In the era of social media, rumors and information may spread incredibly quickly. A disturbing rumor regarding Bill Kenwright’s death has spread over the internet, shocking many of his admirers and followers. Kenwright was a well-known English West End theater producer, film producer, and chairman of Everton.
This article attempts to shed light on Bill Kenwright, the phenomena of rumor spread in the digital age, and the crucial function of fact-checking in today’s information environment.
Is Bill Kenwright dead or alive?
Everton Football Club has confirmed the peaceful passing of Bill Kenwright last night at the age of 78, with his family and close ones by his side. Kenwright played a pivotal role in Everton’s history, making substantial contributions to the club’s progress. His unwavering commitment to the team and his deep passion for football endeared him to fans and the broader football community alike.
Everton Football Club is in mourning following the death of Chairman Bill Kenwright CBE, who passed away peacefully last night aged 78, surrounded by his family and loved ones.
— Everton (@Everton) October 24, 2023
Bill Kenwright, Everton’s longest-serving chairman in over a century, guided the club through a period of remarkable transformation in English football.
During his 19-season tenure as Chairman, the club achieved 12 top-eight finishes, which included a top-four finish in 2005, a journey to the 2009 FA Cup final, and qualification for European competitions on six separate occasions. The club has suffered the loss of not only a chairman but also a leader, a close friend, and a source of inspiration.
Bill Kenwright’s Health Struggles
Reports indicate that he was hospitalized in intensive care due to complications arising from a surgery aimed at removing a malignant growth from his liver. This surgery occurred approximately six weeks before October 12, 2023, and, fortunately, it was considered successful, despite requiring an extended stay in the intensive care unit. Everton Football Club issued an official statement, sharing these details and providing some insight into Kenwright’s condition.
On October 12, 2023, Everton said in a statement: “Mr Kenwright is now out of intensive care and has left hospital. He has returned home to continue his recovery which is expected to be lengthy, but complete. Right up until the day of the procedure the chairman had continued to carry out all his club duties, working hard alongside Mr Moshiri to facilitate the proposed takeover by 777 Partners and supporting [director of football] Kevin Thelwell with the club’s summer transfer activity. Mr Kenwright has always been fiercely protective of his private life and is grateful that his privacy has been respected during this difficult time. He hopes this will continue following this update.”
The departure of Bill Kenwright unquestionably represents a significant loss to the Everton community, and his memory will be held dear by everyone fortunate enough to have crossed paths with him.
The entire Everton community extends its thoughts and prayers to his partner Jenny Seagrove, his daughter Lucy Kenwright, grandchildren, and all those who had the privilege of knowing and admiring him.
Who was Bill Kenwright?
Bill Kenwright, renowned as an English West End theatre and film producer, has held the position of chairman at Everton Football Club since 2004. Born in Liverpool, Kenwright’s educational journey included attending Booker Avenue County Primary School and subsequently Liverpool Institute High School for Boys from 1957 to 1964.
During his school years, he actively participated in various school productions, with notable roles like Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, all staged at the Mount Street building, which served as a precursor to LIPA. Additionally, he assumed the role of treasurer for the Christian Union during his school days. Kenwright also took on the role of a judge in the 2007 BBC One television series titled Any Dream Will Do.
As theatre producer
Bill Kenwright stands as one of the most accomplished theatre producers in the United Kingdom, renowned for his remarkable contributions to the industry. He is perhaps best known for his involvement in the enduring West End sensation, “Blood Brothers,” and for orchestrating the immensely successful UK tour of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
His impressive portfolio also encompasses productions like “Whistle Down the Wind” at the Palace Theatre, “Festen” in London, which extended to a UK tour and Broadway, “The Big Life,” “Elmina’s Kitchen,” “Scrooge – The Musical,” “The Night of the Iguana,” “A Few Good Men,” and “A Man For All Seasons.” Furthermore, he has been at the helm of UK tours for productions like “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Tommy,” “Tell Me on a Sunday,” and “This is Elvis.” In September 2006, Bill Kenwright took on the role of producing the London revival of “Cabaret,” featuring an ensemble cast led by Anna Maxwell Martin, James Dreyfus, and Sheila Hancock.
Kenwright’s influence in the industry has also been instrumental in launching the careers of numerous current West End theatre producers, including figures such as Mark Rubinstein and Marc Sinden. It is worth noting that his work in theatre employs a substantial number of actors each year, making him one of the most prolific employers in the field, rivaled only by the BBC.
Notably, Kenwright has worn the director’s hat for various productions, including “Blood Brothers” and “Whistle Down the Wind.” Andrew Lloyd Webber even sought his expertise to make adjustments to the direction of “Love Never Dies.” Furthermore, Bill Kenwright both produced and directed the 2018/19 UK touring production of “Saturday Night Fever.” This production featured Richard Winsor in the pivotal role of Tony Manero, who introduced the iconic “Stayin’ Alive” dance spectacle as “The Kneebreaker” and skillfully executed the deceptive “Stage Pose” alteration, originally created by Arlene Phillips in 1997.
