clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

George's special day - Everton prove why they are the People's Club

Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

After all the talk this week about how football clubs are becoming increasingly alienated from their supporters Everton once again proved they are very much still in touch with the local community.

The story began when nine-year-old George Shaw, who has cerebal palsy, was filmed playing football in his Everton jersey with Gerard Deulofeu's name and number on the back.

The video of George went viral and soon caught the attention of Deulofeu himself, who invited the youngster to Goodison Park for last month's game against Swansea.

George went onto the pitch at half time and scored a goal in the Gwladys Street end, much to the delight of the supporters in the stand - as well as George himself.

George's goal was then nominated for January's goal of the month alongside Kevin Mirallas, Aaron Lennon and Ross Barkley, to be voted for by the supporters. There was only going to be one winner!

Everton invited George to Finch Farm where he was presented with his Goal of the Month award by manager Roberto Martinez. He then had the chance to meet Lennon, Barkley, Mirallas and Deulofeu to discuss his memorable strike!

Under-21 coach David Unsworth then introduced George to the academy players before giving him a guided tour of the Toffees' training facilities.

Speaking about his special day, George said:

"Thank you to everyone who voted because I wouldn't be here now if no-one had voted.

"Everyone has just been amazing, supporting me and voting for me. It's just been brilliant really.

"I didn’t know that I was going to the press conference because my dad kept it a secret from me. I went in, sat down and Roberto came in and said he would like me to come to the front to give me the Goal of the Month award. I never thought I would get a trophy, so it’s just brilliant to have something to be able to show people."

It is a truly heartwarming story and George should be held up as an inspiration to anyone facing adversity. It is also a wonderful gesture by the club that will have created memories that will last forever. Credit must go to everyone involved in making it happen.

George's dad Dave admits he has been stunned by the reaction to George's story and was quick to thank the club for their support.

He said:

"It’s just snowballed and snowballed. I can’t put my phone down. It just keeps buzzing and ringing with messages from all over the world. The love that has been shown to George is really amazing.

"We were basically told when George was very young to try to keep him away from sport and football, and that maybe by the time he was 12 he would be in a wheelchair. But George's character has just come through and he's pushed so hard, worked so hard and he's shown other children that you can do it.

"This is a special club, special people work here and they've made him feel really welcome. Today is a moment he will treasure forever."