Kevin Campbell sent messages of support from Everton fans

Kevin Campbell celebrates following the final whistle at Anfield on September 27, 1999, after netting the winning goal for Everton against Liverpool
-Credit: (Image: Michael Steele /Allsport)

People across the football community are offering messages of love and support to Kevin Campbell after hearing the former Everton captain is unwell.

The ECHO understands that the 54-year-old is in hospital after falling ill last week.

Despite initially being a popular figure at his previous club Trabzonspor, Campbell arrived at Everton on loan, in March 1999, after being frozen out of the team in the aftermath of club president Mehmet Ali Yilmaz calling him a “cannibal.” The Blues were embroiled in a relegation battle at the time and a 2-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday in Campbell’s home debut saw them fall into the drop zone with just half a dozen matches to spare.

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However, an incredible scoring spree from the Londoner – who netted nine times in the following five games – ensured the Blues survived with a fixture to spare. Speaking in October 2021 following the death of Walter Smith, the manager who brought him to Goodison Park, Campbell told the ECHO: “I didn’t want it to end like that, I was enjoying Turkey but I needed to be playing.

“I was an experienced player and Everton just seemed to be a perfect fit. Walter Smith spoke to my agent and asked ‘what’s the chance we can get him over?’

“I think there were five clubs in for me and I heard Everton and that was it, I didn’t need to hear any more, and Walter loved that part. I built a relationship with him very quickly, and I think you could see that with the performances in the team.

“He made me captain as well, the first black captain of Everton, which is something that I’m so proud, and he was instrumental in all the good parts for me so I cannot thank him enough.”

Supporters have rallied round, offering their support for Campbell, who made 164 appearances for Everton, scoring 51 goals, on X (formely Twitter). Ste Kelly wrote: “In 1999 Evertonians prayed to God and Kevin Campbell answered. Now we’re praying to Kevin Campbell, time for God to answer and help him. Dig deep big man, scramble for this.”

Former Premier League player Trevor Sinclair wrote: “Sending prays, love and light to Kevin Campbell. Absolutely lovely human.”

Rob Coppell wrote: “Sending love, strength, and best wishes to Super Kevin Campbell.”

Emma Webb wrote: “Just heard about Kevin Campbell… sending all my love to him, praying he gets well soon.”

Ryan Fletcher wrote: “Thoughts and prayers go out to Kevin Campbell and all his family and friends. Kevin is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met really hope he makes a full recovery and gets better asap.”