Bill Kenwright Records
Bill Kenwright has his own record label called “Bill Kenwright Records,” which had released three albums as of February 2008. The label had already put out the London Palladium cast recording of “Scrooge,” featuring Tommy Steele, and the 2006 Lyric Theatre Recording of “Cabaret.” In February 2008, they introduced the debut album from Kenwright’s newly formed boy group, Dream On.
Dream On, composed of five contestants who were runners-up in the BBC’s “Any Dream Will Do” competition, namely Craig Chalmers, Lewis Bradley, Chris Crosby, Chris Barton, and Antony Hansen, came into existence in January 2008. Bill Kenwright’s involvement in the music industry traces back to his earlier days when he was part of a band called the Chevrolets.
In 1969, he ventured into record production, overseeing the creation of two singles for the Manchester-based band Money. Interestingly, this band also served as his backing band for several cabaret performances in places like Oldham and Allinson’s in Liverpool.
The first single, titled “Come Laughing Home,” was used as the theme music for Kenwright’s initial foray into theatrical production, a project he co-produced with Reginald Marsh. The show featured Anne Reid, who, at that time, was concurrently playing Valerie Barlow in Coronation Street.
Notably, this marked the first occasion when a Coronation Street star simultaneously worked in live theatre while still being part of the series. The show premiered at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre, and the single was even released in Argentina.
In his early years, Bill Kenwright embarked on an acting career, achieving notable success with his role as Gordon Clegg in Coronation Street, a character introduced in April 1968. However, his acting tenure on the show was relatively brief, as he decided to shift his focus to producing in March 1969.
Nevertheless, he did make occasional returns to Coronation Street for guest appearances during the 1970s. Kenwright continued to make sporadic appearances on the show until 2012. Aside from his Coronation Street involvement, he made short-lived appearances in other television programs like The Villains and The Liver Birds.
Additionally, he ventured into the world of film, taking on a role as a reporter in “Carry On Matron” (1972) and appearing in “England, My England” (1995). Since 1997, Bill Kenwright has been the manager of the Theatre Royal in Windsor, further expanding his influence and involvement in the entertainment industry.
Everton Football Club
Bill Kenwright currently holds the position of chairman at Everton Football Club, taking over the role from Philip Carter, who was a director at Littlewoods. Kenwright’s association with Everton dates back to 1989 when he joined the club’s board.
In 1999, he became the second largest shareholder, following Peter Johnson’s decision to sell his shareholding. This move came after the Football Association instructed Johnson to divest his interests in either Tranmere Rovers or Everton. Subsequently, in 2004, Bill Kenwright became the majority stakeholder in the club.
Bill Kenwright has received several prestigious honors throughout his career. He was granted an Honorary Fellowship from John Moores University in Liverpool and holds the title of Honorary Professor at the University of West London. His significant contributions to film and theater were recognized with the award of a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List of 2001.
In November 2008, Nottingham Trent University bestowed upon him an Honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) degree, acknowledging his exceptional dedication and remarkable contributions to British theater. On January 3, 2014, Bill Kenwright made an appearance on the BBC show “Pointless Celebrities” alongside his partner, Jenny Seagrove. They reached the final round and emerged as winners of the Pointless trophy. However, they missed out on the £2,500 jackpot by providing three incorrect answers during the final round.
Mane Chance Sanctuary wrote: “Everyone at Mane Chance Sanctuary is deeply saddened at the passing of our friend, Bill Kenwright. He has been by our side since Jenny founded our charity, and always supported our work, with such generosity and kindness. We will continue our journey with Bill in our hearts. The Mane Chance Family will be there for Jenny at this difficult time.”
BKL Productions wrote: “Jenny Seagrove, Lucy Kenwright & everyone at BKL are devastated to share the sad news of the loss of a beloved Partner, Father, Grandfather and friend: Bill Kenwright CBE.”
While Everton Football Club grieves Bill Kenwright’s passing, fans and the wider football community will unite to honor his life and the enduring influence he had on both the club and the sport. His unwavering dedication to Everton will remain a permanent part of the club’s history, and he will be commemorated as a committed and influential presence in the realm of football.
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Rohini (Editor) is a content writer with 3 years of experience in content writing. She joined Medico Topics on the Breaking News trainee scheme in 2022 and now works on MedicoTopics.com. She possesses a keen interest in political and entertainment matters, including the latest and most widely circulating celebrity rumors, and comprehensive resources on the wealth of renowned actors, athletes, players, and politicians around the globe.