Everton’s Steven Naismith has spoken of how he buys tickets for Goodison Park matches to give to unemployed people across Liverpool. The 27-year-old Scot said:
I come from Ayrshire in the West of Scotland and spent a lot of my life in Glasgow – a city that, at times, has suffered from high unemployment.
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 and 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.
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.”
The Scottish international is an ambassador for Dyslexia Scotland and has also set up a charity to assist injured service personnel. He continued:
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.
Now we're not suggesting that everybody should start loving Steven Naismith the footballer, but fans of all shades can appreciate that his gesture is a thoroughly decent one, and could be easily replicated by so many of his fellow professionals.