Everton striker Steven Naismith has bought tickets for his club’s home games to donate to unemployed people across Merseyside.
Naismith grew up in a working class family Ayrshire in the west of Scotland and spent a good amount of time in Glasgow – a city that, at time, has seen high levels of unemployment.
Although he started his football career in the Kilmarnock youth system, Naismith eventually moved on to Rangers in August 2007 and played there for five seasons before joining Everton in 2012.
So the striker spent a good portion of his early life in and around Glasgow.
The 27-year-old Scotland international, who also overcame dyslexia as a youngster, has never forgotten where he came from or the difficult circumstances some individuals and families have to deal with on a day-to-day basis in places with similar issues as his hometown.
Naismith is a champion of charity work. He offers time and money to various homeless centers in Liverpool and Glasgow. He also launched a project in Scotland which helps injured service personnel back to mainstream employment and is an ambassador for Dyslexia Scotland.
“Liverpool has a similar history [to Glasgow] and I am aware that, through no fault of their own, there are many unemployed in Liverpool trying hard to find a job and may not be able to afford a ticket,” Naismith said.
“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.”
“I have asked the Jobcentreplus if they could give the tickets to different Jobcentres across the city each week and select people who are unemployed through no fault of their own, are trying hard to find employment and who would enjoy watching a Premier League football match.”
“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.”
Well done, Steven Naismith.