Everton hosted a special event at the Club’s USM Finch Farm training base on Wednesday to thank supporters who attended every Blues Premier League match home and away in 2018/19.
Those loyal fans who followed the Toffees for all 38 games last season were also rewarded with a free ticket to watch an Everton away game of their choice in the forthcoming campaign.*
Marco Silva, who consistently emphasised his appreciation for the Club’s large and devoted fanbase during his first season at the helm, was joined at the event by Chief Executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale.
The first-team quartet of Richarlison, fresh from his Copa America winning heroics, defensive duo Michael Keane and Seamus Coleman and Academy graduate midfielder Tom Davies mixed with around 450 fans to talk about ambitions for next season, as did Ladies defender Gabby George and manager Willie Kirk.
Speaking on stage, Silva thanked fans for their “fantastic support” and identified three episodes from last season which demonstrated the depth of Evertonians’ feelings for their club.
“On Boxing Day at Burnley, after we had suffered a tough defeat [three days earlier], you were all there and welcomed the players,” said Silva.
“When we had our good run in the final few months, you made Goodison a fortress.
“Then after the last match at home, it was amazing the way you said goodbye to the players and staff and showed your confidence in the team.”
Barrett-Baxendale added: “It is important to recognise our supporters who sacrifice so much time and money to watch Everton.
“Big clubs sell out and we are a big club.
“There is no set of away fans better than Evertonians. It is always great to be an Evertonian but now is a really special time.”
An element of fun was added to the afternoon with a host of activities laid on for fans.
Richarlison and England international Keane were both mobbed as they went to join a large group playing target golf.
The duo posed for pictures and signed autographs, as did right-back Coleman, who did initially manage to participate in a game of football pool before being swamped by supporters.
"The away fans are unbelievable and we're very lucky to have them,” said Coleman, poised to embark on his 11th full season at Goodison.
“This year, like every other year, we're desperate to bring success to the Club and these fans deserve it more than anything."
Richarlison added a humorous strand to proceedings, commenting through an interpreter that his summer exploits back home were “sound”.
The 22-year-old was serenaded with his familiar terrace chant, teammate Davies leading fans through a rendition of the tune sung to Oasis hit She’s Electric.
Barrett-Baxendale’s announcement of fans being gifted a free away ticket for next season was greeted with unanimous approval.
The first opportunity for supporters who qualify to claim that ticket comes when Everton play at Bournemouth on 15 September.
*Valid from Bournemouth 15/9/19 – subject to satisfying eligibility criteria and availability.