Ex Everton captain Kevin Campbell hospitalised as football community sends support

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)

Messages of support and concern are pouring in for former Everton skipper Kevin Campbell, who is currently hospitalised after falling ill last week.

The Liverpool Echo report that the 54-year-old ex-footballer was admitted to hospital following his sudden illness. Campbell, who had a rocky stint at Trabzonspor due to a fall-out with club president Mehmet Ali Yilmaz, who infamously branded him a "cannibal", made a loan switch to Everton in March 1999.

He joined the Toffees amid a relegation scare, and despite a home debut loss to Sheffield Wednesday that plunged the team into the relegation zone, he spectacularly scored nine goals in five matches, securing Everton's Premier League status with a game to spare.

Reflecting on his time at Goodison Park and the late former Rangers boss Walter Smith, the manager who signed him, Campbell told the ECHO in October 2021: "I didn't want it to end like that, I was enjoying Turkey but I needed to be playing."

He added: "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?"

Campbell also revealed: "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."

Fans have been showing their support for Campbell. Ste Kelly posted a touching message: "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."

Ex-Premier League star Trevor Sinclair sent his good wishes: "Sending prays, love and light to Kevin Campbell. Absolutely lovely human." Robb Coppell also wished him well: "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 showed his concern: "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."