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Everton chairman Kenwright dead at 78

Bill Kenwright Bill Kenwright - Everton FC

Everton announced the passing of club chairman Bill Kenwright on Tuesday.

He was 78. He had recently undergone surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from his liver.

A native of Liverpool. Kenwright joined the Toffees board in 1989 and became chairman in 2004, making him the longest serving person in the role for more than 100 years. During his time as chairman, Everton finished in the top eight on 12 occasions, reached Europe six times and finished in the top four in 2005.

"The club has lost a chairman, a leader, a friend, and an inspiration," Everton said in a statement. "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."

A stage-play producer and actor, Kenwright starred on beloved British soap opera Coronation Street from 1968 to 2012 as Gordon Clegg.

"Bill was driven by his passions and devoted his life to them; his deep love of theatre, film, music and his beloved Everton, and the families they created," his family said in a statement. He impacted the lives of thousands, whether that be through the launching of careers or his unending loyalty, generosity and unfaltering friendship and support." "We will remember him with huge love and admiration - the shows will of course go on, as he would have wished, and his towering legacy will continue."

Everton returns to Premier League action on Sunday with a visit to West Ham