. Merseyside born incidentally (Hooton). Another ruthless owner/chairman. A very unpopular character with a lot of the Villa supporters I know. Many viewing him as overseeing the decline of League Champions and twice European Champions to finishing bottom and relegated in the space of about 4 or 5 seasons. Now that is a fall from grace on spectacular terms.

One particular gripe was naming a stand after him whilst he was still alive. I know in this week of the sad news of Bobby Charlton, Manchester United have done it, including the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand. But at the time, it didn't go down well with the Villains.

In hindsight, despite their ups and downs over the years (literally), they are well positioned and Villa Park, even though it was always one of my favourites, looks magnificent. Modern, but retaining much of its original charm. I wish we could have done that with Goodison, but it wasn't to be and that ship sailed long ago. That should have started in the late ‘80s if we were going to do that.

I would add Mike Ashley to the list. A controversial, unpopular and bullish character. But look at Newcastle's situation now. It doesn't guarantee anything like Chelsea and later Man City, but they have their tails up and have that feel-good factor.

Those three examples have all been relegated on more than one occasion during my lifetime. I don't want to be relegated, I'll never want it. But – and this isn't an acceptance of defeat as I don't believe it will happen – I would follow that team to Southend-on-Sea on a Wednesday night if it came to it.

It won't.

On Bill Kenwright, we've all had our opinions and views. I hope his family are welcomed to Goodison should they accept the invite.

Time for perspective. What is gone is gone. We move forward. Starting this weekend.

If it is possible to watch down from heaven, then I hope he is watching down with a smile on his face and tears in his eyes as we bring the points home from the London Stadium. There will be about 3,000 of us in the corner.

Heaven is blue. Hell is red.

Nice words from the cousins in fairness and if you see some of the names from the entertainment community, he was clearly respected in those circles.

It's just a shame he was part of a regime that fractured the relationship between the club and supporters. The club he supported. The price of taking responsibility, but I wish for his own sake, he'd have stepped down earlier and supported them as a supporter.

Maybe he couldn't give it up. I don't know. I'm not sure I could. But now is not the time to judge. I don't confess to understand the ins and outs of how Everton is run.

I just worry about being able to get a ticket and how the team will perform.

Starting at Stratford. I keep saying it, let's be respectful.

We enter a new era. Some uncertainty. Some hope. But always Everton. Forever.

Dean Johnson
228 Posted 25/10/2023 at 07:48:53
Shame he never got to see the first game in the new stadium. End of an era, in many ways, RIP Bill, you kept us afloat for many years and I won't forget that. Now let's have some good tributes to the guy.

He would've hated the last 2 seasons as much as us and I was hopeful we could start climbing away from relegation into the new stadium before the end of his tenure.

He lived his dream and he saved us from Peter Johnson. Never forget that.

Paul Ferry
229 Posted 25/10/2023 at 08:00:14
Ah, true Brendan, I wasn't in the room, but you have to suppose that Bill was somewhere involved as chairman who the club itself says was the main motor in transfers back then.

I agree about the broader coverage that reminds us that for us Bill was first and foremost chairman of our club but for countless others he was other things. I've been genuinely moved by the scope and scale of his often private philanthropy, and commitment to the arts – I thought he was all Blood Brothers, which is great, but he also had a deep commitment to the RSC, the Almeida in Islington, etc.

Sometimes, when, like me, we, for good reasons, lambast and lampoon Kenwright's running of our club, we tend to forget the other Kenwright or Kenwrights, that don't necessarily absolve him of his record with us that will be the subject for debate at the appropriate time, but for me at any rate have made me appreciate the bigger picture/person over these last 24 hours.

Duncan McDine
230 Posted 25/10/2023 at 08:02:41
Sad news indeed and time to be respectful here on ToffeeWeb. The School of Science has lost one of its most dedicated pupils. RIP, Bill Kenwright.

[Please note that I was tempted to write 'Shoal of Science' but, as a mark of respect, I turned down the fish-pun during this sad time.]

Brendan McLaughlin
232 Posted 25/10/2023 at 08:11:57
Danny #227

"If it is possible to watch down from heaven"

Everton's first game after Bill's death just had to be against his beloved Davy Moyes.

Bill would have liked that... 3 points even more!🤞

Roger Helm
234 Posted 25/10/2023 at 08:30:44
I read in his obituary that he was regarded as an “amiable hustler” and his showbiz career seems to have been very successful.

He always used his own money to invest in his shows. His first entrepreneurial activity was raising money to send a neighbouring pensioner on holiday, I think his heart was in the right place.

Mike Gaynes
235 Posted 25/10/2023 at 08:31:01
Duncan, you made me smile.
Paul Ferry
236 Posted 25/10/2023 at 08:41:04
OK, I'm off tto bed then DM, see you in the morning, might watch an old Bullseye in bed, and try not to wake up the reason for my existence.

A tough, long, and hard day, that for many of us involved a lot of emotion, introspection, and feeling for what we are as a club, and might become.

I think that we might all emerge stronger for this.

My big worry is what we might become in what I fear will become an ownership crisis when the Premier League, for good reason, turn these Florida venture capitalists down.

The big shame is that Bill Kenwright did not step down a few years ago to help his health and go back to being one of us, a fan, plain and simple, but the most important thing that we have, far more important than a chairman.

MG, I don't get that post, when you have a moment explain it to me, and the very best of health to you and yours mate.

Duncan McDine
237 Posted 25/10/2023 at 08:47:50
Can't beat a bit of bully mate. Fully agree with your concerns about the club going forward.
Kim Vivian
238 Posted 25/10/2023 at 08:53:03
💙 Enough said.
RIP Bill.
Stu Darlington
239 Posted 25/10/2023 at 09:03:46
Keiran @ 204

Best post on the thread, mate. Says it all.

Tony Heron
240 Posted 25/10/2023 at 09:05:00
I only ever posted once on here regarding Bill Kenwright and that was to complain about a post that virtually wished him dead. My complaint was met with abuse towards me.

I don't know enough about any business, let alone football business, to understand the bile and vitriol aimed at Mr Kenwright for his Chairmanship of the club.

One thing I did recognise, however, was that – unlike all other clubs – we had a genuine supporter in charge. Not a Johnny come lately, who suddenly becomes an ardent supporter overnight, albeit in exchange for a sack of money.

No, what we were blessed to have was a 100%, gold-plated fan. RIP Bill and thank you.

Hugh Jenkins
241 Posted 25/10/2023 at 09:32:24
Sad and unexpected news.

Like everyone else, I pass my condolences to Bill's family and to everyone else on here who has recenlty lost a loved one.

