The time to say farewell to Howard Kendall is very nearly upon us, with the great man’s funeral service to be held tomorrow in Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral.
While many of us were obviously saddened to hear of his passing last weekend, we should now remember his achievements. Just look at what he won at Everton alone: three league titles (one as a player, two as manager), one FA Cup, one European Cup Winners Cup, with umpteen other finals in between.
I’m of a generation of fans that began watching football (and following Everton) while Howard was the boss, and all Everton fans of this time will adore him. Sure, he had two other less successful spells here, but that simply shows the fact that he loved the club and simply could not say no to Everton. He loved the club as blindly as we do.
You could see how much he was loved by the feeling around Goodison Park against Manchester United on the day that he died – not many people had their minds on football that afternoon. I heard Ian Snodin on the radio that afternoon as the news broke, and he was in pieces. The tributes to him have come from far and wide, and you know you have a real legend on your hands when even the red half of the city can’t find a bad word to say about him.
So in the week where we, in a trophy drought, had a League Cup match against a team that play in yellow, and we played badly yet won (where do we remember that from?) we say goodbye to the man who was still called “boss” by all his former players.
I remember hearing him speak once, not so long ago, about how he was introduced at public events. While he greatly admired his old boss Harry Catterick, he was very proud that he eclipsed those achievements, so I’ll leave it with the words he loved being introduced by: Howard Kendall, the most successful Everton manager.