'A lovely fella' – Bill Kenwright 'had time for everybody' and 'did his best' for Everton Football Club

Bill Kenwright has been hailed as a ‘lovely bloke’ that always had time for other people following the news of his death.

Everton announced on Tuesday that the club’s long-standing chairman had passed away at the age of 78.

Tributes have poured in for the late Toffees chairman

He had recently suffered complications from surgery to remove a cancerous tumour in his liver.

Kenwright became chairman of the Toffees in 2004 and his association with the club dates back to 1989.

One man that knew Kenwright well was talkSPORT’s Graham Beecroft, who gave his tribute to the late Everton chairman shortly after the news of his death had broken.

Speaking about just how much Kenwright will be missed, Beecroft said on Drivetime: “Very much so. I mean he was a fan of the club, top to bottom, that’s the thing about him in that he was different from some other chairman, certainly these days, some of the chairman that have come in and bought football clubs.”

“He was a very, very nice person,” Beecroft continued. “A charming person. He’d always come and have a chat to you if you were down in the tunnel and he was wondering around. He always said hello and had a cheery smile.

“He was a lovely fella, a really nice guy to meet and to know. It’s a big disappointment that he’s gone. He’ll be missed by so many people. The people that know him will be really disappointed with the way he went out.

“Nonetheless he will be someone who will always be remembered as an Everton fan. He did his best for the football club. Right at the very end, the fact is, events overtook him really.

“The way that football was going, the fans thought, ‘well this is somebody that isn’t able to put money into the football club, he should stand down and move on’. That was very disappointing indeed.”

Kenwright was a permanent fixture at Goodison Park for two decades

But despite the unrest around the ongoing takeover at Everton and the relegation battles of recent years, Beecroft says Kenwright always had the supporters interests at heart.

“He used to sit in the directors’ box and he’d invite fans who might have been sitting around him to come and sit in the directors’ box to see what it was like,” he continued. “Just an ordinary guy.

“I’ll always remember one individual who was an Evertonian through and through who was actually a bin man, and he used to stand outside the main door of Goodison Park and collect autographs and say hello to Bill.

“One day Bill invited him to go into the directors’ box. He took him into the directors’ lounge as well and he let him feel what it was like on the inside. That was Bill Kenwright. He always had a thought for other people.”