Alan McGuffog
242 Posted 25/10/2023 at 09:37:36
John Donne... any man's death diminishes me. Let's just keep this thread to condolences before it develops into "You said, I said" eh?

RIP, Mr Kenwright.

Dale Rose
243 Posted 25/10/2023 at 09:45:52
Very sad news. Condolences to his family.
John Graham
244 Posted 25/10/2023 at 09:51:28
Let's hope he now takes up residency at our new ground and can be our 12th man on the pitch, deflecting a few wayward shots into the oppositions goal or maybe helping out in defence.

Once a true blue always a true blue. It's in your blood and in your soul.

God bless you Bill.

Ernie Baywood
245 Posted 25/10/2023 at 09:59:57
Not sure if anyone on here still follows Mark O'Brien's blog but he posted this quote from Theodore Roosevelt:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Matt Byrne
246 Posted 25/10/2023 at 10:02:14
Derek Wadeson. 74. Thinking of you and your family with heart felt sympathy.
Kim Vivian
247 Posted 25/10/2023 at 10:09:26
Have to say – re the "unexpected news" comments – to me, this wasn't remotely unexpected. As soon as I read about his recent operation, having lost my Dad to liver cancer at a very young age, I thought Bill had seen his last Christmas. Doesn't make it any less sad though. I just hope his final days were peaceful.

Saying again, RIP Bill. A decent bloke I believe, beneath it all.

Brian Harrison
248 Posted 25/10/2023 at 10:10:17
I think two things I will always remember about Bill Kenwright:

First, the tribute he organised for the Hillsborough victims. When the girl in an Everton kit and the boy with the Liverpool kit walked to the centre circle with the numbers 9 and 6 on their respective shirts, was emotional enough.

But, when the Hollies hit "He ain't heavy, he's my brother" played, by the end of the song there wasnt a dry eye inside Goodison. Of all the tributes paid to the Hillsborough victims, that is the one tribute that caries the most poignancy.

The other was the season before last I was lucky enough to get corporate hospitality tickets for our away game at Leicester.

The Everton fans that day were unbelievable, a Leicester fan sitting by me said, “I have been watching Leicester for decades and I have never seen away fans as good as your fans.”

Although I went downstairs for a coffee at half-time, he told me they had continued singing all through the half-time break.

Against all the odds, we managed to win an away game, and our fans celebrated like we had won the League and the FA Cup. The stadium emptied pretty quickly except for the hordes of Everton fans in the corner and a handful of us in the main stand.

It must have been at least 15 minutes since the game finished and I looked to my left were the directors sit and it was completely empty, except for Bill Kenwright and his partner and he was just standing there applauding the Everton fans.

I was only about 10 yards away and I shouted, “Bill, these fans won't let this team get relegated!”

He walked along the stand to me and said “I was beginning to fear the worst before today, but I think you're right –with our brilliant fans, I don't think we will get relegated.”

So yes, he made mistakes, as we all do, but he was as big an Evertonian as any of us. I just hope we give him the type of send off that he organised for the Hillsborough victims.

RIP, Bill Kenwright.

Mark Louch
249 Posted 25/10/2023 at 10:52:17
Ernie (245),

Very fitting quote that all of us supporters of this great club should bear in mind.

RIP Bill Kenwright, an Evertonian like the rest of us.

Mark Taylor
250 Posted 25/10/2023 at 10:52:59
Brendan 203,

I was trying to give you the courtesy of a reply but suggesting now is not the time. I didn't set this off, if you recall, you did, and my point was simply that people had come to mistrust club communications, perhaps rightly.

I'm sure there will be a time and a separate thread to consider Kenwright's legacy, but for now, this one is about good wishes to his family and friends..

Mark Taylor
251 Posted 25/10/2023 at 11:01:08
Mike 220

First of all, may I wish you good health and a long life.

I've had 2 stage 4 cancers to deal with (not me, two close relatives) and I must admit I thought it was inoperable because it had spread elsewhere.

I'm glad to hear that isn't the case, or at least not in your diagnosis.

Anthony Dove
253 Posted 25/10/2023 at 11:18:55
He released a few singles in the sixties the first of which was
with Liverpool group the Runaways. It was called ‘I want to
go back there again'.

It was released the year after we won the FA Cup in 1966 so maybe it referred to Wembley.

RIP Bill.

Bernard Dooley
254 Posted 25/10/2023 at 11:26:48
Martin Samuel, in The Times:

Bill Kenwright loved Everton – club's woes broke his heart

From standing in the urine-soaked terraces as a young fan to being told to stay away from Goodison last year, Kenwright's love for Everton never wavered

Martin Samuel, Tuesday 24 October 2023.

Bill Kenwright died of a thing more tangible than a broken heart but it is hard to imagine he ever felt greater hurt than the day he was asked to stay away from Goodison Park.

His greatest critics will insist they loved Everton more, but that isn't true. No one loved Everton more than Bill. He didn't always know how to fix it, and that sometimes led him to make mistakes, but that love was Kenwright's saving grace as an owner. His heart was in the right place. He was always trying his best. And he would have done anything to keep Everton from the mess they are in now.

This is no tragic existence because Kenwright's was a life well lived. He enjoyed loving relationships, had a wealth of friends, and his success as one of the most prolific and insightful theatrical impresarios in the world had afforded him a place on the board at his beloved football club since 1989, for many years as chairman.

Kenwright could not fix all of Everton's problems, but his heart was in the right place. He always tried his best.

Yet it was in that role, when the fortunes of the club took a downward turn, that he became a target for a faction of supporters. That backlash against his stewardship had just started when we chatted in his London office in 2015. He seemed genuinely grateful for the support. He always was. He never forgot a positive word, or a sympathetic article, and could get quite emotional about either.

I've been to the first nights of his shows, where friends have told me how big his empire could have been were it not for one thing: Everton Football Club.

Michael Crawford was incensed on hearing a phone-in suggesting Kenwright used Everton money to finance his productions. Nothing could have been further from the truth. How big could Kenwright's career as a producer have become had he not dedicated a quarter of each year to the transfer window?

Kenwright was always a true blue. He used to get two buses and a tram to Everton as a kid and stand behind the goal. When the half-time whistle blew, some of the men would go to the back of the terrace to relieve themselves and the product would run down the steps. “I wished I didn't have holes in my shoes,” Kenwright recalled. “My ambition wasn't to own Everton. It was just to be able to watch them without standing in a puddle of wee.”

• Bill Kenwright, impresario and Everton FC Chairman, dies aged 78

He could always tell a story, Bill. Like the first time he encountered a demonstration against his ownership.

