Emerton played a full game as Rovers stand-in skipper in the 1-0 loss, where Blackburn spurned two penalties before the Toffees grabbed a stoppage-time winner from the spot via Mikel Arteta.

Kean, though, found time to praise Emerton who now heads to Australia to link up with the Socceroos for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers before beginning his time with Sydney.

“Marvellous contribution. I wanted to make him skipper today to give him a farewell to the fans,” Kean told BBC Sport.

“What he's done here has always been professional. It'll always be remembered.”

Kean added: “It was an opportunity to go back home to the club where he was brought up and where his wife is from.

“We thought as a club we couldn't stand in his way as he's given such good service to us.”