On This Day - 1997 - Howard Kendall's third spell in charge of Everton gets underway

Howard Kendall Everton manager

Kendall had one glorious spell, then one not so great spell - then he returned for a third time.

Howard Kendall Everton manager

Some say you should never go back, it was probably true in the case of Howard Kendall as he returned to the Everton hot seat on this day in 1997 after he left Sheffield United.

Kendall had previously presided over a glorious era at Everton in the 1980s which saw him win two league titles, one FA Cup and the Cup Winners Cup as Merseyside ruled the country when it came to football, and they were a real threat to their dominant neighbours Liverpool. He left in 1987 with 54% win rate. He then went on to manage Athletic Bilbao and Manchester City. 

The second time around from November 1990 to December 1993 saw the Toffees struggle a lot more as they were in mid-table, while early on in the 1993/94 season, Kendall left after a poor start to the season which ultimately ended with Everton finishing in 17th place in the Premier League

Howard Kendall waving to fans

His third spell ended in a nail-biting relegation scrap, as Everton managed to avoid the drop on the final day of the campaign - finishing above relegated Bolton Wanderers on goal-difference. 

In a piece for The Guardian in 2003, Kendall wrote that he did not regret going back to the club he loved, but did not like the way it ended and even stopped enjoying football.

Howard Kendall Everton manager

He wrote: "I do not regret returning to Goodison Park, either the second or third time. I have to say, though, that by the end of my final spell at Everton [June 1997-July 1998] I'd stopped enjoying match days. You get spoilt with success and if you're selecting a team you know deep down are not good enough, it's not enjoyable. It was very, very difficult to be motivated.

"The way it finally ended at Everton soured me a little. All I did on holiday [in the summer of 1998] was read about how Martin O'Neill was coming to the club and it turned out that everybody, apart from me, knew the board were looking for a replacement. I thought: 'Well, they could have told me.' But they didn't. It hurt. It really hurt like hell. And the way it was handled, dragging on all summer, really did sour me. I thought: 'Well, I'm certainly not looking to go straight back into that.'"

Kendall sadly passed away in October last year, but will always be remembered fondly by Evertonians. 

Former Everton Manager Howard Kendall

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