Tributes pour in following the death of former Everton manager Howard Kendall
Everton's greatest-ever manager Howard Kendall has died at the age of 69.
Kendall won the title with the club as a player in 1969 as part of the famous 'Holy Trinity' along with Alan Ball and Colin Harvey, but undoubtedly his best achievements came when he returned to Goodison Park in 1981.
Within three years he had won the First Division championship, repeating the feat in 1987, while also winning the FA Cup and European Cup-Winners' Cup in the club's most successful era in which the Toffees became a powerhouse of British football.
"It is with great sadness that Everton Football Club has learned of the passing of Howard Kendall," said a statement from the club.
"The most successful manager in the history of the club and one of the greatest players to pull on the Everton jersey, he passed away in hospital in Southport this morning at the age of 69, surrounded by loved ones.
"The thoughts of everyone associated with the club are with Howard's family at this difficult time and it would be appreciated if everyone could respect their request for privacy."
Tony Cottee has paid tribute to former Everton player and manager Howard Kendall.
The death of Kendall, described by the Toffees as "the most successful manager in the history of the club and one of the greatest players to pull on the jersey", was announced on Saturday morning by Everton. He was 69.
Kendall won the title with the club as a player in 1969 as part of the famous 'Holy Trinity' along with Alan Ball and Colin Harvey, and had three spells as a manager.
He played for Preston, Birmingham, Stoke and Blackburn, before also managing Blackburn, Athletic Bilbao, Manchester City, Notts County, Sheffield United and Greek sides Xanthi and Ethnikos Piraeus.
However, he is best remembered for his first spell as Everton boss, helping them to two First Division titles, the FA Cup and European Cup-Winners' Cup.
Cottee told Sky Sports News: "It's desperately sad news. He was a top, top manager, held in such high esteem at Everton. If you did the business for him he loved you to bits. He looked after his players.
"It's unusual for a top player to be such a top manager but Everton under Howard in the mid-80s were a fantastic team.
"He was a tremendous coach who could get his point across and his door was always open too. I have nothing but fantastic memories of my time working under him. Tactically he was fantastic, a joy to play with, and made changes when he needed to.
"I was with him three or four months ago. He lived life to the full and loved being amongst the fans enjoying himself. He'll be sadly missed."