Arsenal and Everton footballer Kevin Campbell dies aged 54

15 June 2024, 10:35 | Updated: 15 June 2024, 11:20

Kevin Campbell has died
Kevin Campbell has died. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Former Arsenal and Everton footballer Kevin Campbell has died aged 54.

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Campbell was a title winner with the north London and a hero at Goodison Park after helping save Everton from relegation in 1999.

The former striker had fallen ill in late May and had been rushed to hospital.

Arsenal said: "We are devastated to learn that our former striker Kevin Campbell has died after a short illness.

"Kevin was adored by everyone at the club.

"All of us are thinking of his friends and family at this difficult time. Rest in peace, Kevin."

Kevin Campbell playing for Arsenal in 1992
Kevin Campbell playing for Arsenal in 1992. Picture: Getty

Campbell broke into the Arsenal side in 1988, and went on to make 213 appearances for the Gunners over seven years and scoring 59 goals.

He moved to Nottingham Forest aged 25 in 1995, scoring 31 goals in 82 appearances over three seasons.

A short spell in Turkey with Trabzonspor followed, before he was transferred back to England with Everton, where he spent five full seasons.

Kevin Campbell in 2023
Kevin Campbell in 2023. Picture: Getty

He scored 39 times in 151 games for Everton, helping them stay up in 1999 with a series of crucial goals.

He immediately became a fan favourite at Goodison and remains the club's fifth-highest Premier League goal-scorer.

Kevin Campbell and Ian Wright celebrate a goal for Arsenal in 1993
Kevin Campbell and Ian Wright celebrate a goal for Arsenal in 1993. Picture: Getty

Away from the pitch during his time at the club, Campbell set up a record label, 2 Wikid, signing controversial rapper Mark Morrison to it, but their partnership turned sour and resulted in a legal battle in 2004 over the release of the Return of the Mack star's album Innocent Man.

Arsenal players from left to right, Andy Linighan, Kevin Campbell, Paul Davis, David Rocastle and Lee Dixon  celebrate after securing the League Division One Championship
Arsenal players from left to right, Andy Linighan, Kevin Campbell, Paul Davis, David Rocastle and Lee Dixon celebrate after securing the League Division One Championship. Picture: Getty

Campbell moved to West Brom in January 2005 and performed another rescue act as they became the first club bottom of the table at Christmas to survive.

It was a temporary reprieve, however, as they went down the next year and Campbell joined Cardiff for 12 months before retiring.

True to his nice guy reputation, he maintained he understood having been named in England squads but never winning a cap.

Kevin Campbell playing for Everton in 2002
Kevin Campbell playing for Everton in 2002. Picture: Getty

"I was not disappointed at all to not play for England. There were a lot of good players in that era so it was difficult to get into the team," he said.

"I am probably a good trivia question for a player who was called up but never won a cap."

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