Keane Makes Memories For LA Evertonians

A Los Angeles-based Evertonian says Michael Keane has given him and his son "memories that will last a lifetime" after the defender took time out from his holiday in the Californian city to meet them - and even join in a back garden kickabout.

Gyorgi Hakopian, Chairman of the Southern California Everton Supporters' Club, was stunned last Friday to receive a response from Toffees star Keane after the group spotted he was in the area and contacted him via Instagram to ask if he fancied a meet up.

The 26-year-old duly obliged, changing around his plans to attend an impromptu gathering of avid local Blues that evening.

Keane then took up barber Gyorgi on the offer of a haircut and invited the fan and his six-year-old son Jakob to join him and his friends at their holiday accommodation the following day.

"We saw from Michael's Instagram that he was in Beverly Hills so we just tagged him in a post asking if he wanted to meet up and hang out with the group," explained Gyorgi.

"Pretty soon after he responded to tell us where he was and asked if we could meet up in the next 30 minutes. I had to go back and tell him there's no way you can get anywhere in Los Angeles in 30 minutes! But he was great, he told me to send him the details of where we could get to that night and said he'd meet us there instead.

"He's such a down to earth guy and carries himself just as one of us. He doesn't act like a star or anything like that and it was easy to forget you were talking to one of the players. We chatted about the season coming up, about the Nations League, and it just felt like we were all friends and getting to know each other, which was pretty cool.


"We asked him if he was okay with his 'Big Mick Keane' nickname and he told us he approves, so that was pretty neat!"

Gyorgi then offered Keane a haircut as a thank you for his kindness and was only too happy to accept when the England star invited him and Jakob over to his apartment.

"I cut his hair and then he spent a good hour playing football with my son and genuinely spent time with him and maybe gave my son a memory that will last for his whole lifetime," he said. "That was the best part of it.

"My son is just a massive Evertonian, he loves it, he watches every match with us, he knows all the players, so it was very special for him and very special for me as a father for him to experience what Everton is all about.

"We really got to see what kind of a person Michael is. He's so personable, so kind, so genuine and his friends were the same way. It seems like he definitely understands what Everton fans are about and we're very lucky to have somebody like him playing for Everton."

Gyorgi admitted the experience took him back to his first visit to Goodison Park in August 2016.

Arriving to find the stadium closed, the American was approached by a Club security guard who, on learning how far he had travelled, offered to take him on a personal guided tour of the ground.

"That whole trip, I was treated immediately like family from everybody and anybody that I met and it was just an incredible experience," said Gyorgi. "What's unique about Everton is that these kind of experiences are not the exception, they are the rule.

“It's how Everton is and what Everton's known for. It's so great that it’s normal when it comes to Everton.”