Friday's Goodison Sleepout, which saw David Unsworth, Everton's Under-23s players and a group of Blues supporters spend a night in the stadium, has raised almost £40,000 for Everton in the Community.
Into its second year, the sleepout challenge is aimed at raising awareness of homelessness, with money raised assisting the Club’s official charity in supporting people on the streets in the city of Liverpool.
In total, £38,728 was raised by the event, with more than four times as many Evertonians taking part than in 2016.
The Sir Philip Carter Park Stand looked different to a matchday as fans opted for a variety of different sleeping options for the night; whether that be huddled at the back of the stand, in between the rows of seats, on top of the seats themselves or the relative shelter of the concourse - all in an attempt to keep warm as temperatures dropped as low as 5 degrees Celsius.
On arrival, those taking part were welcomed by the Club’s Fundraising Team and treated to a question-and-answer session with Unsworth and former Blues manager and forward, Joe Royle, along with soup, sandwiches and hot drinks ahead of their long and cold night. Some fans took books, some brought guitars for an impromptu singalong, whilst others just chose to reflect quietly on the night ahead from their positions whilst looking out across the Goodison Park pitch.
Speaking on Saturday morning at the end of the challenge, Unsworth said: “It’s been another terrific yet eye-opening Sleepout here at Goodison Park and the fact that we have been joined by so many Evertonians is just fantastic.
“I was committed to taking part in this Sleepout and a promise is a promise. Nothing is more important to me right now than having been here tonight. Last year’s Sleepout culminated in the launch of our ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ campaign and less than 12 months later, we have raised more than a quarter of a million pounds and have secured a property to house vulnerable young adults on the cusp of homelessness.”
Everton in the Community’s Executive Director, Phil Duffy, added: “The atmosphere has been so representative of the Everton family and yet again enforces that looking after our community is at the heart of everything that we do. Everyone deserves to have a roof over their heads and hopefully we can raise some much needed funds to further develop our work in supporting the city’s homeless.”
To donate and show your support to EitC's campaign to help the homeless, text SOUT17 £3