Evertonians from all over the country have helped to make the Fans’ Forum campaign to raise funds for the Carlisle flood relief a huge success.
The fundraising appeal closed this morning and, after smashing the initial target of £7,500, Blues fans went on to raise a total of £9,221.
What's more, the fund is set to receive a further boost as Everton’s first-team players have donated their match-worn shirts from the FA Cup tie against Carlisle to be auctioned to raise more money for the relief effort.
The initiative was launched by the Club’s Fans’ Forum ahead of the fourth-round meeting with the League Two Cumbrians to help them continue their vital community outreach work in the wake of the floods that hit the region.
A superb uptake from fans and a significant donation from Everton Football Club saw the target reached before the fixture was played, but the Just Giving fund continued to increase as Evertonians who travelled to Carlisle and witnessed the devastation first-hand were moved to contribute after the match too.
Everton Fans' Forum chairman Nick Mernock said: “We set our sights high with the initial target, so we are absolutely delighted that the fund has now surpassed £9,000, with more money still to be raised from the match-worn shirts. The reaction from Everton supporters has been tremendous.
“Carlisle United are a beacon of their community, like Everton, so we are proud to have played a part in helping them continue their fantastic charity work.”
The proceeds will go to Carlisle United’s Community Sports Trust, a registered charity.
Monies raised will be divided between community programmes Carlisle Key, which works closely with disadvantaged and homeless young people, and Hospice at Home, which helps families dealing with serious illnesses and conditions.
Carlisle United have been overwhelmed by the generous gestures from Evertonians and have thanked those who have pledged support to the campaign.
The Club’s media officer, Andy Hall, said: "This gesture from Everton fans is another example of how the football family comes together in times of adversity. The response from the football community to the situation we have found ourselves in has been overwhelming and it is clear to us now that we are not alone.
"I would like to thank Evertonians, on behalf of the community of Carlisle, for doing this for us and for two fantastic charities. It means a lot and we feel humbled by what has been done at a time when we most need help."