One of Everton’s most loved employees was the deserving beneficiary of a Blue Crimbo surprise.
Henry Mooney, who has worked for Everton in the Community for more than 13 years, is a name familiar to many Evertonians. The long-serving employee manages a number of the charity’s programmes for elderly participants, serves as a Trustee for the Everton Former Players’ Foundation, works as a Safety Steward for Premier League games at Goodison Park and even helps as a groundsman for Under-23 fixtures – Henry is an integral part of the Everton Family.
This Blue Crimbo, the Club is celebrating and rewarding a wide range of deserving Evertonians.
On a day-to-day basis, Henry is Everton in the Community’s Community Engagement Officer and manages the charity’s award-winning ‘Pass on the Memories’ programme. Delivered in partnership with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, ‘Pass on the Memories’ supports people living with dementia and their carers. Supported by Lee Johnson and Pat Van Den Hauwe, Henry also manages the ‘Stand Together’ programme that assists local elderly residents suffering from social isolation.
Often heard before he is seen, Henry is a well-loved and immensely popular member of the Everton family, regularly going above and beyond to help and support the charity, Club colleagues, and participants. This year, EitC Executive Chair Denise Barrett-Baxendale and her senior management team within the charity felt that Henry wholeheartedly deserved to be honoured and recognised for all that he does for everyone all year round.
Speaking ahead of the surprise, Denise said: “Henry has been magnificent for me from the day I arrived at the charity. He’s been by my side for almost eight years supporting me in a range of community activities whether that be driving the EitC minibus, leading our dementia programmes to calling the numbers at Blue Bingo and so much more. He’s a right-hand man and is the most generous, community focused person I’ve ever had the privilege to work with.
“Henry is someone who epitomises what Everton in the Community is all about; he lives and breathes our values system. He’s a wonderful ambassador for our work and I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to work with him – there isn’t anyone who deserves this more than Henry Mooney.”
Henry and his team host an annual Blue Bingo every Christmas which sees more than 150 of their participants come together in The People’s Club Lounge at Goodison Park to enjoy rounds of bingo, food, entertainment and general festive merriment and therefore provided the most opportune moment to surprise and reward Henry. Thinking he was pressing play on a Christmas video message to the Blue Bingo participants from Everton Football Club, Henry soon realised that he was actually the star of the film as a series of touching tributes from friends and colleagues from across the Club and charity highlighted how much ‘H’ means to them.
As the video drew to a close, Henry was joined by some very special guests who wanted to congratulate and celebrate with him. The group was led by EitC Chair, Denise, and included Club Ambassadors Ian Snodin and Graham Stuart as well as Henry’s wife Sandra and his brother Andy, who travelled down from Scotland for the occasion. Everton Under-23 players Jose Baxter and Lewis Gibson were also keen to be in attendance; Jose formed a special bond with Henry when he recently spent some time volunteering with the ‘Pass on the Memories’ group whilst Henry has been Lewis’ House Parent since he joined the Blues in the summer from Newcastle.
“It took me a while to realise that the messages being played out on the screen were actually for me and then I spotted my wife and brother as well as Denise, young Jose and Lewis and that’s when the penny dropped,” said Henry.
“I just get up in the morning and come to work to do a job that I love for a charity that means the world to me. To be recognised by my friends and colleagues really means a lot to me.”
This Blue Crimbo, Everton is celebrating and rewarding different members of the Everton Family – old and new. Blue Crimbo wouldn’t be Blue Crimbo without the fans playing their part so the Club are asking supporters to share their stories of fellow Evertonians who have done something special for other people. Share those stories of acts of kindness on social media by simply using #BlueCrimbo and the Blue Crimbo team at the Club will do the rest.