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Yalla Shoot :Bill Kenwright: Everton chairman and theatre impresario dies aged 78 | Everton

Bill Kenwright, Everton’s chairman for the past 19 years, has died aged 78.

Kenwright was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 and was recently in intensive care after complications during surgery to remove a tumour from his liver. Everton said this month that he had returned home and was expected to make a “lengthy but complete” recovery. The club announced on Tuesday that Kenwright had died.

“Everton Football Club is in mourning following the death of chairman Bill Kenwright CBE, who passed away peacefully last night aged 78, surrounded by his family and loved ones,” a statement said. The club said it had lost “a chairman, a leader, a friend, and an inspiration”.

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Kenwright was an actor and musician from Liverpool who became one of the UK’s most successful theatre impresarios, producing musicals such as Blood Brothers and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

A boyhood Everton fan, he joined the club’s board in 1989 and led the consortium that bought out the former owner Peter Johnson 10 years later. Kenwright became Everton chairman in 2004 but his time in charge was not a success, with the club enduring the longest trophy drought in its history and several stadium projects collapsing on his watch.

In 2016, after a lengthy search for new investment, Kenwright sold the majority of his stake to Farhad Moshiri, who allowed him to remain as chairman. Moshiri solved Everton’s stadium issue, with an impressive arena under construction on Liverpool’s waterfront, but has overseen a tumultuous period on and off the pitch.

Kenwright had not attended a game at Goodison Park since 3 January amid protests over Everton’s decline under Moshiri and his board.

Everton said Kenwright had been their longest-serving chairman for more than a century and had “led the club through a period of unprecedented change in English football”.

Liverpool city council said in a statement: “Extremely sad news. Bill Kenwright was a true scouse powerhouse and passionate advocate of our city. What a life! What a legacy. In the arts and sport. Our thoughts are with everyone at Everton FC and Bill’s family.”

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