'Role Model' Sarah Is Best Fan
Conscientious teen is a deserved winner at End of Season Awards.
It says plenty about Everton’s fan of the year Sarah McNabb that she postponed a serious operation to follow the team at Wembley.
The 16-year-old was understandably keen to end a lengthy and painful ordeal following a bad sporting injury – but not as keen as she was to see the Blues play in the FA Cup semi-final.
“I’ve had problems with both knees, several operations and was meant to go in again before the game,” explained Sarah, a Season Ticket holder in the Lower Bullens.
“But it would have meant missing out as I wouldn’t have been able to travel so I put it off to go down. I had it on the Wednesday after the game and I’m slowly getting better, bit by bit.”
That commitment to the Blue cause is more than matched by Sarah’s commitment to her family, and a home life not typical of most 16-year-olds.
Her mum Margaret suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, while her younger brother Liam, 13, has Asperger's Syndrome.
And with dad Ray working shifts, conscientious Sarah juggles her studies at Southport’s KGV College with her responsibilities at home.
For her friend Rachael Webb, who nominated her, she is an inspiration.
She said: “Sarah is only 16 and is a carer for her mum and, despite this taking up a lot of time, she is a Season Ticket holder. She also has trouble with her knee which requires ongoing operations but crutches don't stop her going to the game.
“She balances all this with going to college and at a time when young people are receiving a bad press, Sarah is definitely a role model. She is so selfless. She is always doing things for others and taking care of her mum and younger brother but is still committed to Everton. I think she really deserves a reward.”
Following all the problems she has had with her knees, Sarah wants to study physiotherapy after she has completed her A-Levels.
“I think having been through what I have then it has helped me understand how a patient feels and I think that will help,” she added. “I think sometimes people don’t always understand the pain you feel, while I have been on the other side of it and get it.”
As well as attending the End of Season Awards and meeting all the players at St George’s Hall, Sarah has been invited in for corporate hospitality at a game of her choice next season.
She added: “I was made up when I heard I had won but I did think it was a wind-up at first! My family are really proud – I’ve had all of them on the phone.
“I am not sure which game I will come to, just something around my birthday at the end of August. I am not too bothered about which game it is – it will just be a nice way to celebrate my birthday.”
The Fan of the Year Award was sponsored by Chang.