Oct 302014

Everton FC and England midfielder Ross Barkley today urged youngsters to stay safe on Bonfire Night.

The Blues star, 20, backed the ‘stay safe and have fun’ campaign being run by Merseyside’s police and fire services.

Barkley said: “Bonfire Night is a fun time for families but it can be dangerous too so it’s important to follow the simple advice from the fire service to stay safe.

“The best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend an organised display so that’s what I’ll be doing this year.”

Barkley is also backing an emergency service drive to get more kids taking part in caged football, whereby matches are played inside a mesh container. A series of free caged football sessions is being held over the Halloween and Bonfire Night period.

Firefighter Ian Mullen said: “We want people to stay safe and have fun this year by attending an organised display, one of our caged soccer events or an event organised by one of our partners.

“Parents are also asked to keep their children safe by making sure they know the dangers and consequences of fire-setting and fireworks misuse.

“Residents can also help us keep communities safe by not leaving flammable material around that could be used to build bonfires.”

Wheelie bins, in particular, are top targets for arsonists this time of year.

Chief Superintendent Mark Harrison, from Merseyside police, said: “It’s great to see someone from Everton supporting the work done by the fire service and the police.

“Our message during the Halloween and Bonfire Night period is simple – enjoy yourselves but please do so responsibly.”

Visit www.merseyside.police.uk/autumn-fun or www.firesupportservices.org.uk for a list of free Bonfire Night events.

Why is this happening? Find out more about the shortage of Everton gifts.

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