Big Dunc Turns Street Blue
Toffees legend spreads Christmas cheer in Bootle.
Two hero Evertonians received the ultimate Christmas surprise on Monday night when Blues legend Duncan Ferguson turned up to kick off a festive street party right outside their house.
Tracey Holland, 45, and Andrew Cowley, 15, came to the aid of an elderly woman who had collapsed while on their way to Everton's Merseyside derby meeting with Liverpool on Saturday 23 November.
The mother and son, from Cullen Avenue in Bootle, were left so distressed by the incident that they left the match early, missing the Blues come from behind, then lead, before ultimately being held to a 3-3 draw.
Ferguson, scorer of 72 goals in 273 appearances for Everton, travelled to the house, around two miles from Goodison Park, and helped turn the street blue with the aid of a light show and blue Santa grotto.
Radio City's Claire Simonsen then kicked off the first in a series of planned festive street parties, with music, giveaways and a live performance from local singer Jennifer Jewell.
Staff from Everton in the Community were also on hand to give out blue Santa hats, as people descended on the street to meet Ferguson and heap praise on Andrew and Tracey for their selfless actions on the day of the derby.
"For that to happen to you, when you're on your way to the derby match and for somebody to go to help someone like that, it's incredible and they're such beautiful people to do that," said Ferguson.
"It was a really special night and it's tremendous that we can give a little bit back to the community, because the fans are what it's all about. That's why our Club is so special, because of these people."
The event was the first of five that will take place between now and Friday as Everton bid to turn the city's streets blue for a second successive year.
Last December, the Club lit up 12 city landmarks, including both cathedrals, the Albert Dock and even Liverpool's Anfield stadium with a Merry Christmas message from staff and players at Goodison Park.
This year's 'flash-mob' style parties will happen each evening between 5-6pm and involve blue lights, a special Everton guest, live music, more prize giveaways, blue Santa and his grotto.
Ferguson also handed over a bundle of Everton gifts to Andrew and Tracey, including signed photos, a signed shirt and hampers from Club partner Crabbies, a pamper day for mum, courtesy of David Lloyd Leisure, Speke and Saks Hair and Beauty, and VIP tickets to watch Everton take on Norwich on 11 January.
And the courageous recipients said they were left stunned to open the door to one of their all-time favourite players.
"It was amazing to meet Duncan," said teenager Andrew. "I remember seeing him a few years ago when my brother was a mascot and I've always wanted to meet him. Today has been amazing for me.
"On that day of the derby, I don't know what happened but I just went into shock and I missed the game. I really thank Everton a lot for making this day for me. They're the best Club in the Premier League and I'm so proud to be an Evertonian."
Mum Tracey added: "It's been absolutely amazing, incredible. I would rather have missed the derby and had this today. It's definitely made up for it. It was a great derby but this has been a better day.
"They're unbelievable, Everton Football Club. I've supported them since I was a baby and to have this is just amazing. They are the People's Club."
Andrew and Tracey were nominated for the surprise by family friend Sheila Murray, who said their contribution to the community needed to be recognised.
"I emailed Everton to see if they could do anything to reward what they'd done that day and the fact they'd missed the most important match in the world, the derby," she said. "I was so surprised when I got the phone call to say we'd be getting this. At best, I was hoping for two tickets for another game.
"It's absolutely fantastic and it has meant so much to Andrew and Tracey. It's been a fabulous day, the Club have been great and it's well deserved."
Each day between now and Friday, the Club will issue clues as to the location of the next street party - and the day's special guest - via our official Twitter and Facebook pages.
Look out for the next hints from 10am on Tuesday morning and try to work out where to join us when the week's second party begins at 5pm.