This weekend was a sad one for Evertonians worldwide, as the club lost their greatest ever manager Howard Kendall.
The Toffees legend sadly passed away on Saturday morning, leaving Everton fans to mourn the loss of one of their club icons.
Famous for building possibly the greatest Everton side we may ever see, Kendall led the side to greatness in the early 80's as they dominated English football, following a football career which was equally impressive, during he which he was part of the famous Holy Trinity.
The writers here at RoyalBlueMersey vary in age, meaning we all have different memories and thoughts on Kendall and what he did for Everton, but if one thing is evident, we are all aware of just how great a man he was. Here is a collection of our thoughts on the legendary manager.
I was six years old when Everton first touched me in Christmas 1984. The Blues had just won the FA Cup the previous summer, and my uncle, who lived down the street from Goodison and was a diehard Bluenose, had brought me an Everton calendar as a present. I was intrigued by the team, and though I don't remember watching too many of the games, I do remember my dad tuning into the BBC on Saturdays so that we could listen to Five Live commentary and the First Division scores. That was a good season, and the Blues went on to win the League.
There were a few more good years then under Kendall, and then the trophies dried up. The gaffer came back, not once but twice, but the magic was gone. Some say he should never have returned, but I for one am glad he did, as it gave us all a chance to refresh our memories about what a great manager he had been for the Blues.
The man that created our history. The club will be forever in debt to him for that. He had undying love for his club, his players, his staff and his fans. I met him after the derby, not for the first time, but he said and I quote "looks like us Blues have cost another of their managers a job". No better man to have around the ground. Legend.
I am too young to have been lucky enough to witness Howard Kendall's wonderful Everton side, but their legacy lives on. The outpouring of emotion from the entire football world shows not just how great a football manager he was, but how great a person he was as well. We use legend to describe a lot of people these days, but there is no more fitting word for Howard Kendall.
And we'll finish on a special memory of the great man from Darren.
I attended a sportsman's dinner where Howard was speaking when I was about 19. Someone asked why he left Everton for Bilbao. His response was superb.
"If you think it's because of Gary Lineker you're very wrong. It was because of circumstances beyond of our control. I had put together a side of world-class players who were the best team in the land. In Europe. Everyone says so.
However, with the European ban, my players began to leave to try and fulfill their potential on the European stage. Steven and Stevens to Rangers, for example. My right hand side gone. They deserved it though. And when Bilbao came calling I felt I owed it to myself to have a crack at it too. I wanted to with Everton but couldn't. Remember, I came back when they asked me!"
Howard Kendall once described being able to say he is Everton's most successful manager as an honour, but rest assured, the honour was all ours.