Moshiri – 'special' Kenwright 'will never be forgotten'

Farhad Moshiri hails ‘special’ Bill Kenwright and insists he ‘will never be forgotten’ in an emotional tribute… as Everton skipper Seamus Coleman labels him as ‘more than a chairman’

  • Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has tragically passed away at the age of 78
  • Farhad Moshiri purchased Kenwright’s majority stake in the club back in 2016 
  • The Everton owner had a close relationship with Kenwright and paid tribute 

Farhad Moshiri has paid a heartwarming tribute to Bill Kenwright after the Everton chairman passed away.

Kenwright, 78, had undergone surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from his liver in August. Complications during surgery led to him spending a prolonged period in intensive care before he returned home two weeks ago. 

However, Everton announced the tragic news on Tuesday evening that Kenwright – who first joined the board at Goodison Park in 1989 – had passed away peacefully on Monday while surrounded by his family and loved ones. 

Kenwright assumed full control of the club in 2000 before selling his majority stake to Moshiri in 2016 but he remained closely involved and linked to the British-Iranian businessman as chairman.

And, after news of his death was announced, Moshiri – who is technically still the owner of Everton despite announcing a deal to sell his 94.1 per cent stake to 777 Partners – hailed Kenwright and the impact he had on his boyhood club.

Farhad Moshiri paid tribute to Bill Kenwright after the Everton chairman passed away

Kenwright first joined the Everton board in 1989 and assumed full control of the club in 2000 from Peter Johnson before selling his majority stake to Moshiri in 2016 

‘I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of my great friend Bill,’ he told Everton’s website. 

‘Bill was a force of nature and he certainly changed my life nearly ten years ago when he first spoke to me about getting involved with the club he adored. 

‘He told me about this incredible club, a club that not only has history and heritage but was also a beating heart of our community and for that I will always be grateful. He was very persuasive and I invested both into that football club, and also into becoming part of it and joining a new family.

‘There can be no mistaking that Bill loved Everton Football Club. 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.’ 

Moshiri continued: ‘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.

‘Bill loved Goodison Park, a stadium that held so many special memories but he also shared in an incredible vision for our new stadium and when the club moves in I don’t think anyone would have been prouder.

‘The new Everton Stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock will provide an iconic new home for the club on the banks of the Royal Blue Mersey and will stand as a lasting legacy to his memory. 

‘He oversaw the process in his role as chairman during a very challenging period for such a significant infrastructure project including the impact of the Covid pandemic.’

Moshiri went onto also pay tribute to Kenwright as a person and revealed he would miss someone who became a close friend of his.

He added: ‘On a personal level I will miss no longer hearing his voice on the end of a telephone many times each day, talking about players, plotting how the club can do better and better.

‘Regardless of the natural unpredictability of our game and the associated ups and downs – my friendship with Bill has always remained strong.

‘He was a special soul, a man successful in so many different walks of life. We will miss him but never forget him. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to his family at this sad time.

‘Rest in Peace my friend.’

Everton captain Seamus Coleman – who joined the club as a 20-year-old and has gone onto spend his whole career at Goodison Park – also expressed his admiration for Kenwright and admitted he would forever be grateful for his support.

The Irishman said: ‘Bill Kenwright was more than a chairman to me. He was a friend. The way he treated me and my family when I first came to the club from Ireland was incredible.

Everton captain Seamus Coleman hailed Kenwright and said he was ‘more than a chairman’

Everton announced on Tuesday that Kenwright had passed away and tributes have poured in 

‘It meant the world to us and was a massive part of me settling in and having a career with Everton. And I know that I am far from being the only player to be able to say that.

‘The Chairman never interfered and very rarely visited the dressing room, but we all knew that he was there if we needed him. And when he did speak to us as a group, we listened because he knew our club as well as anyone.

‘He was inspirational, he was so kind, he loved Everton, and his presence will be sorely missed.

‘My thoughts, and those of my family, are with Jenny and the rest of his family at this very, very sad time.’

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