Everton Football Club and its official charity picked up three prizes at the Northwest Football Awards in Manchester on Monday night.
Hosted by BBC presenter Dan Walker, the annual awards marked the 11th year of celebrating all things football in the north west of England, from grassroots to the Premier League, community initiatives, unsung heroes and local journalists.
Held at The Point, Emirates Old Trafford, the prestigious ceremony boasted several famous footballing names in attendance and saw Everton in the Community take home two awards, whilst Everton Giant Colin Harvey was recognised for his ‘Lifetime Contribution to Northwest Football’.
Everton in the Community’s ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ campaign was awarded ‘Best Community Initiative’ in recognition for its ground-breaking and innovative work to support young people on the brink of homelessness across the city of Liverpool.
Spearheaded by Everton CEO, Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Under-23s manager David Unsworth and his full squad, the campaign saw them set a fundraising target of £230,000 to purchase, and operate, a house close to Goodison Park which will offer 16 to 23-year-olds who have fallen on hard times a place to stay in Liverpool. The enthusiastic and committed group reached, and surpassed, their fundraising target in just nine months and in the summer, officially opened the doors to their new ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ property.
Meanwhile, Everton in the Community’s Henry Mooney was recognised as the ‘Unsung Hero’ on the night in recognition of his selfless work for the Club’s official charity over the past 13 years. Often heard before he is seen, Henry epitomises the values of EitC and goes above and beyond for his participants and colleagues daily and was presented with his award on stage by Denise Barrett-Baxendale and Greater Manchester Mayor, and lifelong Evertonian, Andy Burnham.
The final award of the night saw the whole room on their feet for a standing ovation when Everton legend Colin Harvey was called to the stage to receive the ‘Lifetime Contribution’ award in recognition of his ongoing commitment and service to football in the north west. Known as one third of the Holy Trinity, Colin was presented with his award by former Toffees teammate Joe Royle, ex-Blues midfielder Leon Osman and BBC Radio Merseyside’s Mike Hughes.
Everton Chief Executive Officer, Denise Barrett-Baxendale, said: “It was a privilege to be in attendance tonight and see both Colin and Henry rightly recognised for their fantastic achievements and contributions to Everton Football Club and our community.
“To also receive an award in recognition of our ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ campaign was the icing on the cake and it gives me great pleasure to accept this award on behalf of David Unsworth, his Under-23s squad and all of our staff and volunteers who worked tirelessly on bringing the campaign to life.”
Everton Football Club and Everton in the Community was also shortlisted for three other awards on the night including ‘Community Club of the Year – Premier League’, ‘Best Club Marketing, Sponsorship and Engagement’ for its partnership with Rovio, and ‘Promoting Inclusion’ for its ongoing work in positively promoting equality and diversity.
To find out more about other winners on the night visit www.northwestfootballawards.com