Dyche's 'Gratitude And Respect' For Chairman

It's a very sad time for everyone at Everton Football Club to lose our Chairman, someone who has been such an amazing servant to the Club in so many ways.

His influence in bringing me to Everton in the first place was important and I have nothing but gratitude and respect for his unwavering support of myself, the staff and our players. It was a pleasure to share the moment of reaching our objective last season with him – a moment I know he felt so strongly about after such an arduous season, on and off the pitch.

I first met the Chairman during my tenure as Burnley manager, where, in passing, he would always take the time to say hello, introduce himself and be extremely respectful to me and, at the time, Burnley.

Then, when he and Kevin Thelwell reached out to me and I eventually joined Everton, I was fortunate enough to spend more time with him and get to know him on a more personal level.

He was an incredible professional, in terms of what he did with Everton and also what he achieved in the theatre industry. Spending time with him and learning about his family, you couldn't help but be taken by his passion.

Beyond his deep love of his family, one of those big passions, of course, was football - the game as a whole, as well as his obvious lasting love of Everton Football Club.

His story - a boyhood supporter who went on to become Chairman - is something so rare in the modern game, especially at the top level.

He always believed in Everton and stood by the Club, even in the toughest times. He was steadfast until the very end.

Like so many who knew him, my heart and my thoughts are with his family at this extremely sad time.

Rest in peace, Chairman.