Steven Naismith has bought tickets for every home match at Goodison Park this season but not for friends and family – he’s bought them to hand out to unemployed fans on Merseyside.
The 27-year-old, who joined from Rangers in 2012 made comparisons between his hometown of Glasgow and Liverpool saying: “I come from Ayrshire in the West of Scotland and spent a lot of my life in Glasgow – a city that, at times, has suffered from high unemployment. “Liverpool has a similar history and I am aware that, through no fault of their own, there are many unemployed in Liverpool trying hard to find a job and may not be able to afford a ticket.
“I thought this might be a small gesture to help those in that situation to enjoy a day out at one of our league matches. Hopefully it can bring some joy to many people.”
Naismith has contacted Jobcentres and instructed them to donate the tickets to deserving job hunters at different offices around Liverpool.
He is a player known for his charity work and has previously helped homeless centres in Liverpool and Glasgow including providing Christmas dinner for homeless people. He also launched a project across the border to help injured service personnel back to mainstream employment and is an ambassador for Dyslexia Scotland.
The striker added: “I have asked the Jobcentre Plus if they could give the tickets to different Jobcentres across the city each week and select people who are unemployed through no fault of their own, are trying hard to find employment and who would enjoy watching a Premier League football match.
“Every day I feel very fortunate for the opportunities and lifestyle my job as a footballer has afforded my family and me and also to be in the position where I can help the community in some small way.” The gesture was hailed by many Everton fans saying how proud they were that Naismith belongs to our football club. Well we’re not called The People’s Club for nothing!