Legendary football manager Howard Kendall has died at the age of 69.
Kendall won the title with Everton as a player in 1969 as part of the famous ‘Holy Trinity’ along with Alan Ball and Colin Harvey but his finest achievements came when he returned to Goodison Park as boss in 1981.
Within four years he had won the First Division championship, repeating the feat in 1987, while also winning the FA Cup and European Cup-Winners’ Cup in the club’s most successful era.
“It is with great sadness that Everton Football Club has learned of the passing of Howard Kendall,” said a statement from the club.
“The most successful manager in the history of the club and one of the greatest players to pull on the Everton jersey, he passed away in hospital in Southport this morning at the age of 69, surrounded by loved ones.
“The thoughts of everyone associated with the club are with Howard’s family at this difficult time and it would be appreciated if everyone could respect their request for privacy.”
Kendall also played for Preston North End, Birmingham City, Stoke City and Blackburn Rovers while his managerial career included spells at Athletic Bilbao, Manchester City, Notts County, Sheffield United and Greek sides Xanthi and Ethnikos Piraeus.
Sheffield United today tweeted: “Condolences to the family and friends of former Blades boss Howard Kendall, who has passed away, aged 69.”
Former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Dalglish tweeted: “Very very sad news about Howard Kendall. Total respect for him as a player manager and person. Fantastic character. Be sadly missed. A legend.”
Labour MP and Everton fan Andy Burnham also paid tribute on Twitter, writing: “Struggling with awful news that the finest manager in our history, the great Howard Kendall, has passed on. Thanks for the memories, Howard.”
Ex-Everton star Tony Cottee told Sky Sports News: “It’s desperately sad news. He was a top, top manager, held in such high esteem at Everton.
“If you did the business for him he loved you to bits. He looked after his players.
“It’s unusual for a top player to be such a top manager but Everton under Howard in the mid-80s were a fantastic team.
“He was a tremendous coach who could get his point across and his door was always open too.
“I have nothing but fantastic memories of my time working under him.
“Tactically he was fantastic, a joy to play with, and made changes when he needed to.
“I was with him three or four months ago. He lived life to the full and loved being amongst the fans enjoying himself. He’ll be sadly missed.”
News of Kendall’s death came just hours before Everton’s home game against Manchester United this afternoon.
The Merseyside club announced that the match would be preceded by a minute’s silence while the players would wear black armbands.