“I was told there was going to be a protest, and then two lads came up and handed me a leaflet, ‘Evertonians For Change,'” he recalled.

“I said, ‘Are you the demo, lads? Is it you two? Right, what do you want to change?' And they said, ‘We need more money.' I said, ‘Great, I'll be your president if you want. That's the change we need.'”

But, over time, the numbers protesting grew, the humour curdled and then, last January, Kenwright and his fellow directors were told to stay away from Goodison Park for their own safety.

That pained him. There are quite a few absentee owners, even successful ones. Sheikh Mansour's visits to Manchester City can be counted on one finger, the Glazers are rarely around to hear how Old Trafford feels and Joe Lewis won't be setting foot in the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium any time soon, even with Spurs top of the Premier League.

Yet Kenwright was a fan. A true blue. David Sullivan is a fan of West Ham United who, for a time, ran Birmingham City. Jim Ratcliffe is a fan of Manchester United who kept a season ticket at Chelsea. But it is impossible to imagine Kenwright happy anywhere but Everton.

Arriving at Goodison Park for a match in 2019. He struggled to eat before games because of nerves

He rarely ate in the directors' box, home or away, before matches because he was too nervous and, when more physically able, would spring from his seat at a goal, a goalscoring chance or even a corner in the tenser campaigns.

When the deal went through to buy the club, he ran from his office down four flights of stairs and out into the street, pumping his fists with excitement. So it disappointed him when he was advised he should no longer travel on public transport to matches and had to go by car. He enjoyed going with the fans, but had to concede the mood had altered.

All passings are sad, and 78 is not old these days, but the timing of Kenwright's — with Everton facing uncertainty and a Premier League investigation — feels especially cruel. More positively, he will have been buoyed by the thought of a new stadium and of having kept the club viable long enough to see that coming to fruition, while Sean Dyche appears capable of turning the team around.

Yet one thing is certain: whoever is in charge of Everton this time next year cannot love the club as much as Bill Kenwright, the man who used to explain his connection through the words of Stephen Sondheim. He would quote the lyrics to Sondheim's song Loving You, from the musical Passion:

Loving you is not a choice
And not much reason to rejoice
But it gives me purpose
Gives me voice
To say to the world
This is why I live
You are why I live.

And perhaps that does sound over-emotional, but it was, most surely, also the man.

Mark Ryan
255 Posted 25/10/2023 at 11:33:16
Above everything else, Bill Kenwright would have wanted success for Everton Football Club both on and off the field. Try as he might, there were many bumps in the road but he tried his very best. He was a True Blue and his death is somewhat premature.

Like all of us, he'd have wanted this latest takeover to be successful. Let's hope that comes true. I hope we see his family back at Goodison before the season is out and I hope they can feel the measure of sympathy we have for them at this sad time. RIP, Bill.

Mark Murphy
257 Posted 25/10/2023 at 12:08:12
Someone mentioned York; I'm just returning from 4 days with friends up there – lovely place.

This morning, we were having breakfast in a busy cafe and Graham Potter tried to get in but couldn't.

RIP Bill Kenwright and my sympathies to his loved ones.

Paul Hughes
258 Posted 25/10/2023 at 12:11:52
On the Bradley Lowery Foundation Facebook page, there is a very moving tribute to 'Uncle Bill':

I am absolutely devastated to hear of the passing of Bill Kenwright, aka, Uncle Bill.

Bill was a huge part of Bradley's fundraising journey. He donated £200,000.00 to Brad's campaign to access treatment abroad.

That money then went into my baby's amazing charity, on Uncle Bill say so.

He was an amazing gentleman, who went above and beyond to help me and my family after Bradley went with the angels, Bill made sure we had time to grieve away from media, and whisked my whole family away so we could spend time together without intrusion.

I had many long chats with Bill, always asking his advice, he was one in a million. I will never forget what he did for us. ❤️
My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this very sad time.

Bradley will be waiting with his arms open ready to give you a big cuddle, like he did the first time he met you. Fly high Bill. 😢

Bernard Dooley
259 Posted 25/10/2023 at 12:32:21
Given his background as an actor turned theatrical impresario, it was not surprising that Bill Kenwright had a flair for the dramatic.

In 2004, the manager of Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, met Kenwright, the Everton chairman, to discuss signing the teenage sensation Wayne Rooney, who had risen through the ranks at Goodison Park.

Ferguson anticipated hard-nosed negotiations. But Kenwright was in tears and announced that he needed to call his mother. The manager recalled in his 2013 autobiography that Kenwright wailed down the line: “‘They're stealing our boy, they're stealing our boy'… Then he passed the phone to me. ‘Don't you dare think you're getting that boy for nothing. That boy's worth £50 million', said a female voice.”

No stranger to mind games, Ferguson wondered if the histrionics were a ruse designed to pad the transfer fee or distract from an undisclosed injury. “But it was real,” he realised. “You had only to mention Everton to Bill to turn his taps on. He was a very likeable guy and unapologetically emotional.”

Jack Convery
260 Posted 25/10/2023 at 12:42:43
My sincere condolences to Jenny, the family and friends, on the passing of Mr Kenwright. May he rest in peace.

To all who have recently lost loved ones, my condolences. May your grief be lessened over time, from the wonderful memories you hold dear. Bless you all.

Kevin Molloy
261 Posted 25/10/2023 at 13:22:34
The tributes from the press boys for me exemplify why his last few years of stewardship were so difficult. King and Samuel are both having quite a nasty pop at the fans as part of their tribute to him. But, as we know, he put himself into the situation of not being able to attend games all on his own by his spinning.

He was a quite remarkable guy, hugely charismatic, ambitious, and in many ways a credit to the city. He went from basically nothing, to owning one of the most valuable franchises in the world of sport. Plus being an icon of British Theatre. These are huge achievements.

But there is a reason he was resented so much, it was cos he climbed too fast, and made promises he couldn't keep. I hope the next few days don't turn into another reason to have a go at Everton's long-suffering fanbase.

Having said all that, I think everyone feels genuinely sad at his passing, which is a credit to him.

Colin Metcalfe
262 Posted 25/10/2023 at 13:53:26
I got off a long flight last night to switch on my phone to this sad news.

Whatever you think Bill Kenwright's long association with our club, he was one of us and I genuinely believe he wanted the best for the club and wasn't as many posters stated his personal hobbie and recently some of the vitriol aimed his way was completely over the top. (Care to say anything, Nick Page?)

My condolences go to his family and friends. RIP, Bill.

