Chairman Bill Kenwright and former star Peter Reid read emotional eulogies as thousands gathered to pay tribute to Howard Kendall at the Everton legend’s funeral on Thursday.
Kendall is revered as one of the club’s greatest players and formed part of Everton’s ‘Holy Trinity’ with Colin Harvey and Alan Ball.
As well as representing the club on the pitch between 1967 and 1974, Kendall also had three spells as manager, overseeing their great period of success between 1981 and 1987 when Everton won the league twice, as well as the FA Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup.
Kendall died at the age of 69 earlier this month, and 1,700 people paid their respects at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, while more fans gathered at Goodison Park.
Kenwright was among those to pay respect to the Everton great, saying: “This is my family. As a fan, he was the best. When he went for the ball he got the ball.
“He was just the best kind of midfield rock you could ever have. In 1981, he came home. He came back to us. He believed. He truly believed. What he brought to us what extraordinary.
“We loved him so very, very much. What made him the legend that he was? He understood us. He understood Everton. He loved the camaraderie, the team.
“He would love the fact that you all came here. That’s what made him great. We’ll never get over it. He was a blue.”
Reid played under Kendall in the 1980s and assisted him when he was manager of Manchester City.
“He was just a really warm human being and that’s why we’re here,” he said. “I was just proud to play for him, and then I was lucky enough to work with him on the other side at Manchester City to get an insight of a man who had a great knowledge of the game.
“The memory that sticks with me is the first trophy, the FA Cup final, walking down the steps and just seeing him smile, and that will live with me forever.”
Former team-mate Joe Royle and Graham Stuart were also among those to also read eulogies.