Everton’s Premier League opener against Southampton on Saturday will see the Toffees play in front of a full house at Goodison Park for the first time in 17 months.
On what is sure to be an emotional occasion as Evertonians return to Grand Old Lady in their thousands, the Club will pay tribute to Blues we have lost during the pandemic, while players and fans will also show their support for inclusivity in football.
See below for a breakdown of Saturday’s matchday activities at Goodison. For answers to FAQs regarding fans' return to the stadium, click here.
Following the players’ warm-up, a tribute will be shown on the matchday screens featuring names and pictures of fans who have sadly lost their lives during the pandemic.
This will include tributes for Duncan Browne, a 23-year-old Evertonian who lost his life after being assaulted in Liverpool city centre last month, and Andrew Devine, 55, who passed away recently after sustaining life-changing injuries in the Hillsborough disaster. Andrew is the 97th person who was unlawfully killed at Hillsborough.
An Everton Ambassador will also lay flowers in honour of Duncan and Andrew outside the stadium in the hours before kick-off.
Supporters are urged to get to their seats early to pay their respects during the tribute.
Jimmy Gabriel appreciation
In the fourth minute of the game, fans are encouraged to take part in a minute’s applause in honour of former Everton player and assistant manager Jimmy Gabriel, who died last month at the age of 80.
A league championship and FA Cup winner at Goodison Park following a transfer from Dundee in 1960, Gabriel – who would declare long after retirement the Club was “in my blood” – scored 37 goals in 303 appearances during seven years as an Everton player.
Gabriel – who also enjoyed a five-year spell at Saturday’s opponents Southampton – returned to Everton as assistant to manager and ex-teammate Colin Harvey in 1990 and subsequently took charge of Everton’s reserve team.
Gabriel twice assumed the position of caretaker manager, overseeing one match – a 3-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers – in November 1990, and seven games across December 1993 and January 1994.
Rainbow Shirt campaign
Saturday’s game will see Everton and technical partner hummel collaborate to raise awareness for inclusivity in sport, with the players set to wear a specially designed warm-up shirt.
Our opponents, Southampton – who are also sponsored by the Danish sportswear giant – will also don the rainbow tops.
The initiative to support the fight for diversity and inclusivity in professional football is part of the hummel's wider backing for Copenhagen 2021 World Pride and the EuroGames celebration.
Fans’ Forum diversity initiative
The Fans’ Forum has launched a project to send the message that Evertonians oppose all forms of discrimination.
To get involved, the forum is asking supporters to send a photo of themselves taking the knee or another gesture. The images will be displayed on the screens in the stadium at the same time as the players take the knee before kick-off.
Fans can send their images to firstname.lastname@example.org by 8pm on Wednesday.
Pickford banner and Park End display
As the players walk out at Goodison ahead of kick-off, the Club will be displaying a Jordan Pickford banner from the Upper Gwladys Street. The Sir Philip Carter Park End will be awash with colour, with Evertonians displaying blue and white cards to mark the return of fans to Goodison.