Everton paid tribute to Bill Kenwright as his long-term partner Jenny Seagrove, daughter Lucy and former Toffees striker and manager Joe Royle laid wreaths before the Carabao Cup match with Burnley.

As the trio walked to the centre-circle before kick-off at Goodison Park, Elton John’s ‘I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues’ was played and a minute’s applause was held for Kenwright, who was chairman for almost two decades and died last week at the age of 78.

A blue and white scarf was also placed on his seat in the directors’ box, where he had not sat since January due to security issues after a number of fan protests.

Owner Farhad Moshiri – making his first appearance at Goodison Park in more than two years – led the tributes in the matchday programme, saying: “Bill was a force of nature and he certainly changed my life nearly 10 years ago when he first spoke to me about getting involved with the club.

“The new Everton stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock will provide an iconic new home for the club and will stand as a lasting legacy to his memory.

“I will miss no longer hearing his voice on the end of a telephone many times each day, talking about players, plotting how the club can do better and better.

“He was a special soul, a man successful in so many different walks of life. We will miss him but never forget him.”

Manager Sean Dyche said Kenwright was a “perfect gentleman and an incredibly passionate individual whose love for Everton was infectious”.

Captain Seamus Coleman said he could not thank ‘The Chairman’ – as he always called him – enough for his personal support when he made the move from Sligo to Goodison Park as a 20-year-old.

He said: “The chairman knew that my family would be concerned about me and he assured them time and time again I would be looked after.”

A number of former managers appointed under Kenwright’s chairmanship also shared their tributes with Roberto Martinez hailing “a contagious force who lived and breathed Everton”.

David Moyes said: “He gave me a big opportunity in my career when I was a young manager in the lower leagues. He was a wonderful man, brilliantly supportive. I couldn’t have had a better chairman as a young coach.”

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti said Kenwright was “Everton to the core”, Fulham manager Marco Silva described him as a “great man and a great Evertonian”, while Frank Lampard said he was a “man with a huge personality and even bigger heart”.

Former players also sent their condolences, with Wayne Rooney thanking him personally for his support over the years and adding: “No-one loved the club more.”

Ex-midfielder Tim Cahill said he would “make sure your spirit will live in our football club forever”.

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