News stories about footballers’ off-field activities generally tend to be about getting drunk, misbehaving after a night out on the town or even smoking cigarettes (why this last one is such a big deal is beyond me – if a player wants to ruin their body let them do it). I digress.
That’s why it was great to see a different kind of off-the-field story about Everton’s Steven Naismith. The Scotland international has bought tickets for Everton home games in the upcoming Premier League season and will donate the tickets to unemployed people in the city of Liverpool.
Liverpool has a similar history and I am aware that, through no fault of their own, there are many unemployed in Liverpool trying hard to find a job who may not be able to afford a ticket. I thought this might be a small gesture to help those in that situation to enjoy a day out at one of our league matches. Hopefully it can bring some joy to many people.
Although the story was picked up by the media, it doesn’t seem as if Naismith engineered this story for publicity. Naismith helps out at homeless centres in Liverpool and Glasgow. He also launched a project in Glasgow to help injured service personnel back into mainstream employment and is an ambassador for Dyslexia Scotland.
He summed it up nicely by saying:
Every day I feel very fortunate for the opportunities and lifestyle my job as a footballer has afforded my family and me and also to be in the position where I can help the community in some small way.
Great to see positive and affirming stories like this one from time to time.