Everton's Alder Hey Christmas Surprise

Everton players have linked up with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to deliver a festive surprise to a group of young fans.

The Club teamed up with the city’s world-renowned medical facility to arrange a series of video chats with young Evertonian patients, who have all endured a difficult time over the past year.

The special calls were part of Everton’s True Blue Crimbo and Alder Hey’s Christmas Wishes campaigns and saw the First-Team squad, and Everton Women players Izzy Christiansen and Toni Duggan, unite to spread some Christmas cheer to the deserving boys and girls.


Blues winger Andros Townsend said: “I’ve not had the opportunity to visit Alder Hey in person, but I've heard so much about the great work at the hospital and it’s a credit to the city.

“We'd have loved to have visited as a squad and met the children on the wards, but unfortunately it just wasn't possible again this year. 

“The players were all disappointed about that, but we did have the chance to speak to several children on video calls at USM Finch Farm.

“It's been a hard 12 months for everybody but, in many cases, these children and their families have had a particularly tough time.

“It's always really important that we do this and help to lift their spirits. They have shown incredible strength and are a real inspiration to us all.”

Caitlin, 12, who has cystic fibrosis and is a striker for her local girls’ football team, was expecting a video call with her physio, so was overwhelmed to see Duggan and Christiansen on screen, along with Tom Davies, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Seamus Coleman. The Blues quintet spoke to Caitlin about her passion for football and boxing, her favourite goal celebrations and her love for Ed Sheeran!

Jonjo has been an inpatient at Alder Hey for several months as he is suffering from chronic pancreatitis and is struggling with not being able to see his friends and family. The 15-year-old was therefore delighted when Ben Godfrey, Fabian Delph and Cenk Tosun called him for a chat. 

Eleven-year-old Jacob, a huge Blues fan who has muscular dystrophy, was nominated by Alder Hey staff for his positive outlook and the way he has adapted to becoming a new wheelchair user. Jacob now plays for a wheelchair football team, and Michael Keane, Richarlison, Asmir Begovic and Andy Lonergan called to wish him luck with his national tournament this weekend and to chat about his favourite things. 

Season Ticket Member Noah, who also has muscular dystrophy, has been an Alder Hey patient for many years but will make the transition to adult services in the next year when he turns 18.

Noah, who was previously sent hundreds of cards by Everton fans on his 12th birthday, following a social media campaign to make his birthday special, has endured another tough year after being completely housebound during lockdown, so Demarai Gray, Andre Gomes and Anthony Gordon were keen to offer a festive pick-me-up and find out more about the youngster’s wheelchair football talents and his impressive effort in teaching himself Japanese and Spanish! 

William was diagnosed with liver cancer after falling ill on a family holiday three years ago. The youngster had a liver transplant, but the cancer spread to his lungs and he had to receive further treatment at Alder Hey earlier this year. Everton quartet Andros Townsend, Lucas Digne, Alex Iwobi and Jarrad Branthwaite offered their support to the eight-year-old and chatted about his love of Fortnite and fast cars! 

And, finally, Jonah, 10, who battled lymphoblastic leukaemia, an aggressive cancer that affects white blood cells, was delighted to receive a call from one of his favourite players, Jordan Pickford, along with Mason Holgate, Salomon Rondon and Jonjoe Kenny. The Blues chatted about Jonah’s karate achievements and his excitement for Christmas. 

Andros Townsend
It's always really important that we do this and help to lift their spirits. They have shown incredible strength and are a real inspiration to us all.

Each of the youngsters was also sent an Everton goody bag and the players surprised them with a personalised home shirt whilst on the call that they then signed and posted out as an early festive gift. 

Everton's True Blue Crimbo campaign has been rewarding deserving Evertonians and community heroes at Christmas time for over a decade.

With support from First-Team players and staff, the Club has brightened the festive period for hundreds of people in that time.

Watch out for more True Blue Crimbo content next week, as our festive campaign gathers pace.