Pete Gunby
263 Posted 25/10/2023 at 15:32:09
Reflecting on his treatment of the young Sunderland fan and reading what Dr France has to say makes me realize that Bill was much more than a Chairman.

It's a shame that it takes a passing to force us (me) to step back and examine a life. Condolences to you all who are suffering with loss.

Jamie Crowley
264 Posted 25/10/2023 at 15:34:40
Just now saw the news.

Rest In Peace and condolences to all friends and family.

Whether you liked Bill Kenwright as Chairman or not, this is earth-shaking news in my opinion.


Perpetual Light shine upon him...

Robert Workman
265 Posted 25/10/2023 at 16:11:08
Some years ago, my daughter worked with Bill Kenwright's daughter in London. Discovering that she was an Evertonian he arranged to take her to see a game at Arsenal. After our usual defeat (think it was 4-1) he took her to his home in Little Venice. Gave her a hug and said what a shame we couldn't give her a win.

He promised to arrange seats in the Director's Box on the next occasion when both of them were in the area. This happened, which meant that I got to sit proudly on the front row with my daughter just behind me.

He also arranged a ticket for her Charlton-supporting boyfriend, in the away section of the Director's Box (we beat Charlton 1-0).

I chatted to him briefly then, also years later after a pre-season friendly with Austria Vienna (Martinez’s first game). He went out of his way to involve my Austrian friend in the conversation, asking him about the Austrian Bundesliga.

Happy memories. Such a shame that he will not see the opening of the new stadium. RIP, Bill.

Neil Tyrrell
266 Posted 25/10/2023 at 16:52:21
RIP Bill and condolences to all the Blues who have posted here about losing loved ones recently.

"See here how everything leads up to this day
And it's just like any other day, that's ever been
Sun going up and then,
The sun it going down
Shine through my window
And my friends they come around"

-Robert Hunter

Mike Gaynes
267 Posted 25/10/2023 at 18:02:43
John Gall
268 Posted 25/10/2023 at 18:47:50
RIP Bill. He was accused of many things by posters on this website, most of it utter crap.

The reason Everton as a club still has integrity and a sense of its roots is largely due to Kenwright. He was generous and genuine and he understood what it was that makes Everton special and the city of Liverpool so distinctive. The sharks are circling now, ready to take their pound of flesh.

Be careful what you wished for chaps - your beloved club is about to go under. We have lost our historian, our custodian. That he couldn't attend games at Goodison in his final year is a profound sadness. Many should be feeling some shame.

Tony Abrahams
269 Posted 25/10/2023 at 18:53:05
Just pay respects, John, don't start going on about things like integrity, because it will only open up old wounds.
James Hughes
270 Posted 25/10/2023 at 19:20:35
John, I was about to reply but Tony got there first.

RIP Bill and I will leave it there

Andy Meighan
272 Posted 25/10/2023 at 19:35:51
When is there going to be any good news for long suffering Evertonians?
Rob Hooton
273 Posted 25/10/2023 at 20:21:24
RIP Bill, a true gent and a proper Everton fan – one of us for sure.

I was recently chatting to someone who looks after the VIPs at a London club on match days, including the directors of the opposition. He said that Bill was, by some distance, the warmest and most genuine of all the folk he has met in the years in the job. Bill always remembered his name and he couldn't sing his praises higher.

I imagine it will be emotional both this weekend and at our next home match, David Moyes and West Ham will likely be very respectful.

Condolences to Bill's nearest and dearest, and to the other Blues here who have recently suffered their own losses.

Dave Brierley
274 Posted 25/10/2023 at 21:26:35
One hundred percent agree, John Gall.

Anyone who reads the tributes from all over the world of football and beyond cannot be impressed with the esteem and admiration Bill was held in.

Sadly not from some on here.

Bobby Mallon
275 Posted 25/10/2023 at 23:24:44
Dave 274, opinions remember… people have a right to an opinion.
Christine Foster
276 Posted 25/10/2023 at 23:30:25
This article gives opportunity to all of us to acknowledge the passing of Bill Kenwright and not to criticise his actions but to mourn the passing of a loved one, an Evertonian.

I was minded to wonder why it's never a good thing to speak ill of the dead, especially when so many are grieving, and I came across an article some years back in the Sydney Morning Herald which discussed the very subject (in relation to someone else not associated in any way, I might add). Some of the snippets I have paraphrased or quoted are very true in my opinion:

“The most obvious reason to respect the dead is our compassion for the grieving. We understand the grief of bereaved people, and hold back from slandering the deceased to avoid compounding their pain.”

“People can contain both good and (bad). They are not mutually exclusive and just because we recognise one on their passing doesn't invalidate the other.”

“No-one is a saint, in death or in life, and we need to articulate our grievances in order to heal.”

The difficulty for some, self-included, is to come to a more balanced remembering over time, while for some, on both sides, it's an impossible ask. Bill Kenwright had some very enviable traits, some not so good either… but this thread is not about point scoring, of who is right or wrong; it's about an Evertonian, a chairman of our club passing, the pain his family and friends feel for their loss and their love. For that we pay our respects and thanks.

RIP Bill Kenwright, your credit and ledger accounts at the pearly gates are far healthier than Everton FC!

Brendan McLaughlin
277 Posted 25/10/2023 at 23:43:23
Bobby #275,

Indeed they do but can we not cut Bill's supporters a little bit of slack for 48/76 hours at least given the circumstances?

Brendan McLaughlin
278 Posted 25/10/2023 at 00:03:03
Christine #276,

Theatrical... think Bill would have liked it.

Phil Wood
279 Posted 26/10/2023 at 00:12:19
Bill's heart was always in the right place. I respect the man immensely for that.
Peter Warren
280 Posted 25/10/2023 at 00:12:24
I will always remember Hillsborough tribute with the 9 and 6 and Hollies song. That was pure class and made me proud to be an Evertonian.

Fall outs with loved ones occur but I remember the fabulous deeds you did above all else. I attended EitC awards on Tuesday night which is a great cause that grew under your stewardship.

Rest in peace and sincere condolences for your family. xxx

Mark Taylor
281 Posted 26/10/2023 at 00:49:46
Mike @220,

This is way off topic but I'm interested to hear your story, indeed uplifted by it.

I'm afraid my stage 4 cancer experience has been rather different. Two very close relatives, both lung cancer, stage 4 metastatic (which I gather is inherent in a stage 4 diagnosis).

First one died very quickly, a matter of months, fast physical decline. Second is thank god being kept alive by a wonder drug, the gold standard in current treatment, but only works for around 1 in 10 cancers with a specific mutation.

