Preston North End are saddened to learn of the passing of former player Howard Kendall at the age of 69.
Howard sadly passed away on Saturday morning in hospital in Southport, surrounded by his family.
Born Ryton-on-Tyne in May 1946, Howard was discovered by Preston North End scouts and showed a maturity far beyond his years from day one.
He signed as an apprentice professional and steadily rose through the ranks winning England Schoolboy and Youth caps along the way. May 1963 was a significant month for the youth as not only did he sign as a full-time professional he made his league debut too.
The teenager made his mark in that game, away at Newcastle United, with a fine cultured display. This performance led to more appearances during the 1963-1964 season as North End came close to winning both promotion and the FA cup.
Howard became national news when chosen to play in the cup final itself, becoming the youngest ever player, at that time, to appear in an FA cup final. North End actually held onto him for a further three years as he developed into a superb wing-half/midfielder.
However, in March 1967 Preston North End, in sorely need of funds, were forced to sell their prize asset. So, after 125 appearances and 15 goals, he joined Everton for £85,000 which sounds so cheap nowadays.
Howard, befitting a good player, soon settled in at Goodison Park and the midfield trio of Kendall, Harvey and Ball, took the First Division by storm. They won the championship and reached the cup final and Howard won England Under-23 caps but the full cap always eluded him despite his talents.
After seven years on Merseyside he went on to play for Birmingham City, Stoke City and Blackburn Rovers. He progressed into management, initially as player manager with Blackburn Rovers.
He then returned to Everton in the same capacity and became a successful top name in that role, leading the club to league and cup wins. He later had spells with Athletico Bilbao and Manchester City before returning to Everton in 1990.
A spell in Greece followed before returned to England to manage Notts County and Sheffield United. A third management appointment with Everton was his next port of call before ending his career back in Greece.
Living in Southport, Howard was a member of the Preston North End Former Players’ Association and his passing will be mourned throughout the world of football. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.
Ian Rigby PNEFPA.