Art attack! Everton's first team, as you've never seen them before

Oleh John Skilbeck 22 Januari 2020 102
Art attack! Everton's first team, as you've never seen them before

Everton revealed team news with a difference for their Premier League game against Newcastle - presenting their line-up as sketched by local primary school children.

The charming player portraits were produced by year four pupils from Linacre Primary School in nearby Bootle, who were invited to visit Everton's Finch Farm training ground.

Rather than the usual club photographs of Everton's starting XI, it was the children's art that featured on the stadium screens at Goodison Park and in the announcement of the line-up on social media.

Everton said the drawings were the result of a collaboration with club partner USM's Unlock The Potential campaign, in conjunction with Everton in the Community's Tackling The Blues programme, which focuses on achieving good mental and physical health among its targets.

Everton in the Community's director of health and sport, Michael Salla, said on the club's website: "In England, between nine and 13 per cent of five to 15-year-olds reported having a mental health disorder, with older young people reporting higher rates of mental illness.

"Suicide is the biggest killer of schoolchildren each year, with 200 on average taking their own lives.

"It is fantastic to see USM showing their support for Tackling the Blues. Programmes like this are vital in providing young people with tools and strategies that they can use as they get older to maintain good mental and physical health.

"It is also about removing stigma around mental health and making it clear that it is important to talk about mental health at any age and to ask for help and support when you need it, and ensuring that young people know where to find that support.

"The player portraits are a great way of sharing that message, and I am sure the children will be delighted when they see their drawings on the big screen."

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John Skilbeck