Roberto Martinez has hailed the legacy of Howard Kendall, the legendary former Everton player and manager who passed away at the weekend.
Goodison Park was in mourning on Saturday when news broke of the sad passing of Kendall at the age of 69, just hours before their 3-0 home loss to Manchester United. But this defeat paled into significance when compared to the impact their former player and manager had on the club, who he first joined from Preston North End in 1967 for a fee of £85,000.
Kendall would go on to make 276 appearances in all competitions for the Toffees, including a brief second spell at the end of his career, helping them win the league title in 1970. He returned as manager in 1981 and led them to two league titles, an FA Cup and the European Cup-Winners Cup during a six-year spell before he left for Athletic Bilbao in 1987.
After being sacked by the Spaniards he returned to England with Manchester City in December 1989, but when his beloved Everton came calling just less than 12 months later he moved across the North West. This second spell ended when he resigned in December 1993, but he would return for a third stint in 1997-98 when the club avoided relegation on the final day.
“It was very sad news to get, so unexpectedly,” current Blues boss Martinez told Sky Sports HQ. “Since then we’ve had time to reflect and his is a legacy that will be with us for the rest of our history. Howard Kendall as a footballer was iconic but as a manager he is reference and he will always be an inspiration. Our thoughts are straight away with his family.”