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Saturday 23 August K.O. 17:30

'One Of The All-Time Greats'

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Watch Video 'One Of The All-Time Greats'

It was well into the small hours but as was the case for many Evertonians in March 2002, sleepless nights were not uncommon for Bill Kenwright.

However, it wasn’t necessarily the team’s recent FA Cup capitulation at Middlesbrough or the very real and ominous threat of relegation keeping him up that particular night – he had a visitor.

In his own words, destiny had arrived at his door.

“The first day that David Moyes met me, it must have been about one in the morning at my home,” recalled the Everton chairman.

“He looked at me and within two sentences had said ‘Chairman, you are not going down’. I thought, ‘I like him’."

It was a meeting that would change the course of the Club’s modern history – the single most significant happening since the disbanding of Howard Kendall’s last great team.

“David Moyes was destined for Everton and I think that Everton was destined for David Moyes,” added Mr Kenwright. “I think he believes that too.

“He has been one of the great managerial success stories. You know what I think of him. He is an extraordinary man in every single way.”

David Moyes was destined for Everton and I think that Everton was destined for David Moyes
- Bill Kenwright

Most Evertonians would agree with the Chairman about the man who this week celebrates the 10th anniversary of his accession to the top job at Goodison Park.

Seven top eight finishes in his nine full seasons in charge, compared to just one in the previous 12 speaks for itself.

"We laid out a plan and he has never deviated off it. I worship the man. To me, he’s simply the greatest manager around,” The Blues Chairman continued.

"When David arrived Evertonians were used to looking at the last match to see who we had to beat to avoid the 'r' word - relegation.  We don't do that any more.

“I have always said, and have said to him, if I sit in my seat, wherever it is and see him on that touchline then I believe we have a twelfth man on our team.”

Moyes himself has often described just how fundamental his relationship with the Chairman and board of directors has been to him reviving Everton’s fortunes.

In particular, the honesty from above and the freedom to manage the Club in the traditional sense of the word are factors he has singled out.

“We spend time together,” explained Mr Kenwright. “A chairman/manager relationship is an important one.  Ours is built on a friendship. We find it very easy but it is football-orientated.

“He asks me about my other life but if you want to see a happy and contented David Moyes then it’s going into the third hour of a football conversation. He just loves his job. He loves football.

“I suppose if you look at the managerial changes in the Premier League over the last 10 years you start to think that if we had got it wrong this could have been different.

“But I only have to say ‘we should meet’ and he’s on a train or I'm on a train.  There is no more important relationship, no more important decision in a Chairman’s life than getting it right with the manager.

I think the fact that we didn’t get it wrong and he has proven to be one of the all-time great managers has proved the biggest blessing.
- Bill Kenwright

Invariably, should you speak to anyone who has crossed paths with David Moyes the football manager then his complete and utter dedication is something that always shines through.

For Mr Kenwright, it is awe-inspiring.

“He never relaxes,” he added. “He loves every aspect of football. When he’s not been training or playing, he goes off to do coaching courses. When he first joined us, he’d be off every summer spending time with foreign clubs to watch how they train. He goes to a World Cup, not for a jaunt, but to learn.

“Every day is a learning experience for him. He is focused, committed and exactly the kind of manager you want on your touchline. I can’t praise him too highly, nor appreciate him more.

“I know for a fact that David too appreciates what football has brought to him and his family. When the day comes when he eventually leaves Everton, I know he will undoubtedly remain in Evertonians' hearts.

“He wasn’t an Evertonian when he sat on that sofa 10 years ago, but he is now, believe me.”

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