New official Supporters’ Club will ensure Evertonians serving in UK Armed Forces stay close to the club
Everton's Premier League clash against Tottenham Hotspur this Sunday marks the Blues' official Remembrance fixture — and the first public engagement of a new Supporters' Club for serving military personnel.
The Tri-Service Toffees is an affiliated Everton Supporters' Club for those serving in the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force, whether regular or reservist. It is one of only a handful of official football supporters' clubs in the UK solely for current servicemen and servicewomen and aims to ensure that Blues fans serving in the UK Armed Forces can stay close to Everton, no matter where they are in the world.
Their first official engagement at Everton's Remembrance fixture on Sunday 3 November will see members of the Supporters' Club join with representatives from the Everton Veteran's Hub to form a Remembrance Guard of Honour before laying wreaths in the centre circle ahead of the 4:30pm kick-off.
The Last Post will then be played to signal a period of silence, with the names of those Everton and Tottenham players who gave their lives serving during the World Wars displayed on the stadium big screens.
As a mark of respect, the pre-match Siren will not be used for this fixture.
Members of both The Tri-Service Toffees and Everton Veteran's Hub will also appear on the Fan Zone ahead of the game to talk about their work and how people can join or show their support.
Members of the Tri-Service Toffees will also take part in the half-time ‘crossbar challenge.'
The Tri-Service Toffees was set up by Warrant Officer Class-1 Jazz Bal, who is currently in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (British Army) and a member of the Everton Fans' Forum. Jazz has seen routine and operational service across the UK and overseas for more than 23 years.
He said: “I was part of a visit to Everton's Royal Liver Building HQ in the build-up to Armed Forces Day 2019, which captured the attention of a number of currently-serving military personnel who said they would love to be involved in such activities. This, combined with my own experience, led to setting up the Tri-Service Toffees.
“I have always taken my Everton flag with me wherever I have been deployed. Remaining close to your football team when you are serving means a lot - and returning home to watch a match at Goodison becomes even more special. Being in the Armed Forces means being part of a family, and so does supporting Everton. I am proud to help bring the two together.”
The Tri-Service Toffees has raised money to make flags which are loaned to serving members stationed around the world and helps servicemen and servicewomen access Goodison match tickets when they are home on leave. Going forward, the Tri-Service Toffees will represent currently-serving military personnel at events and activities involving the UK Armed forces and Everton.
Scott McLeod, Head of Communications and Engagement said: “We are proud that we will have both veterans and serving military personnel together for our Remembrance fixture. The power of football is significant and, for those servicemen and servicewomen deployed overseas, being able to help them remain close to home - and the Club they love - is something very special. We are proud of the amazing work done by Everton in the Community and the Everton Veterans Hub - and we are delighted to now have the Tri-Service Toffees as an affiliated Supporters' Club moving forward.”
The Tri-Service Toffees join the Everton Veterans Hub in strengthening Everton's bond with fans who have served or are serving in the Armed Forces.
Everton Veterans Hub aims to engage ex-service personnel who are at risk of isolation with support, training and social activities. Over the last three years, they have supported more than 550 veterans, supported 10 veterans with mental health issues and moved 10 veterans away from homelessness, supported 60 ex-forces personnel currently in prison, and employed 13 veterans as match-day stewards. The programme also benefits the local community with the participants improving their skills, finding employment, avoiding potential anti-social behaviour and reducing their likelihood of ill health.
Matchgoers attending Sunday's Everton v Tottenham fixture will be able to buy poppies from the Royal British Legion, with sellers operating in the Fan Zone.
To find out more about the Tri-Service Toffees or to join please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow them on twitter @ToffeesTri
Reader Comments (46)
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1 Posted 31/10/2019 at 22:27:17
2 Posted 31/10/2019 at 22:31:30
3 Posted 31/10/2019 at 22:36:20
We're run more like a charity whose purpose is to support the community than we are a football team whose purpose it is to win the Premier League.
Too many years of ‘knife to a gunfight' talk has got us mired in concentrating on everything but that which is our raison d'etre.
Maybe this is completely the wrong forum to make the point when this is clearly another excellent example of what a force for good football can be and, as usual, Everton are at the vanguard but I can't help wonder whether those running the club are more proud of being the best philanthropists sometimes than being the best football club.
