Bill Kenwright hailed as ‘perfect gentleman’ ahead of Everton game

Bill Kenwright has been hailed as a “perfect gentleman” by Everton boss Sean Dyche following the football chairman’s death.

The West End theatre producer died on Monday aged 78 after nearly two decades as chairman of the Merseyside club.

On Thursday, the green lights of the musical Wicked at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre were turned blue along with other theatres across the UK, including the Liverpool Empire and Blackpool Grand Theatre, to mark his passing.

Kenwright starred in Coronation Street as Gordon Clegg before working with Tim Rice and Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber on Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita.

On Sunday, Everton will face West Ham at the London Stadium, the first Premier League clash since the chairman’s death.

Dyche told a Friday press conference: “He was a perfect gentleman.

“He was nothing but supportive, even through some hard times. He’s been someone to pick up the phone to, always got time for you and always wanted to find out what was going on really. Touch base with the feel of the camp, the players, the mood, individuals and often telling me his wisdom around Everton.

“To stay up on the last day in the fashion we did, to share that with him was a big moment and he felt differently to me how big that was after a tough season.”

Another manager that worked under Kenwright was West Ham boss David Moyes.

Dyche insists it is fitting that Everton’s first game played following his death is against another manager that was close to him during his time at the club.

He added: “The twists of life are weird and wonderful. I’ve always got on well with Moyes and he’s been supportive of myself.

“It’s strange that we are meant to be playing a manager that meant so much to the chairman and vice versa, but it will be good to see him.

“There was a lot of good around that period (Moyes as manager), with the strength of the club, the team, the connection and the things I have spoke about, and I still think it’s valid in the modern era. We have been trying to make a version of that.”