Everton captain Seamus Coleman helped surprise an inspirational young Evertonian whose fundraising efforts and dedication to the Club have seen him named Everton Fan of the Year.
Eleven-year-old Season Ticket Member Lewis Docherty received more than 1,000 nominations from fellow Evertonians for the 2019/20 Fan of the Year title – more than any supporter since the Club began presenting the award.
Lewis has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, which affects his muscles and limbs, and he has undergone several operations in recent years.
Despite these challenges, Lewis has become a familiar face on Goodison Park matchdays, working tirelessly to help fundraiser Speedo Mick collect thousands of pounds for charity.
Lewis’ fellow Toffees nominated him for his fundraising efforts and passion for helping others, for showing his dedication to Everton despite being in and out of hospital, for his “amazing personality” that helps make people’s matchdays, and for showing outstanding determination and Everton spirit in the face of adversity.
Lewis was invited to a video call with Speedo Mick and Fans’ Forum Co-Vice-Chairperson Lisa Vaughan to be presented with his award, when Coleman made a surprise appearance to congratulate the youngster.
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EMOTIONAL MOMENT EVERTON SKIPPER COLEMAN STUNNED FAN OF THE YEAR LEWIS
An excited and emotional Lewis told Coleman how he had been trying to win Fan of the Year for three years and why he is so passionate about helping others. He later joked about how tiring it is looking after Speedo Mick when they fundraise together.
Coleman congratulated Lewis on his mammoth fundraising efforts and revealed that, as part of his prize, he will receive a free Season Ticket Membership for the 2020/21 season and a hamper including Everton kits and Club merchandise.
The defender also wished Lewis an early happy birthday and applauded this year's winner as he was presented with his award by his mum, before Lewis thanked Coleman with a rendition of his famous '60 grand' chant.
Speedo Mick explained why he thinks Lewis is the perfect choice for Fan of the Year, telling the group how the youngster “lives and breathes” Everton every day, and spoke about the key role that Lewis plays in helping with his fundraising.
Lisa then outlined why the Everton Fans’ Forum chose Lewis as the overall winner from this year’s shortlist of supporters.
She called Lewis an “incredible” fan and said that the high number of nominations Lewis received “shows just how much [he] deserves this award”.
Lisa added that Lewis is an “absolute inspiration to everybody” and encouraged him to continue his fundraising work with Speedo Mick.
“There were lots of great nominations this year, which is testament to the dedication and amazing work in which our fanbase has been involved," she said. "Lewis is an inspirational and tenacious young man, and always shows the Everton spirit. A very worthy winner!”
Upon receiving the award, Lewis said: “Can I just thank everyone, the thousands of people that have voted for me… thank you!”.
Watch the emotional moment Seamus Coleman surprised Fan of the Year Lewis above or by clicking here.