It doesn't cure, that's impossible, and eventually when the cancer mutates, as it will at some point, the drug doesn't work. For neither, life was ever the same, if only psychologically. It is a hammer blow.

I do realise that cancers do have different prognoses. Some are pretty good and maybe and hopefully that is one of yours. The bad ones are lung, throat, liver, brain and pancreas.

Andrew McKernan
282 Posted 26/10/2023 at 2023/10/26 : 08:17:36

RIP Chairman Bill — True Blue.

Saved us from Peter Johnson taking us down the Leeds United and Peter Risdale route, and ending up in Tier 3 of English Football.

Tony Abrahams
283 Posted 26/10/2023 at 09:37:56
I watched Morecombe playing the other night and, during the minutes applause for Bobby Charlton, I could see a big picture of the great man's face.

At the end of the game, when Morecombe win, the song “Bring Me Sunshine” is played over the tannoy, and walking down the stairs, looking around at the people dancing, my mind was cast to Bill Kenwright, because he obviously reveled in this type of happy environment.

I have a few sayings and thoughts, with one of my biggest being that “Life is for living” and that is probably why I thought of Bill Kenwright when listening to that song. I have been one of his fiercest critics with regards his time at Everton (with great reason and an opinion that can be backed up by many facts, imo) but when it comes to living a very full and very interesting and presumably a very happy life, I can honestly say that Bill Kenwright, has achieved so much with regards to what I believe we are born for. 🙏💙

Brian Harrison
284 Posted 26/10/2023 at 10:11:18
I might have missed it, as there have been many condolences sent but I havent seen anything from David Moyes.

Now considering they were together for 12 years and they parted on very good terms, I am surprised I haven't read anything from him. I guess I must have missed his tribute as I can't believe he hasn't sent one.

Rob Halligan
285 Posted 26/10/2023 at 10:15:39
Brian # 284……….you’ve missed it. There has been one, but I can’t find a link for it.
Paul Tran
286 Posted 26/10/2023 at 10:16:53
Brian, there's a piece on the BBC football site with a few tributes, one of which is a fulsome one from Moyes.
Brian Harrison
287 Posted 26/10/2023 at 10:43:43
Paul & Rob

Thanks just been on the Echo website and there is a tribute from David Moyes, I was sure he must have posted one.

Barry Rathbone
288 Posted 26/10/2023 at 11:15:04
Hardly any of us know the machinations at board level, or indeed player level, the almost universal appreciation of Bill from all quarters is in stark contrast to the excessive vitriol he and others have suffered from some.

Perhaps this time of reflection can lead to a toning down of the over-the-top personal stuff aimed at Everton personnel generally. Considered criticism, yes – vindictive hatred, no.

Peter Mills
289 Posted 26/10/2023 at 11:23:26
This thread of respect for Bill Kenwright has turned into one paying tributes to many loved ones.

I'm afraid I have to add to it as my brother Charlie (Charles) passed away yesterday. He dedicated his life to the well-being and education of disadvantaged children, and used his experience to become a trustee of Everton in the Community, a co-founder of the Everton free school, and worked on the Goodison legacy project.

He read ToffeeWeb avidly without posting, and was a fanatical Evertonian.

Ken Kneale
290 Posted 26/10/2023 at 11:50:25
Peter - sincere wishes to you and all your family.

Love's last gift is remembrance - I trust the many happy memories you must have will help sustain you.

Brendan McLaughlin
291 Posted 26/10/2023 at 12:04:10
Sad news, Peter #289.

Sounds like your brother was a real good guy and a staunch Evertonian.

May he rest in peace.

Alan McGuffog
292 Posted 26/10/2023 at 12:05:26
Peter... devastated to hear this.

Charlie was a great friend to me when I worked in St Helens many years ago. I remember my first visit to his school, being taken to his office, and seeing an Everton team photo behind his chair.

"I can work with this man" I thought. And the good company of him and Father Ashton discussing all things blue.
My deepest condolences to all the Mills family. A true gentleman.

Christine Foster
293 Posted 26/10/2023 at 12:48:54
Barry, #288,

Your comment points to how high Bill Kenwright was held by some, that's true and fair comment, there is no doubt of that, but like others you cannot leave it without a barb and attack those who did not hold him in quite high esteem.

My previous comments at 276 remain valid in response. Respect for the loss and grief his friends and family are suffering does not negate his failings.

Rob Halligan
294 Posted 26/10/2023 at 13:23:03
Peter, so sorry to hear of your loss.

Only met your Charlie once, the day he got you, me and Mike Gaynes an invite to the Everton HQ at the Royal Blue Liver Buildings. Sincere condolences to you and all your family.

Barry Rathbone
295 Posted 26/10/2023 at 13:34:30
Christine @293,

I'm not saying Everton personnel are not beyond criticism but, as with everything, there are ways and means.

In my opinion, things too often stray into the personally offensive, not just with Bill Kenwright but other board members, the manager and playing staff which I find baffling, appalling and counter-productive.

But it's not a new phenomenon: it was the same when I went in the '60s and '70s – it's just then it was left at the ground; social media has made it a daily poison.

Alan McGuffog
296 Posted 26/10/2023 at 16:14:44
Andrew... phew, we could really have ended up in the brown stuff couldn't we?
Mike Gaynes
297 Posted 26/10/2023 at 18:03:36
Charlie Mills was a legendary teacher, passionate leader and supporter of the Everton community, committed Blue, wonderful raconteur and a fantastic man to share a meal and a bottle of wine with.

I had that pleasure just three weeks ago, sitting between Charlie and his lovely wife Liz at the table with Pete and Sheila, laughing at Charlie's stories. I've never spent a more enjoyable evening.

Now I'm in tears (again) remembering it.

Pete, glad you got home safe from Scotland. Hope you're feeling my hug right now.

John Daley
298 Posted 26/10/2023 at 18:05:00
Peter @289,

Please accept my sincere condolences to you and yours. Your brother sounds a fantastic fella and a truly great Evertonian, much like the impression I have gleaned of your good self over the years.

My deepest sympathy to your family at this most difficult time.

Paul Ferry
299 Posted 26/10/2023 at 18:41:16
I'm so sorry, Peter (289).

You must be very proud of Charlie. What a wonderful man and a good life. My warmest condolences to you and all of your family. St Peter's and Paul's will be crowded.

Barry Hesketh
300 Posted 26/10/2023 at 18:49:06
Peter @289

Heartfelt sympathies to you, your family and Charlie's friends. May fond memories of Charlie bring peace, support, and strength today and always.

To all the other fellow ToffeeWeb members who have recently lost someone, please accept my deepest sympathies and condolences to each and every one of you.

