- Andre Gomes took part in a hug-a-thon for charity
- Aim was to raise funds for new mental health facility
- A week later, Gomes scored his first goal for the Toffees
On Saturday 2 February, Everton midfielder Andre Gomes opened his Premier League scoring account with a stunning long-range strike against Wolves. The goal not only cemented the rich vein of form that has made the Portuguese invaluable to the Toffees in recent months, but also capped an emotion and affection-filled week for the No8.
That is because just a few days earlier, Andre Gomes was the star of a very special charitable activity: a hug-a-thon. As the name suggests, it involved the Portuguese player giving hugs to the club’s fans for a good cause, with each embrace raising funds for Everton in the Community.
“For me, it was a pleasure and a source of pride to take part. I’m very pleased particularly as it was the first initiative of this kind. It was special for me to have so many people here waiting for a hug!” the player explained.
The historic hug-a-thon, which was held the day after ‘Blue Monday’ – supposedly the most depressing day in the UK calendar – attracted some 200 people. The event was part of the fundraising drive for the construction of The People’s Place, a mental health facility set to be located next to the club’s ground, and it took the amount raised so far past the £100,000 mark.
“In the last couple of months, I have understood more what Everton in the Community does with the people here, and it is amazing. For me to have a really small part to help out is really a big honour. It is a different club, a special club, with special people,” said Gomes.
“It’s been fantastic to see so many smiles from Evertonians young and old, and also a big smile on Andre’s face. We extremely grateful to him for having supported this campaign,” said Everton in the Community CEO Richard Kenyon.
With hugs, a beautiful goal and kindly deeds, the love affair between Andres Gomes and Everton looks to be strengthening all the time.
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