Daily Star

Toffees stick by elderly


BILL KENWRIGHT has been leading Everton’s community efforts by ringing dozens of self-isolating elderly fans.

Everton’s award-winning community programme has recognised that many senior citizens are feeling lonely after being warned not to go out or have contact with other people due to the coronaviru­s pandemic.

They announced several measures and invested an initial £50,000 into an outreach and engagement campaign.

The aim is to provide assistance and support to some of the most vulnerable, socially isolated and at-risk people during, effectivel­y, a lockdown for them.

Thousands of food parcels have been distribute­d, there has been financial assistance for medicines, breakfast packages for children, mobile phone credit and support with utility bills.

The venture has been named ‘The Blue Family’ and Toffees chairman Kenwright, 74, is leading the effort.

Lifelong Blue Tommy Lea, 83, who lives in St Helens but was born and bred close to Goodison Park, spoke about a surprise call he received.

“Bill rang me and we spoke for almost an hour,” he said. “The first Everton game I went to was in 1946, so I said to him that he’s only a spring chicken!” The former army veteran and merchant navy seaman is a season ticket holder and never missed a game up until the Premier League fixtures were suspended.

“I’ve been to every cup final Everton have played in since I first started going, watched them every game and the reserves too, and I even went to watch Liverpool every other week with my friends who were Reds, as they came with me to Goodison too,” he said.

“I’m really missing the football a lot. My wife, who died eight years ago, used to say that if two flies walking up the wall were wearing blue, I’d watch them, and she was right.”

Kenwright spoke to Tommy about his favourite player Dave Hickson as well the great sides of the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.

“It was a great chat, we went through all the players: Brian Labone, Dave Hickson of course, some in the ’40s that I said were before his time,” he added.

Kenwright also had a surprise for Tommy when football finally gets underway.

“He invited me into the directors’ box when the Everton games start again… and I told him I’ll be ready to take him up on that,” said Tommy.

“It was a great chat appreciate­d his call.” and


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