Paul Tran
301 Posted 26/10/2023 at 18:54:44
Pete, sincere condolences to you and your family.

All the good that Charlie brought to the world and the esteem he is clearly held in will be some comfort to you at this sad time.

Dave Cashen
302 Posted 26/10/2023 at 19:20:07
What an emotional thread. The most poignant I've seen on TW.

Not just wonderful tributes to BIll Kenwright, but several people talking about their own personal heartbreak and recent losses.
The responses and support from their friends and posters they haven't even met, have been heartfelt and deeply moving.

Peter Mills
303 Posted 26/10/2023 at 20:01:23
Thank you very much for all the above comments – they are very touching, and very much appreciated.
Dennis Stevens
304 Posted 29/10/2023 at 18:20:12
I feel very sorry for our late Chairman's family. I can't help thinking that not stepping away from his role at the Club may have cost him a few years.
Will Mabon
305 Posted 30/10/2023 at 18:20:50

my condolences. What an awful week it's been for many associated with TW.

Neil Copeland
306 Posted 30/10/2023 at 18:34:40
Peter @289, so sorry to hear your about your brother please accept my sincere condolences.
Ian Edwards
307 Posted 30/10/2023 at 18:42:46
Sorry for your loss, Peter and sympathies to you and your family.

As many have said it's been a tough time for the Everton family. It was only a few months ago I attended a stadium tour with my Son conducted by Dave Wiggins and he sadly passed away a week later.

I imagine the Club will put on a rememberance for Bill Kenwright on wednesday. I know that Jenny Seagrove is attending the game.

Barry Hesketh
308 Posted 30/10/2023 at 19:03:05
Oliver Holt, in the daily Mail, gives his thoughts on the loss of Bill Kenwright. I would agree with Mr Holt, that the late Mr Kenwright was indeed the father of the modern Everton. However, many of my age group, remember the 'real' Everton.

People sneered Bill Kenwright was a friend of my family like it was a dirty secret. It was an honour and in years to come he will be regarded as the father of the modern Everton

Peter Mills
309 Posted 30/10/2023 at 20:42:36
Sending out further thanks.
Kevin Molloy
310 Posted 31/10/2023 at 17:38:23
It's reassuring to see Oliver Holt coming out so strongly like this. He is an absolute whopper.

Journalists these days as a species are pretty contemptible. sports journalists particularly so. And he's one of the worst.

Paul Ferry
311 Posted 31/10/2023 at 18:26:54
That is not journalism from Holt. That is one of the most blinkered and prejudiced peices I've read in ages (I was going to say ill-informed but that would be incorrect, Holt knows the full picture but he chose to paint it with his prejudice and devotion to Bill Kenwright).

I'm in no shape or form knocking Bill Kenwright here. Not all all. It's this piece of lapdog doggerel masquerading as journalism that makes me sick.

Oh how smart he thinks he is being with his last passing shot that BK rode into the sunset with a bullet in him (his back?).

This blind warped trivial rant and rave does Bill Kenwright no favours. There is little to be gained in turning Bill into a piece of hagiography. He did make a mint out of the club Holt; he did not put a penny into it.

I enjoyed that story about Bill singing. No surprise at all. He was a fan, after all, and he was, as Holt says, one of the last in a long line of fan chairmen who are, quite frankly, like a fish out of water, utterly unsuited and out-of-step with the realities of succeeding in the Premier League.


Paul Turner
312 Posted 13/11/2023 at 11:41:23
Has Mr Kenwright's funeral been and gone? I've seen no mention of it anywhere...

No hidden agenda, btw, just curious.

Dave Abrahams
313 Posted 22/11/2023 at 22:29:08
Apparently Kenwright's funeral service was held this morning, a private low-key family affair.
Derek Thomas
314 Posted 23/11/2023 at 08:04:08
Dave; as it should be.
Dave Abrahams
315 Posted 23/11/2023 at 09:30:51

Yes of course that was the way the family must have wanted it, there obviously will be a rememberance service at a later date.

Graham Mockford
316 Posted 18/12/2023 at 19:39:47
It was Bill Kenwright's memorial service today and so far no mention of it on the site.
Brian Harrison
317 Posted 18/12/2023 at 19:48:57

I watched a bit of the memorial service for Bill Kenwright on the local BBC news and probably the speech by Margaret Aspinall from the Hillsborough families on how he helped them was very poignant.

Also our club captain spoke very well of him and whatever each individual may think there were many who testified to the help he gave them.

Dave Cashen
318 Posted 18/12/2023 at 19:50:43

I'm sure Kenwright's memorial will be covered.
Rob Halligan
319 Posted 18/12/2023 at 20:26:05
For anyone interested, here is the full coverage of the Bill Kenwright memorial service held at Liverpool Anglican cathedral today:

Bill Kenwright's Memorial Service

Tony Abrahams
320 Posted 18/12/2023 at 20:35:38

Nobody split the fan base more than Bill Kenwright, and with the Evertonians really uniting for the first time since Joe Royle’s - Dogs of War, won us the cup, he might end up opening a lot of old wounds, whilst going around in circles. I might be wrong.

Graham Mockford
321 Posted 18/12/2023 at 20:50:02

My personal view is Kenwright made some big mistakes at Everton. Selling to Moshiri being the single biggest one.

But I don't think you can deny his love for our club and the number of ex-players and people he came across who clearly loved him might say a little. And that's what we heard at his memorial service.

Laurie Hartley
322 Posted 18/12/2023 at 21:53:06
I think it would be appropriate to put a thread up for Bill Kenwright’s memorial service but turn the comments off.

That would stop those who want to from driving a wedge into the fan base.

David Cooper
323 Posted 18/12/2023 at 23:20:03
It’s hard to watch and listen to what Everton greats of recent years had to say about Bill without feeling rather sad about all the shit that came his way in the last 5 years.

I truly believed he got well and truly suckered in by Moshiri (who was not at the service?) and his pal Usmanov when they pitched him the idea of a new stadium and millions to be spent on new players. When he realised what he had done, it was too late and I believe he tried and failed in the past couple of years to keep Moshiri in check.

Simon Jordan asked Bill why things were going wrong and was told "How do you tell a billionaire how to spend his money?"

Maybe it was for the best that he passed before the points deduction and maybe he has had a word with the Big Boss in the sky to change our fortunes on the field. He would have really enjoyed watching this new version of Everton after watching all the crap of the past few seasons.

How it must have hurt him not to have attended Goodison Park one last time. RIP, William Kenwright Chairman of Everton FC.

