by Richard Buxton. Published Thu 23 Apr 2015 13:28, last updated: 23/04/15
Everton have announced that life president Sir Philip Carter has passed away.
Hailed as a man that served Everton ‘with immense distinction’, the former Littlewoods director died peacefully at home on Merseyside this morning, aged 87, following a short illness.
During his time as chairman, Sir Philip presided over the most successful period in the club’s history in the mid 1980s following his appointment to the Goodison Park board and backed Howard Kendall, recognised as the club’s greatest ever manager, when supporters demanded that he be sacked during the leaner part of his Everton tenure.
Sir Philip was also an integral figure in the formation of the Premier League alongside several of the Blues’ domestic peers and current Everton chief Bill Kenwright paid tribute to his former boardroom colleague.
He said: “Words cannot describe my feelings of loss primarily as a friend but also as an Evertonian.
“Sir Philip was simply a giant…a great man a great leader and the very best friend and colleague anyone could ask for. I never once met him without calling him Chairman. I never will.
“That title was his by right. He will always have a major place in our great club’s history. To his wondrous Lady Rita and his family we send the deepest of condolences together with our undying love and gratitude for his life.”
Labour MP Andy Burnham, a Goodison season ticket holder, was among the first to pay tribute on Twitter.
“Saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Philip Carter, a distinguished ambassador for our great club. His contribution will not be forgotten,” he said.
Former Everton captain Phil Neville said: “Sad to here (sic) the death of sir Philip Carter – was a wonderful man who always gave me great support at Everton RIP”.
One-time Toffees striker and current Match of the Day host Gary Lineker wrote: “Saddened to hear that Sir Philip Carter has passed away. Was chairman of Everton when I was there. A football lover and delightful man #RIP”
Neville Southall echoed his ex-team mate’s sentiments, saying: “Gutted about Sir Phillip Carter top guy top chairman. Will be sadly missed a true gentleman.”
Tributes also came from across Stanley Park as Liverpool offered their ‘deepest condolences to Sir Philip’s family, friends and Everton FC at this time.’