Nigerian midfielder and former Everton star Alex Iwobi has paid tribute to club’s long-serving chairman Bill Kenwright, who died on Tuesday, October 24 at the age of 78.
The former Arsenal player signed for Everton in August 2019 from Arsenal and established himself as one of the key players at the Goodison Park. He played a key role in helping Everton escape relegation under Frank Lampard and Sean Dyche as managers.
The creative Nigerian played 134 matches, and contributed to 23 goals (9 goals, 14 assists) during his five seasons with the Toffees.
The creative midfielder signed a five-year deal at Goodison Park after a deal was agreed between the clubs on Deadline Day, with Everton paying £28m up front, plus up to £7m in additional fees.
Iwobi left Everton in the summer transfer window to sign for another Premier League side Fulham, but he is still highly regarded by Everton fans and has a cordial relationship with Kenwright.
“RIP to a hero. A big part in my career & my life, I’ll forever be grateful!” I wobi wrote on his Twitter account
Iwobi also shared private texts between himself and Kenwright, firstly from May 14, 2022, before the crucial home clash with Brentford. The Blues lost 3-2 but then secured their Premier League survival with a dramatic 3-2 win at home to Crystal Palace.
Kenwright texted before the Brentford match: “No one is more pleased than your chairman that you are on the way to becoming an Everton legend Alex… I’m SO proud of you coz I know it’s not always been easy. Be our hero again tomorrow… again!! God bless you. Chairman.”
Iwobi responded: “Thank you very much for the message, appreciate it so much. I’ll continue fighting for Everton.
Then on September 18, 2022, after the Blues had picked up their first win of the campaign, Kenwright texted: “It’s time to tell you again Alex… Your chairman is so proud of you. Another immaculate performance. And a win!!! Congratulations. Chairman.”
Iwobi responded: “Thank you very much for the message, happy to get our first win this season… Cheers to many more.”