4 Posted 31/10/2019 at 22:46:25
While I don't pay that much attention to Liverpool FC's off-field activities, the media I consume never seems to mention much (at least that I've noticed).
5 Posted 31/10/2019 at 22:52:24
Do you think that our wonderful clubs Football Operations get distracted by initiatives such as this being rolled-out?
6 Posted 31/10/2019 at 22:53:08
I agree on the footballing side but I think this news helps to counter the argument from Paul Burns “shit” post about attracting fans. Imagine if you're a young lad whose Dad came back from war and you see him recognized in front of 40,000 fans. Talk about goosebumps...
It shows the club and fans are aware of their role in the wider community. The way I see it, we have Brands handling football, Izh paying bills, and Kenwright kissing babies so if Barrett-Baxendale is out winning hearts and minds, that's a good thing. We just need to get the other lads to up their game.
7 Posted 31/10/2019 at 23:32:22
You've hit the nail on the head re where exactly the clubs focus should really be. I and many other's recognise the great work the club is doing on Merseyside, but the emphasis it seems is more and more on EitC and it's various fundraising efforts.
Without wishing to rock the boat, why on earth does the club feel the need or necessity to 'leave a legacy' at Goodison Park when we finally move to Bramley-Moore Dock? We haven't yet been told what the financial cost of the 'legacy' will be.
At a time when Everton's financial resources will be stretched to the very limits, someone on high has decided to approve a major expenditure 'project' at a crucial time in the club's history.
I've never met Denise Barrett-Baxendale, but this has her fingerprints all over it.
8 Posted 31/10/2019 at 23:39:51
I assume the legacy is to acknowledge the faithful in surrounding streets plus local businesses who've supported the club for nigh on 140 years. Seems the decent thing to me.
9 Posted 31/10/2019 at 23:51:24
As to the timing, it's coming up to November 11th. I'm sure Denise didn't keep the announcement in her handbag like a spare hankie waiting for a bad run of games so she could wipe away our tears. When else would they announce it?
10 Posted 01/11/2019 at 00:17:37
There's hardly a Blue that cannot be proud of our community work. However, increasingly there are Blues questioning the focus of the club.
We have a small board and management team, most of whom are not massively experienced in the big issues facing our club off the field, finances, stadium and its future project management.
We don't have the resources to be a massive power of good whilst growing the business locally, nationally and internationally. The stadium is stretching our management resources at a critical time and we have all the commercial pressures of living in a competitive environment whilst not being competitive on the pitch.
For those that do wonderful things for the community, congratulations, but ask yourselves: Are you in the right vehicle for such work? And most importantly: Is this really the focus of a professional sports organisation?
I've always held the belief the charitable work of the club will benefit hugely from us being a successful trophy-winning, globally recognised centre of sporting excellence. In my opinion, that's where the sole focus of the club should be, striving to meet those sporting objectives. From that, other things may follow.
11 Posted 01/11/2019 at 01:24:56
My brother moved in with me and my family when he was 20 years old. He kicked around odd jobs, usually through me calling up a buddy to employ him, and was rudderless. At that point in time, I told him to go into the Army. He listened to his big brother and enlisted. He was as athletic as a Greek God, and I thought he'd excel in the armed forces. He did.
Then Iraq, part II, broke out.
Every single night I went to bed wondering if my kid brother, the one I convinced to go military, had been blown up by an IED.
He was so good at what he did, he carried "the saw." It shot 900 rounds per minute. He was tasked at protecting brass (officers). If they received fire, he shot back with malice.
He told me how one time, an Iraqi kid came around the corner of a building with an AK-47. The kid was about 10- to 13-years-old - my two oldest son's age there or thereabouts, at the time. As the kid lowered his weapon, my brother told me all he remembered was saying, "Don't do it. Don't do it." He did what he had to, and literally tore the poor child to shreds. All he could tell me afterwards was that the only thing he could think of was my sons. He still, to this very day, has nightmares about it. He ended that Iraqi kid's life. And he's told me despite it being foggy (probably repressed), he remembers it being gruesome beyond words. One night he told me, describing the nightmare reality: "When I shot him, shit flew everywhere." He then teared up and pounded a drink.
