Two big-hearted young Evertonian brothers who raised almost £2,000 for Everton in the Community and the Brett Foundation got the chance to meet manager Marco Silva after the Blues’ victory over Cardiff City on Saturday – as the pair prepare to embark on a life-changing move to Chicago.
Season Ticket Members Charlie and Joe Sampson will have to give up their places at Goodison Park when they relocate in the new year after dad Tony secured a new job in the USA.
Eleven-year-old Charlie and nine-year-old Joe, along with their dad and grandfather, also Charlie, are regulars in the stadium’s Family Stand despite needing to embark on a 400-mile round trip from their home in Maidenhead, Berkshire to attend matches. Inspired by Everton in the Community’s Home Is Where The Heart Is campaign and the annual Goodison Sleepout which sees David Unsworth and his Everton Under-23 squad spend the night sleeping in the stands at Goodison, the brothers took part in a two-week camp-out in their own back garden.
Wearing Everton bobble hats to keep them warm, their efforts attracted widespread attention, with Everton in the Community and the Brett Foundation, an organisation that supports homeless people in Maidenhead, going on to benefit from the money raised.
After masterminding his side’s fourth successive Premier League home win in a row on Saturday afternoon, Silva took time out to meet Charlie and Joe to learn more about their sleep out adventure and thank them for their dedication to helping others.
“They haven’t stopped talking about it and have gone into school armed with their signed programmes to show their mates!” said dad Tony after his sons’ meeting with the Toffees boss.
“Joe wants to do a presentation to his whole class so he can tell everyone about it!”
Charlie and Joe’s final game at Goodison Park before heading Stateside will be the visit of Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, December 23.