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May 22 • 13 tweets • 8 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
🔙 Howard Kendall was born on this day in 1946.

The Englishman spent just over two years in Bilbao from 1987 to 1989.

This is the story of how the manager became an #AthleticClub legend 👇 Image
🏟️ Kendall's first experience of San Mames actually came as a player.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 In 1962, he turned out for an England Youth XI against a Basque Youth XI at The Cathedral.

The match finished 1-1 with Kendall scoring England's goal. Image
🔵 As a coach, Howard turned @Everton into one of Europe's finest sides during the 80s.

He came to Biscay in 1987 with a massive reputation.

🗣️ "I have a style and system that's worked well for me in the UK. I'll do the same thing in Bilbao and we’ll win." ImageImageImage
🏡 He moved into one of Lezama's en-suite rooms.

"It was fabulous. Every morning I went downstairs, got changed and was out on the training ground."

Although initially hesitant about the open-door training sessions, he soon embraced that too.
⚽ Life on the pitch got off to a dream start for Howard.

Athletic beat Mallorca 2-1 at San Mames in the first @LaLigaEN match of the 87/88 season.

Curiously, rather than sitting in the dugout, Kendall watched the first half from the stands to get a better view. Image
📈 Los Leones secured 4th place and UEFA Cup qualification in Kendall's first season in charge.

Athletic registered some huge results along the way. In addition to beating FC Barcelona home and away, the Zurigorri also thrashed Atlético Madrid 5-1 at San Mames.

#AthleticClub 🦁 Image
🤯 Juventus knocked Athletic out of the 88/89 UEFA Cup in a thrilling 2nd round tie.

The Lions lost 5-1 in Turin, but won 3-2 in Bilbao.

When we went 3-1 up at San Mames, Howard dreamt of "the impossible". The miracle didn't materialise, but the match remains a fan favourite. Image
In November 89, Howard’s time as Athletic Club manager came to an end.

At an emotional farewell press conference, he cemented his place as an Athletic icon by delivering one of the most famous speeches in our history.

🥹 "Athletic is the best club in the world."
❤️ Howard's love for Athletic never wavered.

😆 There are anecdotes of the Englishman's future players becoming fed up with his constant stories about life in Bilbao.

In 2006, he chose Los Leones as his opponents when @Everton organised a testimonial for him at Goodison Park. Image
⚫️ Howard Kendall passed away on October 17, 2015, at the age of 69.

In our subsequent home fixture, The Cathedral observed a minute's silence and the players wore black armbands. Image
📽️ In 2020, @HowardsWayFilm, a documentary about the coach's golden period at @Everton, was screened at San Mames as part of #AthleticFundazioa's Thinking Football Film Festival.

Several of Kendall's former Athletic players were in attendance. Image
❤️🤍 Howard's legacy in Bilbao goes beyond the pitch. His respect for our club and The Basque Country earned him the enduring love of all Athletic fans.

Find out more about why he's such a revered figure in this part of the world.

✍️ labur.eus/KendallATH Image
📸 If you have a memory, photo or video of Howard from his time in Bilbao, please feel free to share it with us as we celebrate a Club legend.

❤️ Forever grateful, Mr Kendall.

#ACMuseoa #AthleticClub 🦁 ImageImageImageImage

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