Everton chairman and West End legend Bill Kenwright dies aged 78

24 October 2023, 17:05 | Updated: 24 October 2023, 17:27

Bill Kenwright has died, aged 78
Bill Kenwright has died, aged 78. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Everton’s club chairman Bill Kenwright has died aged 78, the club has confirmed.

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Jenny Seagrove, Kenwright's wife, and his daughter Lucy said they were "devastated" to share the news of his death.

Kenwright was "driven by his passions and devoted his life to them", which included theatre, film, music and his "beloved Everton", they said in a statement.

They went on: "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 chairman Bill Kenwright looks on during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Chelsea FC at Goodison Park on August 06, 2022
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright looks on during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Chelsea FC at Goodison Park on August 06, 2022. Picture: Getty

A club statement reads: "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.

"Everton’s longest serving chairman for more than a century, Bill Kenwright led the Club through a period of unprecedented change in English football.

"A lifelong Evertonian, he became a board member on October 23, 1989, and then on Boxing Day 1999 his True Blue Holdings consortium acquired the Club.

"Initially vice-chairman, he succeeded his close friend Sir Philip Carter as Chair in 2004."

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It went on: "The club has lost a chairman, a leader, a friend, and an inspiration. 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."

It comes two weeks after Kenwright had a cancerous tumour removed from his liver.

Complications from his surgery required Kenwright to stay in an intensive care unit for a “prolonged period”.

Kenwright is considered to be one of the UK’s most successful theatre producers, working on West End hit Blood Brothers and Scrooge.

Bill Kenwright
Bill Kenwright. Picture: Getty

He also produced a series of films, including Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, Stepping Out and more recently, The Fanatic.

Kenwright had been on the Everton board since 1989, becoming the second largest shareholder ten years later. In 2004, he became the largest stakeholder.

He is survived by his partner, Jenny Seagrove, and daughter Lucy Kenwright.

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