LIVERPOOL: Sir Philip Carter, the former Everton chairman who was a founding father of the Premier League, has died at 87.

In a statement, Everton said Carter died peacefully at home on Thursday morning after a short illness.

Carter, a childhood Everton fan, joined the club as a director in 1973. He rose to the position of chairman in 1978 and went on to preside over a period of domestic and European success.

“He served Everton with immense distinction,” the statement added.

During Carter’s time as chairman, Everton, under the guidance of manager Howard Kendall, won league titles in 1985 and 1987, the 1984 FA Cup and the 1985 European Cup Winners’ Cup

Carter, who also served as president of the Football League and was an FA vice-president, relinquished his position when Peter Johnson bought the club but returned to the post in December 1998 after Bill Kenwright had taken over at the club.

He was made life president of the club in 2004 and in 2008 was again made a director.

Kenwright said: “Words cannot describe my feelings of loss primarily as a friend but also as an Evertonian.

“Sir Philip was simply a giant… a great man, a great leader and the very best friend and colleague anyone could ask for. I never once met him without calling him chairman. I never will.

“That title was his by right. He will always have a major place in our great club’s history.”