- Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has tragically passed away at the age of 78
- Former Toffee Alex Iwobi made 140 appearances for the club from 2019 to 2023
- He shared a heartfelt tribute to Kenwright and thanked him for his support
Kenwright, 78, had undergone surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from his liver in August. Complications during surgery led to him spending a prolonged period in intensive care before he returned home two weeks ago.
However, Everton announced the tragic news on Tuesday evening that Kenwright – who first joined the board at Goodison Park in 1989 – had passed away peacefully on Monday while surrounded by his family and loved ones.
And after the news of Kenwright’s death was announced, the midfielder paid a touching tribute to the boyhood Evertonian and hailed the impact he had on his career.
Alex Iwobi paid a heartfelt tribute to Bill Kenwright after the Everton chairman passed away
He shared a photo of Kenwright on social media and revealed a text conversation they had
Sharing a photo of Kenwright on social media, Iwobi said: ‘RIP to a hero. Played a big part in my career and my life, I’ll forever be grateful.’
Along with the tribute and photo, Iwobi attached a screenshot of a message conversation with Kenwright which highlighted their close relationship.
The Everton chief had messaged Iwobi on May 14 2022 which was during the club’s ultimately successful battle against relegation under Frank Lampard, with the Toffees facing Brentford in a crunch clash on May 15.
Kenwright had said: ‘No one is more pleased than your chairman that you are on the way to becoming an Everton legend Alex… I’m SO proud of you coz I know it’s not always been easy.
‘Be our hero tomorrow… again!! God bless you. Chairman.’
Iwobi had replied at the time: ‘Thank you very much for the message, appreciate it so much. I’ll continue fighting for Everton.’
The screenshot also showed a later message from September 18 2022 which came after Everton’s first win of the 2022-23 season, courtesy of a 1-0 victory against West Ham at Goodison Park.
Iwobi played 140 times for Everton and insisted he would ‘forever be grateful’ to Kenwright
Kenwright had said he was ‘so proud’ of Iwobi during their battle against relegation in 2021-22
Again, Kenwright had messaged Iwobi and said: ‘It’s time to tell you again Alex… your chairman is so proud of you. Another immaculate performance. And a win!!!! Congratulations. Chairman.’
Iwobi had then responded: ‘Thank you for the message, happy to get our first win this season… cheers to many more.’
Iwobi had originally moved to the club when Marco Silva was the manager, with Kenwright in charge as chairman.
After a difficult start, he played a huge role in the aforementioned survival battle under Lampard in 2021-22 and then under Sean Dyche in 2022-23. He became increasingly popular with supporters before his move to Fulham.