Everton FC stars past and present have made a string of surprise calls to fans in the USA. Former First Touch contributor James Rogers of the NYC Everton Supporters Club received one from Graeme Sharp. The club is extending its Blue Family Campaign to ensure that Everton fans in America remain connected with the Blues throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Long Distance Information…Give Me Everton FC
Other Everton fans in Atlanta, San Diego, Florida, and Chicago have so far received calls from various Everton stars. These include Michael Keane, Mason Holgate, and David Unsworth. The Everton Fans’ Forum, which now has international representation, worked alongside the Club’s Fan Engagement Team to identify Everton US supporters impacted by the pandemic.
Everton Ambassador and the Club’s leading post-war goal scorer Graeme Sharp spoke to James Rogers. Sharp is an integral member of the NYC Evertonians and active contributor to its fundraising and community activities.
James’s dad Jim was a lifelong Everton fan and longstanding Season Ticket holder. Sadly he died in late February and James had to postpone his dad’s funeral in the UK due to coronavirus affecting arrangements. James attended Everton vs Manchester United on 1 March – Everton’s last home game before the suspension of football due to coronavirus. He wore his Dad’s scarf to honour his memory.
Earlier today, just as I was starting the long journey back to the UK for my dad’s funeral I was called by #Everton legend Graeme Sharp to pass on his condolences and ask how I was doing. I was so touched – thank you @Everton @Setterswede @nyc_evertonians #NSNO
— James Rogers (@jamesjrogers) May 5, 2020
Rising star Mason Holgate made a call to 10-year-old Max Hund and his dad Chris. These Everton fans in Chicago were due to fly to the UK to watch the Merseyside derby after winning a competition. Max and Chris only found out from the club that the trip had to be postponed on the morning they were due to travel.
You can listen to the conversation between Max and Mason Holgate here
Defender Holgate assured the pair they will be welcomed to Goodison Park when it is safe to travel. He also iinvited them to meet him after the game. Max said: “It was such a cool experience. It was really awesome to talk with an actual Everton player that I am going to meet when I go to England!”
Chris said: “It was wonderful for us to speak to Mason – he was a really nice guy. Although we were upset at not being able to travel to the UK, it was wonderful to be reminded that we, as well as all Everton’s international fans, are part of the Everton Family – even more so in these circumstances.
“We know that football will return at some point. People’s health and wellbeing is the priority now. Mason said that it sounds like we have found the right Club for us – and he is right. We are both very proud to be Evertonians.”
Everton Fans’ Forum
Tony Sampson leads the International Project Group for the Everton Fans’ Forum. “I’m a lifelong Blue who has lived in the UK and now in the USA. I have experienced being part of the Everton Family both close to home and abroad. So I know just how much those calls will mean to the recipients. Everton based US fans are completely dedicated to following their Club. It’s great to see how they are also supporting each other at this time.
“The Everton Fans’ Forum was delighted to work alongside the Club’s Fan Engagement Team. We co-ordinated the effort to identify US fans impacted by the pandemic. It is now more important than ever that Evertonians, wherever they are in the world, feel connected to each other and the Club, and the Fans’ Forum is proud to play a part in that.”