The defender made the appearance after Blues’ bosses discovered teachers at the Sefton school had developed a special club for Evertonian pupils.
Teachers and life-long Blues, Dave Cregeen and Jonathan Mumford who both co-authored the book ‘Tales from the Gwladys Street’, formed the extra-curricular club so that junior fans could undertake fun, Everton related activities during their break times. The club is an opportunity for supporters to meet other like-minded pupils, make friends and learn more about the club that they support.
The Club was so impressed with the idea that they are now rolling out a new School Supporters’ Club initiative based on this model for other schools across the region, with Formby Range High School the first to be officially affiliated to the scheme.
To thank Formby Range High School for inspiring the new initiative Leighton Baines paid a visit to the Club to learn more about it.
Leighton said: “The teachers with the help of the kids have decided to start a supporters club which I think is a really cool idea. They get together to do quizzes and other activities on their break times, lunchtimes and sometimes after school. It’s been good to come down and have a look at what they’ve been doing and we’d love to encourage other schools to do the same and I’d love to go and pay them a visit too.
“It’s great for the Club to get into schools and get the kids excited about Everton, coming to games and supporting the Club and when they are at school it’s a great time to do this. I would have loved for things like this to have happened when I was at school.”
Schools wishing to set up their own official Supporters’ Club can affiliate to the scheme from mid-October when the application process opens.
Initially affiliation will be open to a limited number of schools from the North West of England, with the Club wanting to develop this into a nationwide scheme.
To affiliate, a Junior Supporters’ Clubs must have at least 20 members from the school who are all under the age of 18. Once affiliated clubs will receive the following benefits:
- An educational visit to Goodison Park or Finch Farm, the Club’s training ground for local and regional schools.
- Access to discounted tickets for selected games
- A certificate of affiliation
- Membership badges for pupils
- Everton memorabilia
- A regular Junior Supporters’ Club newsletter
- A visit from a first-team player or Club legend
- Tailored Everton learning activity resource packs for teachers to use in lessons or at Junior Supporters’ Club meetings
- Entry into a competition against other Junior Supporters’ Club to win the chance to attend an end of term event at Goodison Park
International schools are also encouraged to apply.
Teacher Dave Cregeen said: “The club started after myself and another teacher here, Jonathan Mumford, wrote a book called ‘Tales from the Gwladys Street.’ It was a great experience meeting former players, managers and most of all, fans who had great stories to tell from following Everton for all those years. Because of those experiences we decided that we needed to do something here at school to keep that going and build better relationships with the students.
“So we formed the club and met once a fortnight to discuss anything from deadline deals that Everton has been involved with to the new crest that came out a few years ago. It is basically anything Everton related, we have quizzes and competitions to keep people involved.
“It gives me an enormous sense of pride to be the first school to be an Everton affiliated Supporters’ Club and we hope that other schools around the city will follow suit.”
Schools wishing to register their interest in the scheme can do so by filling in the form at http://www.evertonfc.com/ssc