Everton chairman and legendary theatre producer Bill Kenwright has died at the age of 78.
The Liverpudlian had surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from his liver in August. He was kept in intensive care for a prolonged period after complications during surgery but returned home two weeks ago.
Everton released a statement confirming the club was in mourning following the death of its long-term chairman.
The statement read: “The club has lost a chairman, a leader, a friend, and an inspiration.
“The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Everton are with his partner Jenny Seagrove, his daughter Lucy Kenwright, grandchildren and everybody who knew and loved him.”
Kenwright first became a board member of Everton in 1989 before his True Blue Holdings consortium acquired the club in 1999 and he took the role of deputy chairman.
He had been chairman of the Merseyside outfit for almost 20 years, having succeeded his close friend Sir Philip Carter in 2004.
Several changes to the Toffees’ board of directors were made last summer following their 17th-place finish in the Premier League.
Chief Executive Officer Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Chief Finance and Strategy Officer Grant Ingles and Non-Executive Director Graeme Sharp were all dismissed from their positions.
But Kenwright had agreed to remain in the role at the request of owner Farhad Moshiri to help the club through a transitional period.
Moshiri has reached an agreement with American private investment firm 777 Partners to sell Everton, but the deal still requires regulatory approval.
Kenwright was also one of the most successful theatre producers in the United Kingdom.
He was best known for the long-running West End hit Blood Brothers and the record-breaking UK tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
He was awarded a CBE for his services to film and theatre in the 2001 New Year’s Honours List.
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