Everton FC and England star John Stones has gone back to school – to surprise a very special young Evertonian.
Eight-year-old Connor Munro-Loughlin has spent the four years since he lost his brother Lewis to illness, fund-raising for Alder Hey Hospital who cared for him.
So Everton decided to surprise the youngster by making a special visit during a schoolday at All Saints Catholic Primary School in Bootle, as part of their Blue Crimbo campaign.
Defender Stones was joined by a Blue Santa, as Connor and his classmates were left shocked and star-struck by the unexpected visit.
Mum Jennifer said: “Connor lost his brother, my little boy Lewis, in 2010 and since then we have done a lot of fundraising for Alder Hey and Connor, off his own back, has been involved as much as possible, whether it’s a Santa Dash or a sponsored walk through Knowsley Safari Park.
“Connor has done more for me than anyone ever could and he doesn’t even realise it. Just by being him, he’s pulled me through the last four years and I’m just so, so proud of him.”
Everton player John Stones surprises 8 year old Connor Munro Loughlin at his school All Saints Catholic primary school in Bootle
Asked about the surprise itself, Jennifer said: “I knew he’d be shocked but he’ll be able to look back on it and I know he’ll cherish it.”
Stones, 20, was on hand to give out blue Santa hats and Everton stockings to the entire class and he gave Connor some extra Blue goodies including tickets (Click to find tickets) to the upcoming Queens Park Rangers game where he’ll get the chance to meet some of the other first team players and join in with all of the festive activity arranged that night.
The Everton defender was proud to be involved in the surprise school visit. He said: “I was nervous myself walking in and surprising him. He’s such an inspiration and he doesn’t even realise it so it was nice for us to be able to give him something back.
“I think he was very shocked, his face said it all and I’m really happy with how it went. Hopefully he’s made up as well.”
Everton’s ‘Blue Crimbo’ has seen the club embark on a month-long campaign to give back to the local community and reward those who make the region a better place.
Duncan Ferguson has already rewarded junior football coach Paul Rutherford in Kirkby and there are plenty more surprise visits planned throughout December.