If Everton Football Club can give your men and women who serve your country a respite from their duty, I personally would let the board lose it's focus and do just that, even if it meant losing more games per season because their focus was elsewhere.
Well done, Everton. Give those serving their due respite. I personally don't give a flying fuck what it costs. Divert funds to be there for them. They've earned it.
I sincerely hope, from this point until eternity, Everton are the single best philanthropist organization on earth, when it comes to veterans and their needs.
America and Britain walk lock-step together when it comes to just about everything militarily. You may not like the ugly American, but you're married to us until death do us part. I hope both our countries, and the myriad of companies and organizations therein, follow Everton's lead and support these people who defend our freedom and rights.
Worried about whether or not Everton's focus is in the right place? Jesus Christ above. Enjoy that thought while you sit comfy in front of your computer while men and women spread across the globe keep you safe and sound. Take it all for granted while people place themselves in harm's way to keep you secure.
Move to Yemin, North Korea, China, name one. Maybe you'd find the appreciation you lack.
Our Club's focus is entirely perfect in this endeavor and regard, results on the pitch be damned.
12 Posted 01/11/2019 at 01:53:49
Nah, must be a misunderstanding. I couldn't possibly be seeing anything like that.
13 Posted 01/11/2019 at 02:13:51
I appreciate that when I was 'before the mast', that the technology that most take for granted these days, was not available, the only way I could learn about how 'my team' was doing was usually by radio, if lucky enough to get a reception, or by a letter from a loved one, which took weeks to arrive.
How times have changed, but nevertheless encouraging that a system has been put in place, to facilitate those in the forces keeping in touch with what is happening.
Unfortunately for them, not a lot at the moment, which hardly raises spirits if serving in Afghanistan or elsewhere in a conflict situation.
Many Service personnel I feel, get taken for granted, there can't be too many jobs where your life is at risk each day, in a situation that is not of your choice or making, yet you have to comply with it.
14 Posted 01/11/2019 at 02:31:59
15 Posted 01/11/2019 at 03:01:11
I agree the primary focus should be the team. The stadium? Hmmm seems to have stunted both Arsenal and Spurs despite supposedly being key.
But on a day to day basis, assuming a 40 hour work week, I don't see this charitable stuff being a distraction for DBB. If Silva and Brands we're handling it then yeah absolutely. But do the board really have 40 hours worth of football or stadium matters to handle week in and week out? I don't see it.
The stadium, for example, is a waiting game between each phase and approvals. So I don't see this is a distraction to be honest.
16 Posted 01/11/2019 at 03:04:11
Please pass on to your brother my thanks for his service and my best wishes to him and his family for a long and happy life together, they've earned it.
17 Posted 01/11/2019 at 03:11:12
So sorry to hear that terrible situation. Best of luck to your brother and kudos for supporting him and for sharing that. It really emphasizes the struggle a lot of brave folks face.
21 Posted 01/11/2019 at 13:34:34
22 Posted 01/11/2019 at 13:35:13
Our moaning glands were almost going into terminal failure, but glad to see our favourite TW is back up and running.
23 Posted 01/11/2019 at 13:39:14
There's plenty who deride these sorts of initiatives by the club, but yours is but one example of why - certainly on this one - the club do get it right now and again.
As your story highlights, there may not be physical injuries and cosmetic scars to deal with, but deeper psychological issues. The very nature of military service often means you endure in silence, not sharing what you are going through deep down.
Thankfully, I've never served in the military. Wouldn't want to and wouldn't want any children or grandchildren of mine to do so. My heart couldn't take it, constantly worrying about them being in harm's way.
The closest I've got to the military is being escorted by ex-British Army types now working with private security firms in hot spots in the likes of Libya and Iraq.
I mention it because a good number of them were Scousers, ALL of the Blue alliegiance. Not one single red amongst them.
Cracking lads, every last one of them.
24 Posted 01/11/2019 at 13:40:36
25 Posted 01/11/2019 at 14:31:05
26 Posted 01/11/2019 at 14:49:32
People have mixed views on things like this. And of course the poppy. I had a friend die in Ireland quite a while ago now, when he was only 18. Always in my thoughts regardless of anything else. These are all people we love and need and sometimes have to miss.
