Everton's Blue Family Reaches Out To Ex-Players And Managers

Everton has been in regular communication with former players and managers as part of its Blue Family campaign.

The Club - and its official charity Everton in the Community - has engaged with more than 1,000 elderly, vulnerable or isolated supporters since Blue Family was launched earlier this month following the coronavirus outbreak.

Everton committed to maintaining and extending contact with fans during the pandemic and offering assistance and support to the most at-risk members of the community of Liverpool and beyond.

That outreach has also extended to former players, with the Club having already contacted 1966 FA Cup hero Derek Temple, 1970 title-winning trio Jimmy Husband, Tommy Wright and Roger Kenyon and Jimmy Harris, scorer of 72 Everton goals in the 1950s.

Lily Kendall, Pat Labone and Barbara King, the widows of former Blues Howard, Brian and Andy respectively, have also received phone calls and, indeed, Pat is helping with the process by providing former player details and making calls in her capacity as administrator for the Everton Former Players’ Foundation.

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Defender talks with 78-year-old Rod as part of Blue Family campaign.

And the outreach hasn't been limited to former players, with managers Joe Royle, Gordon Lee and Mike Walker contacted.

Everton’s Broadcast & Liaison Manager Darren Griffiths is taking the lead on the Club’s efforts to maintain close ties with its former players as part of the Blue Family campaign.

He said: “Former players are a huge part of the Club and it is important they are included in the Blue Family campaign as we face these difficult times together.

“It’s been a pleasure to reach out to the guys who entertained us so well during their playing days.

“Dave Thomas is keeping well despite his visual issues, Jimmy Harris is still active at the age of 86 and Gordon Lee was out on a short walk when I called last week.

“Every former player we’ve contacted has been so pleased to be considered and we have reassured them all that Everton Football Club is here whenever they need us.

“The guys have been brilliant - Jim Pearson even offered to call ‘supporters who may remember me’, which was terrific.”

Everton has also reached out to Dave Thomas, John Bailey, Jim Pearson and Wayne Clarke, with more former players being called each day.