Everton fans could all use a hug right now and Andre Gomes is just the man to do it!
After Gomes proved his excellent hugging skills during an Everton in the Community event in October where he warmly embraced and consoled an Everton fan during an indoor football match, the club has given him his big chance to showcase his talents for his very own Hug-A-Thon.
Everton in the Community held the first-ever event to help raise money for its mental health campaign, The People’s Place. Two hundred fans stood in line to get a nice big hug from the midfielder and raised £2,000 for the charity.
Gomes is not afraid to show his soft side and commented on Twitter that he is “thankful for the love [they] shared” at the event. The 25-year-old showed an inordinate amount of courage considering we’re deep into flu season, so he very likely has had his shots.
Special and unforgettable day at Goodison with the 1st #HugAThon. Very pleased and thankful for the love we shared @EITC it was an honor for your Dedication helping so many people to have a better life pic.twitter.com/wKb7NdwBHL— André Gomes (@aftgomes) January 23, 2019
The Portuguese midfielder told The People’s Place website that he was pleased to do the event:
“It is a big honour for me and it was a pleasure to do it. I’m very happy that I could be the first player to do it. For me it is special.
“Since the first day I came here, I felt really good and I feel part of the family. I feel a lot of happiness to be here right now. It was special for me to have so many people here waiting for a hug!
“In the last couple of months, I have understood more what Everton in the Community does with the people here and it is amazing, fabulous. For me to have a really small part to help out is really a big honour. It is a different club, a special club, with special people.”
Footage from the event clearly shows that Gomes is the best hugger in the league; his technique shows staying power and a nice finishing touch with a warm pat on the back.
Everton in the Community CEO, Richard Kenyon, told The People’s Place website that it was a “different event to what we are used to, but it has been a really uplifting and enjoyable evening, and everyone is leaving happy.”
Kenyon promises even more support from players in the near future:
“Over the next year there will be a lot more interaction with the players who are all keen to give their backing to The People’s Place.”
Everton is regarded as the leader among Premier League teams in charity efforts and the fans greatly appreciate Gomes’ strong commitment to the cause!
Here’s what Andre’s heat map looked like from the event:
We love you, Andre!