Thousands gather to pay tribute to Everton legend Kendall

Date published: Thursday 29th October 2015 2:38

Howard Kendall: Thousands attended funeral on Thursday

Howard Kendall: Thousands attended funeral on Thursday

Thousands of fans and football luminaries gathered at Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral on Thursday for the funeral of Everton legend Howard Kendall.

Kendall, a Goodison Park favourite as both player and manager, died 12 days ago at the age of 69.

Everton players from the past 50 years were among those in attendance along with famous names from across the world of football.

The service was open to fans but the 1,700 seats quickly filled up and hundreds more gathered outside the gates where proceedings were broadcast via loudspeakers.

Yet more fans gathered at Goodison Park and the funeral cortege did a lap of the ground on its way to the cathedral, pausing by the statue of Dixie Dean.

The cortege arrived at the cathedral just before 1pm and was greeted by warm applause.

Kendall won the league title with Everton as a player in 1969 as part of the famous ‘Holy Trinity’ along with Alan Ball and Colin Harvey, but undoubtedly his best achievements came when he returned to Goodison Park as manager in 1981.

Within three 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.

Born in County Durham in May 1946, he began his career with Preston and also played for Birmingham, Stoke and Blackburn while his managerial posts included Blackburn, Athletic Bilbao, Manchester City, Notts County, Sheffield United and Greek sides Xanthi and Ethnikos Piraeus.

Peter Reid was a key member of Kendall’s great Everton team of the 1980s and later worked with him and then succeeded him as manager of Manchester City.

Reid said: “He was just a really warm human being and that’s why we’re here. I was just proud to play for him, and then I was lucky enough to work with him on the other side at Manchester City to get an insight of a man who had a great knowledge of the game.

“The memory that sticks with me is the first trophy, the FA Cup final, walking down the steps and just seeing him smile, and that will live with me forever.”

Reid and fellow Everton stalwarts Joe Royle and Graham Stuart gave eulogies while Duncan Ferguson did a reading and Everton chairman Bill Kenwright paid his own tribute to Kendall.

Adrian Heath was a player Kendall signed three times, and the former Everton midfielder said: “Obviously it’s a sad day and last weekend when I found out the news I was devastated because nobody’s done more for me in my career than this man.

“I’m sure there’ll be a few tears but I know there’ll be some laughter this afternoon because we had some incredible days on and off the field with Howard. He was a very larger-than-life character.

“I was with him at five different clubs and every time, whenever we’d start reminiscing after a game, it inevitably came back to Everton. This club meant everything to him.

“The amount of people that turn up today will show how much he was loved.”

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