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Soldier Ryan is latest Blue Hero

08/12/2014  Comments (0)  jump

A Liverpool-born soldier who will spend Christmas away from home as he serves his country has become the latest Evertonian to be named a Blue Hero.

As the McMahon family sit down for Christmas Dinner together this year, Kingsman Ryan McMahon of 2nd Batallion the Duke of Lancaster Regiment, will be thousands of miles away in the Falkland Islands.

So to give the 22-year-old from Aigburth a special boost before he set off on his epic journey, Everton legends Graeme Sharp, Graham Stuart and Ian Snodin paid a surprise visit to his Army base.

The trio walked into the Sergeant's Mess at Weeton Barracks to meet soldiers and deliver the news to Blues fan Ryan that he had been singled out for special recognition by his senior officers.

Ryan said: "It was a big shock, I wasn't expecting it all. My face lit up like a kid at Christmas when I saw who it was. I was really happy about it."

It wasn't just his commitment and approach to his role that Ryan was singled out for, he's also keen to follow in the footsteps of his Royal Blue heroes by dedicating his spare time to the batallion football team.

Captain John Marlowe said: "Ryan has been an outstanding soldier throughout the year. He's a first class player within the battalion football team, dedicated throughout the season and the main thing for nominating him is that he deploys to the Falkland Islands until mid January. He's going to miss his family and friends, particularly over Christmas.

"He's been so pleased with the visit today. It was a real surprise for him and he'll look back in a couple of weeks and think what a brilliant day it was."

Ryan was presented with a Blue Hero award, an Everton flag, and a hand-held GPS system to help him whilst he is in the Falkland Islands.

And that wasn't all, Sharp, Snodin and Stuart also announced that the Club will donate 300 tickets to servicemen and women for Everton's fixture against Queens Park Rangers next Monday.

The Club has pledged support for the Tickets for Troops initiative to allow members of the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force to watch the Blues in action against the Londoners.

The ticket donation is all part of the Blue Crimbo campaign which will see the Club give back to deserving members of the community throughout December.

Sharp said: "The Armed Forces carry out remarkable work all year round and the Club is always keen to recognise that. The ticket donation is our way of showing our support and saying 'thanks' on behalf of Evertonians.

"It was a real pleasure to come out to Weeton Barracks and surprise some of the guys here too - especially young Ryan. Christmas is a time for family so being away from home will be tough and we'll be thinking of him and his loved ones."


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