Kenwright ‘a wonderful man’ – ex-Everton boss Moyes

The late Bill Kenwright was “a wonderful man”, according to former Everton manager David Moyes.

The club announced on Tuesday that chairman Kenwright had died aged 78 after suffering from cancer.

Current manager Sean Dyche and captain Seamus Coleman laid flowers outside Goodison Park in Kenwright’s honour on Wednesday.

“He gave me a big opportunity in my career, when I was a young manager in the lower leagues,” said Moyes.

“He was a wonderful man, brilliantly supportive. I couldn’t have had a better chairman as a youngcoach.”

Now the West Ham boss, Moyes was 38 when he left Championship side Preston for Everton in 2002 and he was in charge until 2013.

Current Toffees boss Dyche was appointed in January, helping them avoid relegation from the Premier League.

The Everton squad held a training session at Goodison on Wednesday and all players and staff observed a minute’s silence beforehand, with Kenwright’s image shown on the stadium’s screens.

In a statement, Dyche said that Kenwright had been “such an amazing servant to the club in so many ways

“His influence in bringing me to Everton in the first place was important and I have nothing but gratitude and respect for his unwavering support of myself, the staff and our players.

“It was a pleasure to share the moment of reaching our objective last season with him – a moment I know he felt so strongly about after such an arduous season, on and off the pitch.

“He was an incredible professional, in terms of what he did with Everton and also what he achieved in the theatre industry.

“Spending time with him and learning about his family, you couldn’t help but be taken by his passion.”

Moyes added: “When I look at modern football nowadays, how difficult it is for any young managers to make their way, Bill Kenwright was great to work with.

“We had great times over 11 years with him and we had some successful moments together. He’ll be sadly missed.”

Former midfielder Leon Osman, who played for Everton between 2000 and 2016, told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Football Daily podcast: “You measure people by how they treat people around them.

“Bill Kenwright was one of those who always made you feel like you were the centre of the world. My children always felt they were close friends with Bill, [that goes for] opposition players or our players too. Everyone felt that way.

“That is an art some people have. When you talk about Everton as the people’s club, he was the people.”

Ex-Scotland winger Pat Nevin, who played for Everton from 1988 to 1992, told BBC Radio Merseyside: “He came to the club just after the time I arrived and slowly but surely over the years he became a more and more important part of the club. He did put his time, his money, his love and his effort into the club for a long time.

“As I was leaving he said ‘I’m gutted mate’. He didn’t need to say it. It’s just that smile he’s got on his face, that kind and caring consideration that he always had with people. It meant a lot to me at the time that somebody like him made the effort to come and say that.”

Speaking in a news conference, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said that Kenwright had a “massive heart for the city and a massive heart for Everton.

“But the message he gave around the Hillsborough speech he held that time, I heard about: ‘They chose the wrong city and chose the wrong mums’. That’s a really strong message.

“With all of the rivalry with Everton, especially around the games, I don’t think we have any issues with each other left or right of games.

“This just shows how united we are in these moments, and that’s really big. He found the right words for it. My condolences to the family. I hope they are OK.”

Everton banner footer