The latest Bred a Blue podcast features the story of a young player who fought back from the devastation of leaving his boyhood team to forge a new career at Everton with the Club's life-changing official charity.
Stephen Wynne was scouted for Everton aged 11 and spent eight years with the Club before being released. He went on to play for a number of non-league clubs before turning his back on football – but he is now back in the fold, doing fantastic work for Everton in the Community.
Wynne never made a senior Everton appearance but he travelled to places like Austria and Thailand with the First-Team squad and played in the occasional pre-season friendly.
When manager David Moyes told him that he wouldn’t be getting another contract in 2006, Wynne’s world fell apart and he quickly fell out of love with football.
He drifted around the non-league scene for a few seasons but playing when injured "because I needed the appearance money" took its toll.
By his own frank admission, he struggled to cope with no longer being an Everton player. He could not afford to keep his house, he filled his days by gambling and he had constant battles with the feelings of guilt and embarrassment at not fulfilling his dreams of being a Premier League footballer.
Stephen couldn’t even bring himself to watch his beloved team at Goodison Park.
However, the natural fighting instinct in him helped him turn his life around.
He took himself off to university and is now a part of the Everton of the Community team, visiting schools and helping children who may have issues such as mental health or behavioural problems.
Stephen Wynne is a success story. He’s helping to change and, in some case, save lives.
In Bred a Blue he tells of his experiences as a young footballer, the pressure of everyone in his close-knit community willing him to do well, being around the First Team, playing computer games with Joseph Yobo…and why Duncan Ferguson’s nickname for him was ‘Biscuit’.
Listen to Stephen Wynne’s fascinating story here or in the player below.
To catch up on other episodes of Bred A Blue, featuring guests including Scott Brown, Peter Clarke and Shane Duffy, click here.