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15th Jun 2024

Arsenal and Everton legend Kevin Campbell dies aged 54

Charlie Herbert

Tributes have flooded in for the former Premier League striker

Former Arsenal and Everton striker Kevin Campbell has died at the age of 54, it has been confirmed.

At the end of May, both Arsenal and Everton released statements announcing that Campbell had been admitted to hospital and was seriously ill.

And on Saturday morning, one of his former teammates at Nottingham Forest, Mark Crossley, posted on social media that Campbell had passed away.

He wrote: “Life can be so cruel at times Absolutely devastated with news of my ex forest team mate Kevin Campbell’s passing, a true gentleman, a great player, a shining light of a dressing room, fun-loving guy, thoughts are with all his family and friends RIP mate.”

His passing has since been confirmed by Arsenal, with tributes flooding in from across the world of football for the late striker.

In a post on X, the London club said: “We are devastated to learn that our former striker Kevin Campbell has died after a short illness. Kevin was adored by everyone at the club. All of us are thinking of his friends and family at this difficult time.

“Rest in peace, Kevin.”

Campbell started his career with Arsenal, where he made 224 first-team appearances for the Gunners after loan spells with Leyton Orient and Leicester.

During his time at the club, he helped Arsenal win the league title in 1991, the FA Cup and League Cup double in 1993 and famously the European Cup Winners’ Cup a year later.

His Arsenal teammate Ian Wright paid tribute to Campbell with a series of pictures on social media.

After spells at Nottingham Forest and Trabzonspor, Campbell joined Everton on a six-month loan in the second half of the 1998-99 season. The Toffees made his spell at Goodison Park permanent that summer when they bought him for £3 million.

He went on to score 50 goals in 160 games during his time on Merseyside, where he quickly became a fan favourite.

Paying tribute to their former striker, Everton labelled Campbell a “true Goodison Park hero and icon of the English game.”

The Premier League said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Kevin Campbell, the former Arsenal, Nott’m Forest, Everton and West Brom striker Our thoughts and condolences are with Kevin’s family, friends and those associated with the clubs he played for.”

Former Everton player and Sky Sports pundit Tony Cottee described Campbell as the “nicest man you could wish to meet and a fantastic player,” whilst TNT Sports commentator Darren Fletcher said he was “absolutely devastated” by the news of his passing.

After his time at Everton, Campbell had short spells at West Brom and Cardiff, before he retired in 2006.

He finished his career with 83 Premier League goals in 325 appearances.