Jun 272014

Portuguese giants opposition for Osman testimonial on 3 August.

Everton’s only home game of the 2014/15 pre-season will be a testimonial fixture for Leon Osman against Portuguese giants FC Porto.

The match will take place at Goodison Park on Sunday 3 August with a 4pm (Free £25 bet offer) Kick-off.

Everton can also confirm they will play a pre-season friendly away at Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday 22 July, kicking off at 7.45pm.

Osman’s testimonial is recognition of the midfielder’s 10 years of first-team service and a footballing lifetime with the Blues, having worked his way through the Club’s youth ranks.

Born in Wigan, Osman joined Everton at youth level and was a member of the Toffees’ 1998 FA Youth Cup-winning side – alongside fellow Club-stalwart Tony Hibbert.

His dreams of becoming a professional footballer were almost shattered in 2001 when he suffered a serious knee injury.

That injury kept him out of action for almost a year before he forced his way into David Moyes’ first-team plans for the first time as a sub against Spurs in January 2003.

Impressive loan spells at Carlisle United and Derby County followed before his first start for Everton in May 2004 at Wolves – scoring his first goal for the Club after just three minutes.

A decade and almost 400 games on and Ossie is thrilled at the prospect of a testimonial game.

The pre-season encounter with Porto is a tantalising game in its own right as the Blues prepare for a return to European competition during the 2014/15 season.

He told evertonfc.com: “To get a leading team from a top European country to come over and play is great news. The fans will get to see some top European players coming to Goodison and hopefully people come to watch them and ourselves.

“It feels very weird (having a testimonial). The attention is all on you. I have pretty much gone through my career without asking for attention so it will be strange knowing I will be walking on to the pitch and everyone is going to be pointing at me. But it’s a great honour to get a testimonial, and I will certainly be enjoying the day.”

The game will also raise funds for charities close to Osman’s heart, The Make A Wish Foundation and Claire House.

“There are two charities who are involved with my testimonial year. They are Make A Wish – which provides a wish for terminally ill children and their families – and Claire House, which is an important local charity. They are charities I am well aware of and have been connected to during my life, so to be able to help them and give a little back is something I’m pleased about.”

Ticket information for the games against Porto and Tranmere Rovers will be announced in due course.

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