Bill Kenwright CBE: 1945 - 2023



Bill Kenwright, who has died aged 78, was a good friend of LJMU and we were proud to number him among our Honorary Fellows.

His passion for theatre and football was legendary and brought about many associations through Liverpool Screen School and the LJMU School of Sport and Exercise Sciences.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark Power, also a lifelong Evertonian, said: “Bill was the man who did it all – music, arts, business, sport – a life-loving Scouser who followed his heart. He was a tremendous role model and will be hugely missed.” 

Born in Liverpool in 1945, Bill was educated at the Liverpool Institute alongside Paul McCartney and George Harrison and started life as an actor, playing heartthrob Gordon Clegg in Coronation Street. 

His acting career opened opportunities to produce for the theatre and by the end of the 1970s, he was amongst Britain’s most prolific impresarios, producing everything from Shakespeare to The Roy Orbison Story, and huge hits like Blood Brothers and Evita, first in the West End and then on Broadway.

In 1994, he was made an Honorary Fellow of LJMU for services to the performing arts.

A lifelong Everton fan, he was invited to join the board of Everton Football Club and along with Sir John Moores and Sir Philip Carter had associations with LJMU’s pioneering School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, in areas of sport performance.

Chairman from 2004, Bill had mixed success on the field but off it won widespread acclaim from all on Merseyside for his passionate support for the Hillsborough families, and the words he pronounced in front of the Kop at Anfield in 2013: “They picked on the wrong city.”

 


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