Everton midfielder Steven Naismith buys tickets for the unemployed in Liverpool
Everton midfielder Steven Naismith has bought tickets for his club’s home games to be distributed among the unemployed in the city of Liverpool. The Scottish professional has asked for the tickets to be distributed to job centres across the city each week and handed out to selected job-seekers.
The 27 year old, who joined the club in 2012, said that he hoped the gift would "bring joy to many people". "I am aware that there are many unemployed in Liverpool trying hard to find a job and who may not be able to afford a ticket, I thought this might be a small gesture to help those in that situation," said the Scotland international.
He explained the logic behind the gesture 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...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".
Naismith has been lauded by his coaches to have a high work-rate and a sense of responsibility as a player, and these instincts go beyond the football pitch for him. He is known to help homeless centres in Liverpool and Glasgow. He also launched a project in Glasgow to help injured service personnel back into mainstream employment and is an ambassador for Dyslexia Scotland.
Naismith’s act comes days before the scheduled August 14 protest march by The Football Supporters’ Federation to demand “affordable football for all”. Football clubs in England have shown no inclination to use their TV rights windfall to reduce inflated ticket prices.