I'd be in favour of the sirens, better atmosphere and a show of support. Whether we agree or not.
27 Posted 01/11/2019 at 15:09:11
Thankfully, playing the siren at Goodison, means nothing to the vast majority, but there will be a few supporters who have terrible memories of the terrible carnage and death, that followed its banshee wail.
28 Posted 01/11/2019 at 17:01:43
29 Posted 01/11/2019 at 17:40:23
However the idea that our football club should point resources at this or other worthy causes at the expense of the football club is fundamentally flawed. That is my concern. Management time and expertise is limited at Everton Football Club and the focus has to be on our primary reason for being, the running and development of a professional sports organisation. If the people charged with these responsibilities have such compelling interests in the work of the charitable sector is it unreasonable to suggest perhaps they should devote their considerable talents wholly within that sector?
I have no issue with a joint branding, both organisations (club and charity) should be able to benefit by association. However, the sharing of management resource, particularly at a time when it's apparent we need greater management resource within the club is not sensible for either party in my opinion.
I say the above with the greatest of respect to all those that are desperately in need of assistance from the charitable sector in L4 and elsewhere.
30 Posted 01/11/2019 at 17:45:27
Everton are a large organization whose showpiece is its Premier League team who play for 90+ mins in a game.
As someone else has rightfully said, before and after the game is over, Everton FC as an organization still has to continue running. and the people who are responsible for the team and manager still keep on working.
In my opinion Moshiri has organized people on the board to be responsible for the important positions to help run the organization, and I am sure DBB is not responsible for the football side of it.
For 25 years I worked in the mining industry and often met with upper management that had 60% who had never been underground or in the process mill, yet they still managed to get all the employees paid, parts ordered that were needed,, contractors brought in and other organizations-consulted if needed.
The point is in an organization as large as Everton FC you have to be proficient at the position you are hired for, and as this article states Everton FC are very good at this side of it and if Denise Barrett-Baxendale is responsible for this, she needs congratulating, and Marcel Brands, in his position on the Board, is the one that needs criticizing for the football side of it.
31 Posted 01/11/2019 at 17:51:17
Woo-hoo! That's more like it. Count me a fan. Even better give them out for free.
32 Posted 01/11/2019 at 17:54:47
33 Posted 01/11/2019 at 17:55:20
Paul #29: "However the idea that our football club should point resources at this or other worthy causes at the expense of the football club is fundamentally flawed."
Sorry, Paul, I just disagree. Your statement may be perfectly on point from a strictly fiscal sense, but it assumes that the resources devoted to this effort are, in fact, being diverted from our football efforts. And I believe it's that assumption, not the club's charitable initiative, that is "fundamentally flawed".
I don't for a moment buy into the premise that "Management time and expertise is limited at Everton Football Club" to such an extent that it does not allow for an effort like this. When the cause is good enough, time can be stretched. And should be.
34 Posted 01/11/2019 at 17:59:57
35 Posted 01/11/2019 at 18:03:07
It also sounds like they will be able to get some tickets when on leave, it doesn't say if they pay or if they are free or how much they cost. It sounds to me that the actual cost of all of this to the club is nominal. If I've interpreted all this correctly, then I fail to see any issues.
36 Posted 01/11/2019 at 18:12:41
Three years ago, I persuaded Robert Elstone to allow the Merchant Navy representatives to join in with the on-pitch commemorative activities, so I am very much at one with recognising the contributions past and present regarding the armed forces and the civilian population at the time of war.
37 Posted 01/11/2019 at 18:37:33
I have never been aware of Everton having done this, though I am happy to be fact-checked.
I'm not trying to be tight, just pointing out that Everton have been behind other clubs in this regard, so the initiative above sounds like they're coming more into line than anything.
39 Posted 01/11/2019 at 18:39:44
Different situation obviously, but do you remember in the days of the Cold war when Spartak, Kiev, CSKA etc used to give free tickets to the military. It was very intimidating atmosphere with 100,000 troops in uniform generally whistling for 90 minutes?
