Everton chairman Kenwright dies aged 78

 

Bill Kenwright the chairman of Everton reacts during the Premier League match between Everton and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on May 19, 2022 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. 

Everton chairman Bill Kenwright, an acclaimed West End theatre and film producer, has died at the age of 78.

Kenwright had surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from his liver eight weeks ago.

He had been on the board at Everton since 1989, taking over as chairman at Goodison Park in 2004.

The Liverpudlian was also one of the UK's most successful theatre producers and played Gordon Clegg in Coronation Street between 1968 and 2012.

Kenwright was awarded a CBE for his services to film and theatre in the 2001 New Years Honours List.

Everton said it was "in mourning" following the death of the club's longest-serving chairman for more than a century.

"The club has lost a chairman, a leader, a friend, and an inspiration," Everton added.

On 12 October, the Premier League club said Kenwright had a cancerous tumour removed from his liver six weeks before.

Everton said the operation was "completely successful", but complications meant Kenwright required a "prolonged period in an intensive care unit".

Announcing his death on Tuesday, Kenwright's family said he "passed away peacefully" on Monday night "surrounded by his family and loved ones".

"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," a family statement read.

"He impacted the lives of thousands, whether that be through the launching of careers or his unending loyalty, generosity and unfaltering friendship and support."

In a multiple award-winning career spanning six decades, Kenwright produced more than 500 West End, Broadway, UK touring and international theatre productions, films and music albums.

"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," his family added.

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