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Everton's People's Hub receives
Royal seal of approval

Everton FC were recently joined by HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex, at the home of its official charity to open a new community centre and all-weather pitch. HRH was guided on a tour of Everton in the Community’s (EitC) new People’s Hub, before taking part in a commemorative plaque unveiling with Club representatives.

In the shadows of Goodison Park, the EitC People’s Hub creates an innovative ‘community campus’ that meets the needs of all members of the local community and is a place for the charity to call home. The project was made possible thanks to a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.

During the opening, staff and participants from across the charity were able to showcase their activities to HRH, which take place day-in-day-out at the Hub. Phil Duffy, Executive Director of Everton in the Community, said: “It was extremely exciting for our staff and participants to meet with HRH Prince Edward and we were honored to show him some of the work which goes on here 365 days of the year.

“HRH’s visit marks the beginning of a new era for our charity and local residents – we hope that they will enjoy using The People’s Hub for recreation, support and socialising for many years to come.”

Click the main image to watch the video from the event and the small images to view the picture gallery.
After opening our new all-weather pitch at his former school, Enfield Grammar, we sat down with former Chelsea, Leeds and Stoke defender Michael Duberry to chat about his career, the best players he's played with and his new business.

Q: Tell us about your Made Leaders business?
A: Made Leaders is the company I started after retiring. I earned an Advanced diploma in Executive Coaching and now work with businesses to bring out the leader in business professionals. 

Q: Are leaders made, not born?
A: I don’t believe that anyone is born a leader but over time, people acquire skills and learn how to lead. To become a leader, there are certain skills and attributes that need to be worked on – that’s where I help individuals and businesses.
Q: During the course of your career, who are some of the best leaders you played with?
A: I played with a lot, all with different styles – some were vocal leaders who organised the team whereas others let their example on the pitch take centre stage. At Chelsea, I would definitely say Marcel Desailly, Mark Hughes and Gianluca Vialli. At Leeds, I would probably say Lucas Radebe, David Batty and Rio Ferdinand.
Q: What’re your earliest memories of the grassroots game?
A: My first team was Enfield Rangers FC who were, and still are, a successful boys' club. I really enjoyed just playing football every weekend and improving my game. I loved travelling all over with my Mum to away games in our little Mini as it struggled round the M25! It was the purest form of football.
Q: You opened a new all-weather pitch at your old school – bet you wish you had one of those back in your day?!
A: To have that facility at my old school doesn’t fill me with envy, but with pride. I travel to a lot of facilities with my son’s team and I see the Football Foundation signs everywhere! The work the Foundation does with its Funding Partners' investment allows people to train throughout the winter and prevents football from ever stopping. It's remarkable.
Q: What’s the most memorable game you played in?
A: Probably the Champions League game against AC Milan at Elland Road. We lost our previous game to Barcelona and everyone expected us to get trounced. I lined up with Danny Mills against Shevchenko and Bierhoff! We matched them throughout the game until Lee Bowyer scored the winner in the 88th minute. It was incredible.
Q: Best player you played with, and against?
A: With? It has to be Gianfranco Zola. He was unbelievable, incredibly talented and such a gentleman. His feet and his tight ball control was ridiculous. When I watch Messi I see Gianfranco, so definitely him. Against? There were a few from that era, Shearer, Wright, Kluivert, Sheringham, but the best was Thierry Henry. He genuinely had everything a striker could want. The guy was incredible.
Q: Taking the players you’ve played with and against, who would make your all-time five-a-side team?
A: Well, one day at Chelsea a number of the Dutch internationals came to see Ruud Gullit when he was manager and we had a little match! It was me, Sparky (Mark Hughes), Zola, Frank Rijkaard and Marco Van Basten. I know there isn’t a goalkeeper in there but who would need one with that team?!
Q: Do you have any funny stories from your career?
A:  I had just broken into the Chelsea team and we were playing away at Southampton. Andy Townsend, our captain, asked me to lead the team out for the warm up, I was chuffed with that. We were stood in the tunnel; I gave a battle cry and ran out, clapping to all the fans. Little did I know that Andy had held the lads back so that I went out on my own! Once I realised, I had to invent a random clap-based warm up to try and style it out – it didn’t work!

With HRH Prince Edward visiting Everton recently, we thought we would share
our top five Royal visits to Foundation facilities from over the years.
We were privileged to have Her Majesty The Queen join us to officially open a unique community facility in Warrington, back in 2012. The hub transformed a previous landfill site into a state-of-the-art £30 million community facility, which investment from our Funding Partners helped to develop.

Meanwhile, in 2006, it was Her Majesty's husband, HRH Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip snipping the ribbon. He was in attendance at the opening of our facility at St Thomas Moore's RC School, along with our President, Lord Pendry.

As mentioned in this month's feature piece, HRH Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward was recently on hand at the brand new Everton FC People's Hub. 
In 2005, TRH The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall unveiled our brand new football hub in Regents Park. Despite having been struck on the back by a youngster's wayward strike, the Prince commented how much he enjoyed attending the event! (Photograph Credit: Eric Fidler)

And finally: it's Joe Royle! The former Everton and Man City forward, who was managing Ipswich Town FC at the time of this particular event in 2004, was King for the day at the opening of Kirton Kestrels FC's new pavilion!
Market Bosworth Sports Club was able to build a brand new changing pavilion thanks to a £370,582 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. The Leicester-based club built the pavilion as the second phase of their development following major improvement works to their pitches in 2013. Former Leicester star Muzzy Izzet was on hand to visit the club and officially open the new pavilion.
Here are some jobs currently open for applications within football:

Technical Project Manager 
Football Foundation
Parklife Project Manager and Engagement Managers 
Football Foundation
Knowledge Assistant 
Senior Event Manager 
The FA
Head of Competition Women's Football Division 
  • Check out this unbelievable gesture of support from everyone at Athletic Bilbao after their central defender, Yeray Alvarez, was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
  • After a flurry of extravagant transfer announcements, Southampton FC topped the lot with this brilliant effort!
  • Some famous faces were rolling back the years at the first ever Star Sixes event! Check out the best goals of the tournament here
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Top Corner e-newsletter - July 2017
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