40 Posted 01/11/2019 at 18:43:08
41 Posted 01/11/2019 at 18:43:43
42 Posted 01/11/2019 at 18:53:26
43 Posted 01/11/2019 at 18:55:42
I was just kidding. I didn't take it that way but what you say seems reasonable. I know here, the MLS baseball team, for example, does that for veterans. I guess an obstacle in the Premier League would be they try to sell out the whole stadium just with season tickets now.
44 Posted 01/11/2019 at 19:07:48
45 Posted 01/11/2019 at 19:50:44
I served for 2 years with the Army in Cyprus, 1957-1959, there was trouble at that time: EOKA, a terrorist organisation, were demanding union with Greece, and there was loss of lives on a regular basis. I was fortunate because the branch of the army that I was in, the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers (REME), was with a non combative outfit. The Infantry Regiments bore the bulk of the of dead and injured soldiers, patrolling in the Troodos Mountains.
Lads were also losing their lives to cowardly attacks, shootings from behind, and because the terrorists didn't wear uniforms, they were able to carry out their evil deeds with impunity.
Contrary to what Bill Shankly is alleged to have said, football is not 'more important than life and death'. I applaud Everton for the work they do in the community, and I take great pride in supporting such a club.
47 Posted 01/11/2019 at 21:12:13
Your explanation of your stance is appreciated. My comment wasn't aimed squarely at you, for the record, although admittedly it was in part.
However, the idea that our football club should point resources at this or other worthy causes at the expense of the football club is fundamentally flawed.
I disagree with your statement. As I stated, If Everton decide to divert resources from football towards charitable causes, I personally have no problem with that. I certainly do not define it as "fundamentally flawed". I'd counter with it's fundamentally good, ethical, and positive.
I'd argue they have a civic responsibility to do so.
I understand the argument that they have no such responsibility to earmark their profits or resources towards anything but football. They are, after all, a football club.
I just can't agree with the approach or argument, and would say, with respect, I'm diametrically opposed to any organization that deals with sums such as Everton, running their business without some recognition that they can, and should, be philanthropic.
And when it comes to veterans and service men and women, I'd like them to be at or near the top of the list.
"But where does the giving stop, before they really do hinder their performance on the field?" I hear you ask.
I can't answer that question. But I would say there's a line somewhere. And anyone in upper management and a position of influence, who's moral and ethical compass points north, and has a modicum of intelligence, knows where that line is.
48 Posted 01/11/2019 at 21:47:29
Iceland recently offered 20% discount on everything to all of the UK's, public servants, police, firemen, NHS and ambulance service. What about rewarding them with free tickets because of their service to the country?
I'm not trying to be arsey, Peter, no public servant is more deserving than another. All I'm trying to say is, if the tickets were free, Everton as a business could only give out, say 100, if they said 50% off ticket prices for present and former serving military personnel, they could give 200 out.
As a nurse, I appreciated the offer of 20% off by Iceland, it was a kind gesture. I'm sure our military personnel will appreciate a similar gesture from EFC. As a former TA soldier for 20 years, I would appreciate it if they extended the offer to veterans, I can cover the 50% to get in, as I'm sure our present military personnel could.
49 Posted 01/11/2019 at 23:12:15
50 Posted 02/11/2019 at 14:19:04
I wish this country was more like our cousin's across the pond when it comes to treating our troops, I've heard stories from the USA of troops going to the front of the queue in stores, restaurants etc, treated as proper heroes, (as they should), but I remember a story (an isolated incident hopefully) of a soldier in his fours (mtp), being refused a drink in a pub because of being a soldier!!!! Fucking disgraceful.
Whatever your political stance is, whatever your view on war is, if you think it's wrong, or some or all war is unjustified, remember this, those heroes sacrifice, they follow orders, they do what they do because of a commitment, they are men/women of honour, integrity, focus, they put their life on the line, live and breathe in situations most of us can't even comprehend, they are truly special and any support of any kind, no matter how big, will never be enough imo.
I sympathise with JC, my granddad served in WW2, in the navy, I asked my dad did he ask my granddad (his dad who died before I was born) about the campaigns he served in, and his only response was "i hope their is not another war in your life time son", or words to that effect, would never speak about the war, period.
So, whatever the club do, is welcomed from me.
Lest we forget.
51 Posted 03/11/2019 at 21:47:08
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