Barry Rathbone
324 Posted 18/12/2023 at 23:30:42

Well said.

Ian Jones
325 Posted 18/12/2023 at 23:59:15

I second Barry's comment.

Michael Spear
326 Posted 18/12/2023 at 00:32:05
David and Barry, both well said.

It was my 77th birthday yesterday and it started at a Requiem Mass for an 89-year-old neighbour (whose wife had died just weeks before him) and ended with me watching Bill Kenwright's memorial service. What ties the two events together were the eulogies given by people who spoke passionately about both and the love and goodwill they gave out over the course of their disparate lives.

I doubt my neighbour Brendan had to endure as much vitriol as Bill Kenwright did in his later years (though him working for Guinness for many years makes it unlikely!) but then he didn't carry the weight of trying to live the dreams of all Evertonians.

Of course it would have been better for us all had he stood down, or been eased out, when he'd found his billionaire. But listening to the likes of Seamus Coleman, Peter Reid, Andy Burnham and not least his wife and daughter speak so warmly of him leaves the impression that his heart was in the right place, and it was blue.

And yes, apart from the start and finish, I had a good birthday thanks.

David Cooper
327 Posted 19/12/2023 at 00:56:23
My hope that Bill was able to have a word with the Big Boss comes from when my dad died just before Christmas and in January we got through the 3rd round replay at Oxford thanks to Brock’s back pass and then we just couldn’t be beaten!
Mike Gaynes
328 Posted 19/12/2023 at 03:20:25

I had a friend at the memorial service today who was a good friend of Bill's and has felt his loss keenly.

He had no illusions about Bill's performance as owner, particularly in recent years. But how a man is remembered by his loved ones is all that matters, and I have no doubt that church was filled with those who will remember him with the warmest of affection.

Mike Gaynes
329 Posted 19/12/2023 at 03:36:54
From the Mail:

"... the most touching moment came when his life partner, Jenny Seagrove, took to the altar and a phone in the congregation accidentally rang out loud with the music of Z-Cars. ‘I can hear Z-Cars… that’s Bill!’ she joked.

‘I want to say 'my Bill' but he wasn't my Bill - he was our Bill. He was a man, who, as I think everyone has said, never left, never forgot where he came from.

‘Of all the people in my life I've ever met, he was the one person who really, really defined the word love. He loved me, he loved our dogs, he loved our home, my word did he love his family... He loved his friends, he loved the people he worked with who became his extended family and, oh, he loved his Club. The royal blue, the Toffees.’

Kieran Kinsella
330 Posted 19/12/2023 at 03:52:59
David Cooper,

I never met Bill Kenwright but I was a critic of his and I’m not going to deny it now that he has passed like a lot of others on here.

I thought and still think he was a self-serving egotist and his record of failure speaks for itself. However, he was a human being like the rest of us and susceptible to the same temptations and flaws as all of us.

There are a lot of people who’ve worked with me that would have nasty things to say… some legitimate, some IMO less so. It’s the same with Kenwright.

From my perspective as an Everton fan, all the deception, half-truths and I know several actors who had a low opinion of him, mean I did and still have a negative opinion of him as Everton chairman, owner etc.

But, I’m old enough and jaded enough to realize everyone is complex. I have family members who knew and loved him. He’s dead now so whatever I or anyone else thought of him is immaterial. But clearly a lot of people that knew him loved and respected him.

And as I say, he was human like the rest of us. Not good nor bad just in that grey area where everyone has an opinion. He did what he did. He was what he was. God rest his soul — just like the rest of us imperfect humans.

Paul Ferry
331 Posted 19/12/2023 at 06:06:03
Very well said, Kieran K, beautifully put, my exact sentiments.

I've just watched the service from the wrong cathedral, and what comes across more than anything else is the essential humanity and warmth of Bill Kenwright.

I've lampooned and lambasted Mr Kenwright on here too many times to count, and I'm not sorry for that because, in my opinion, he deserved it. He really did love Everton but he made mistakes, as have I. But his were of more consequence, naturally.

We can castigate Mr Kenwright for his failures and for some of the stuff that came out of his mouth down through the years, but that is the Everton footy stuff, and, unlike Kieran, I don't know about anything else.

We should never conflate Mr Kenwright's humanity and being with his hit-but-largely-miss record as our chairman. Tonight my overwhelming thought is how good and decent a human being our dead chairman is. Ask Margaret Aspinall.

Danny O’Neill
332 Posted 19/12/2023 at 06:21:44
You can watch the service and the speeches from former players and Margaret Aspinall from the Hillsborough families group on the club website.

Christine Foster
333 Posted 19/12/2023 at 07:38:49
The memorial to Bill Kenwright has been nicely reported by Lyndon on another thread. It's clear the man had a passion for life and a love of Everton. He was well thought of and loved by many.

I believe it's a shame his failings for acquiring friends and acquaintances whose financial influence and advice merely saw the club as a cash cow for themselves, left him seriously out of his depth in making commercial and financial decisions and believing in those who did not have anyone else's interests at heart.

I am saddened for for who will miss him and loved him, for he did a great deal of good along the way, in some way his credit and debit ledger will be assessed by St Peter this day... we will never know the full truth, or even his truth, but we are left picking up the pieces of our club.

Out of respect for those he touched and loved his ones, I offer my sincere condolences. The door quietly closes on this chapter, but it may be a while before it is forgotten. RIP.

Phil Wood
334 Posted 19/12/2023 at 07:49:29
David Cooper.

Well written, David. I think you hit the nail on the head.

RIP Bill Kenwright. A True Blue.

Danny O’Neill
335 Posted 19/12/2023 at 08:15:20
I can't add anything else to that Christine. Very balanced sentiment.

It's time to move on and focus on what is ahead.

Eddie Dunn
336 Posted 19/12/2023 at 08:25:33
I imagine that if any of us had found ourselves in Bill Kenwright's position over the years, that we would have all made mistakes.

Who knows whether he guided the club along the right lines? We find out snippets of information long after the events.

However, it was clear that he did love Everton and I am sure he didn't do it all just so he could pocket £40M.

Here on ToffeeWeb, we can't agree on a team lineup and not too long ago, people on here had the knives out for Sean Dyche.

He was in charge at a time when football in this country changed from a sport to a money laundry, complete with scoundrels and rogues dressed as respectable front men for oligarchs and oil-rich states.

That Bill failed, perhaps was naive at times or was out of touch, will have haunted him as much as the rest of us. But I doubt that any of us would have fared better. It was a big ask.

It sounds like he was a good man and, like most of us, far from perfect

RIP Chairman.

