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Everton star donates tickets to unemployed people

Everton striker Steven Naismith is to donate tickets to the club's matches to unemployed people across Liverpool throughout this season.

Steve Naismith has previously helped homeless centres in Glasgow. Credit: Barrington Coombs/EMPICS Sport

The 27-year-old Scotsman, who has already been involved in a number of charitable causes, said he hoped the "small gesture" would "bring some joy to many people".

I come from Ayrshire in the West of Scotland and spent a lot of my life in Glasgow - a city that, at times, has suffered from high unemployment.

Liverpool has a similar history and I am aware that, through no fault of their own, there are many unemployed in Liverpool trying hard to find a job and may not be able to afford a ticket.

– Steven Naismith

The tickets will be made available through JobCentres around the city each week at Naismith's request, selecting people "who are unemployed through no fault of their own, are trying hard to find employment and who would enjoy watching a Premier League football match."


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Everton's Martinez backs Hitzlsperger's decision

Everton manager Roberton Martinez says he fully supports Thomas Hitzlsperger's decision to announce he is gay.

Everton Manager, Roberto Martinez

"As a footballer and a human being you should be able to be happy. As a manager you want your players to be able to be free and honest and obviously we back Thomas's decision for coming out and making the statement that he made," said Martinez.

"I think it is important, you need to be able to be yourself and express your sexuality and in that respect we back his decision," he added.

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Comic cautioned over soccer stunt

Comedian Simon Brodkin, who duped security at a Premier League match and limbered up alongside star players, has escaped prosecution.

The 35-year-old was given a conditional caution at North Liverpool Community Justice Centre following the stunt ahead of Manchester City's away game against Everton at Goodison Park on March 16.

Brodkin, from north London, had dressed as one of his characters, footballer Jason Bent, with blond highlights, shark-fin haircut and designer stubble to blend in with the likes of England's Joe Hart and Gareth Barry ahead of kick-off.

Simon Brodkin, who duped security at a Premier League match and limbered up alongside star players, has escaped prosecution. Credit: PA Wire

The qualified doctor, who has his own sketch show on BBC Three, was later charged with going on to the playing area, contrary to the Football Offences Act.

But at his court appearance today, Julian Peers, for the prosecution, invited District Judge Ian Lomax to take an "alternative course to prosecution".

The judge agreed to the charge being withdrawn and Brodkin was issued with a six-month conditional caution.

Raymond Shaw, defending, told the court that Brodkin wanted to apologise for the inconvenience he caused.

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