Sylvain Turns Street Blue
Defender surprises young Evertonian with second street party.
A young Evertonian was the second recipient of the Club’s Christmas surprise on Tuesday night when the Everton BlueCrimbo truck rolled into Halewood.
Blues defender Sylvain Distin kicked-off another festive street party - this time for 13-year–old Elliot Hayes, who is recovering from brain surgery earlier in the year, was the very special guest.
The junior Blue, who has a twin brother and four other siblings, was treated to the ultimate Everton celebration thanks to a heart-warming letter from his grandmother, Brenda Hayes, explaining how brave Elliot had been.
Earlier this year Elliot had 11 hours of major brain surgery after doctors found two large Cavernomas, which are clusters of abnormal blood vessels, in his front lobe, which if left would have led to Elliot suffering a fatal brain haemorrhage. The operation did not faze the teenager - until doctors told the young Evertonian he would not be able to play football for at least six months.
This news left Elliot distraught and so his grandmother Brenda wrote to his favourite Club to see if the Blues could cheer him and his family up after a very tough year.
And French defender Distin, who turned 36 earlier this week, was delighted to oblige and join the BlueCrimbo party, which saw Radio City's Claire Simonsen host the second in a series of five planned festive street parties, with music, giveaways and a live performance from local singer Jennifer Jewell.
Distin also handed over a bundle of Everton gifts to Elliot and his family, including a squad signed shirt, a VIP trip to watch Everton against Norwich on 11 January and hampers from Club partner Crabbies and also Harvey Nichols.
Staff from Everton were also on hand to give out blue Santa hats, as people descended on the street to help cheer up the Hayes family.
Distin told evertontv: "This is a surprise for a young boy who has been extremely brave and someone who can teach us a bit about life. He was been pretty shocked and it's fantastic to see those kind of reactions.
"It's an amazing initiative and just one of those things that the Club is doing where you can see the smile on everybody's face.”
The event was the second of five that will take place between now and Friday as Everton bid to turn the city's streets blue for Christmas.
The '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.
Elliott also spoke to evertontv and described his surprise at coming home to the street party.
He said: "I went to get my haircut and then we come home and have Sylvain sitting on my couch! I was really shocked. It was a big surprise.
"It's been great to meet Sylvain, very surprising and something of which I am very thankful."
Grandmother Brenda, who contacted the Club, added: “I thought I was dreaming when Everton called to say what they were going to do. It was just fantastic and I can’t thank them enough for giving us a Christmas to treasure forever after such a hard year. Thank you.”
There will be three more events running until 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 Wednesday morning and try to work out where to join us when the week's third party begins at 5pm.