Born : 22nd May 1946
Birthplace : Ryton-on-Tyne
Height : 5ft 10ins
Weight : 11st 4lbs
Howard Kendall joined Everton in March of 1967, after already becoming the youngest ever player to play in an FA Cup Final for Preston in 1964, for Ã‚Â£80,000 when Harry Catterick stole in and signed him from under Bill Shankly’s nose as Everton knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup by virtue of an Alan Ball volley.
Kendall joined the midfield pairing of Alan Ball and Colin Harvey to form what has become known as the “Holy Trinity” – the most influential midfield combination that Everton have ever had, helping the Blues to an emphatic League Championship success in 1969-70.
As a player, Kendall appeared 231 time in a blue shirt, scoring 21 goals, but it was his time as manager for which he will never be forgotten, moulding Everton’s most successful side and ensuring that during the mid-80’s, it was Everton who dominated the footballing talk on Merseyside.
His last act as player, however, was as part of a complex transfer deal in 1974 which saw Kendall move to Birmingham City, and Bob Latchford, another Evrton legen, come in the opposite direction to Goodison Park.
In 1981, Kendall returned to Everton as manager. He had his problems in the early years, and in January of 1984 the back pages of the Echo were calling for Kendall’s head, and just four months later, he led his team to FA Cup success, and in the following season took the League Championship and European Cup Winners Cup, as well as narrowly being pipped in the FA Cup Final. Unsurprisingly, Kendall was named as manager of the year.
Kendall then brought Gary Lineker to Everton, who went on to win the Golden Boot in the 1986 World Cup, making Everton the only English club to have an English Golden Boot winner among their number, but medals were not forthcoming, missing out to the red side of Liverpool in both the league and FA Cup, and Lineker went to Barcelona, a move many believe Kendall thought he would follow a year later.
However, after winning the League one more time in 1987, Kendall felt he needed a new challenge, and Athletico Bilbao in Spain was his destination rather than the Nou Camp. He went on to manage Manchester City, Everton again, Notts County, Sheffield United and Everton for a third time, parting company with the club following a season in which they hung on to Premiership survival on goal difference from Bolton Wanderers.
A testimonial match is planned for Howard at some point in the 2005-06 season, a match which will surely see a fitting tribute to a member of Everton’s greatest ever midfield, and Everton’s most successful manager, to date.
Click here to read a great tale about Howard Kendall, written by Independent Blue Ian McDonald