Tributes to Kevin Campbell after Arsenal and Everton 'goal machine' striker dies aged 54

Kevin Campbell, football co-commentator and pundit working for Sky Sports during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Doncaster Rovers and Everton FC at The Eco-Power Stadium on August 30, 2023 in Doncaster, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Sellers/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

Kevin Campbell has died at the age of 54 after reportedly spending time in hospital with sepsis. The former Arsenal and Everton striker was a title winner with the Gunners and a hero at Goodison Park after saving the Toffees from relegation in 1999.

Announcing the news of his death on Saturday morning (June 15), Arsenal wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “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.”

Tony Adams, Campbell’s former Arsenal teammate and captain, wrote on X: “Super Kev: a goal machine, a giant of a man, with an even bigger heart. An intensely private and a truly wonderful human being. I’m devastated for his loved ones, and all of us. Love you Super Kev, Skipper.”

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Everton also paid tribute to Campbell on social media. “Everyone at Everton is deeply saddened by the death of our former striker Kevin Campbell at the age of just 54,” the club said in a statement. "Not just a true Goodison Park hero and icon of the English game, but an incredible person as well – as anyone who ever met him will know. RIP, Super Kev.”

Campbell began his career at Arsenal and made his way into the first-team at Highbury after a prolific junior scoring record, including a hat-trick in the Gunners’ 1988 FA Youth Cup win, and loan spells at Leicester and Leyton Orient. He scored 59 goals in 224 games for Arsenal and, alongside the 1990-91 league title, also won the FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup.

Campbell spent three years at Nottingham Forest after joining them in 1995 and had a one-season stop at Trabzonspor before moving to Everton in 1999. He stayed at Everton until 2005, where he spent time as captain under Walter Smith, and finished his career with spells at West Brom and Cardiff.

Tribute from the England national team

The official England X account posted: “We are devastated to learn that Kevin Campbell has passed away aged 54. Kevin won four caps for our under-21s and represented our B team in the early 1990s. Our thoughts are with Kevin’s family, friends and loved ones.”

Forest wrote on X: “Everyone at Nottingham Forest is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Kevin Campbell. Kevin spent three seasons at #NFFC and was part of the side which earned promotion from the First Division as champions in 1998. Our thoughts are with his friends and family during this difficult time.”

Leicester and Cardiff, where Campbell ended his career in 2007, also paid tribute to their former striker. 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.”

Tributes to 'nicest man' from other players

Campbell worked in the media after his playing career and fellow pundit Tony Cottee, another former Everton striker, wrote on X: “I am so devastated to hear the news of the passing of Kevin Campbell. The nicest man you could wish to meet and a fantastic player. Thoughts to his friends and family. RIP Kev.”

Former England winger Shaun Wright-Phillips said: “Really gutted to hear the sad news of Kevin Campbell passing. “A fantastic goalscorer, but more importantly an even better human. What a gentleman. Thinking of Kevin’s friends and family today, you will be missed Kev. RIP.”

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