Brian Harrison
337 Posted 19/12/2023 at 09:47:38
I know there are widely differing opinions on Bill Kenwright's time as chairman and that is perfectly understandable.

I would just say the most poignant eulogy was given by Margaret Aspinall of the Hillsborough bereaved families. She said no words could express her thanks for the support she and the other families got from Bill Kenwright.

I also think the Hillsborough tribute at Goodison of the boy in a Blue Everton shirt with a number 9 on his back and the girl with the Liverpool shirt with the number 6 was the most moving of tributes and I would imagine this was certainly something that had Bill Kenwright all over it.

I will let others pass comment on if he was a good chairman or not but many people who attended yesterday spoke about his help and kindness he had showed them.

Brent Stephens
338 Posted 19/12/2023 at 10:16:17

I agree with ur comments about Kenwright’s funeral. Some poignant moments.

Rob Jones
339 Posted 19/12/2023 at 12:33:15
The discourse is toxic, and it is so because of his many missteps and misdeeds.

The biggest misstep was throwing the fanbase under the bus in the preamble to the Southampton game. But that was preceded by watching the club decline for decades, due to poor choices and refusing to allow the club to adapt to the times.

And yet. There was a human being. With a family, friends, and who lived a life away from the club. So let's leave it at that.

Mike Hayes
340 Posted 19/12/2023 at 13:06:35
He was first and foremost and actor, and a bad one at that, but that's all he was all his life, a bad actor, a charlatan snake oil salesman etc etc. He conned everybody but true to all egomaniacs, he tried to cover himself in glory by giving to charities and playing the big I am – we saw through it from the day he stole the club and conned his way. Nothing he has done since he made himself chairman has benefitted anyone but himself.

As a consequence, the club has burnt whilst he sat and fiddled. Bullshit after bullshit after bullshit and still those are too blind to see… or don't want to see!

We all know what he did and didn't do we can see the carnage he's left behind.

The real kick in the teeth for the fans was the Headlock gate - more bullshit to cover his own arse and that's what he was an arse.

He's gone so it appears has the curse and it appears to have strengthened the fan base which can't be all bad.

Fingers crossed we can eventually rise out of the ashes (he created) and go on to pick up a trophy or two and banish the memory of him and his barren “good times”. Boys pen, my arse! 💙

Dale Self
341 Posted 19/12/2023 at 13:20:45
I like how statements that could not possibly be defended while he was alive are now being bandied about upon his death.

If that is how you wish to honour him, fine. Just don’t act perplexed about how the final act is so contestable.

Stephen Davies
342 Posted 19/12/2023 at 14:04:36
Not mine… stolen from another forum.

“You are gone, Chairman William,” the young fan said.
“and since then we've become rather good.
Do you think our improvement's because you are dead
(I don't think so, but some others would.)”

“In my youth,” said the spectre, as grey as cold ash
“I bunked in! How the groundkeeper raged!
But if that was the first time I lost the club cash
I got better, I think, as I aged.”

“You've passed on, Chairman William,” the young rebel spoke.
“and they docked us 10 points when you did.
But were you aware sir, that we are dead broke,
ie, short of a couple of quid?”

“Oh! The times lad, good times, lad. The best that you'll know.
Recall them with tears in your eye!
The away win that March (which was one-in-a-row…)
and the day you found meat in your pie.”

“You're a shade now, our Billy, and lost to the soil –
a fact that won't yield many tears –
for few of us care that you've cast off your coil,
after what we've endured down the years.”

“Deary me,” said the vapour “but surely you jest.
I'm certain you're feeling bereft –
and that's as it should be, and all for the best.
Now excuse, as I exit, stage left.”

“As you leave, former Chairman, off, making your way
to dine out on cool milk and warm honey,
are you willing at last to yet finally say
what you did with the Arteta money?”

“Ah, poor youth,” sighed the mirage, “Although I am dead
I'm leaving you all in good care.
Triple seven improves on three sixes, it's said.”
And with that, he dissolved on the air...

Barry Rathbone
343 Posted 19/12/2023 at 14:10:57
You either accepted Kenwright made mistakes like all chairmen and recognise he wasn't in the Mansoor, Abramovich league to buy his way out – or you don't.

If you don't, he's a great target to vent on. Bit mad in my opinion but we're all different.

Billy Bradshaw
344 Posted 19/12/2023 at 14:16:19

I think I'm probably in the group too blind to see or who don't want to see.

To me, he was a Evertonian, hope it doesn't make me a bad 'un.

Don Alexander
345 Posted 19/12/2023 at 14:31:04
Kenwright - couldn't con all of the people some of the time or some of the people all of the time.

In the meantime, our club dwindled in every single important way whilst he got loaded at our expense.

Call that a legacy to revere?

Brian Wilkinson
346 Posted 19/12/2023 at 14:32:32
He left a very very rich man, let’s see how much an Evertonian he is by seeing his way into leaving just a little bit of his wealth to the club that is on the bones of its arse, even the Arteta money would be a start.

I will not hold my breath.

Danny O’Neill
347 Posted 19/12/2023 at 14:43:16
I think regardless of stance, and some of us weren't too objective to start with.

Some, like myself caught on a bit later and agreed he should have stepped down years ago and handed over the keys. Some had very strong views. I don't dismiss any of them.

Bill Gall
348 Posted 19/12/2023 at 15:20:03
After leaving for Canada in 1976 I can only go on comments from the club and supporters for and against him. My beliefs go on the the old saying, basically, "Never be too critical of a person unless you have walked a mile in their shoes."

I always found, whether it was good or bad, to do research on it and not rely on comments, especially from newspapers.

I recently lost my wife and it is surprising the amount of people who I had never met, commentated on the help she gave them that changed their lives. We all have our thoughts on a tragedy so the best I can say is RIP and condolences to your family.

Stephen Vincent
349 Posted 19/12/2023 at 15:36:05
Regarding Billl Kenwright, he was undoubtedly a humanitarian, however, along with his acolyte Denise Barrett-Baxendale, he was totally unsuited to and incapable of running a business in a fast-moving industry, ending up with a £200m turnover, whatever his motives were.

That is as polite as I can be.

Andy Riley
350 Posted 19/12/2023 at 15:41:48
Bill Kenwright's memorial service appeared well attended by many well-known Evertonians. I'm sure his life, like those of most people, was mixed in how it was seen by others both during their lifetime and thereafter.

What I think cannot be denied is that, for all his virtues and his faults, he was an Evertonian. Perhaps we all just need to leave it at that and move on in unity.

In the words of my long-departed mother – "If you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all."

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