If you have any spare foreign currency lying around your house, then you better dig it out as a group of Evertonians are collecting for a joint fund to help former players of Everton Chile and the Everton we all know and love.
The Ruleteros Society – which joins Evertonians across the oceans between two clubs in Chile and on Merseyside – will be launching the Foreign Collection Fund against Leicester at St Luke’s Church. Two former players will attend at 12.30. The collection box will stay till next season as Evertonians are a well travelled group and must have small amounts of currency laying around so what a good cause it could go to.
Association of Former Everton Professional Players (Chile)
On 14th November 2002, in Viña del Mar, Chile, René Orlando Meléndez Brito, the greatest player in Everton Chile’s history, died of a brain tumour, aged 74. Although born in 1928, the year William Ralph Dean established himself as one of the greatest forwards of all time, René had more in common with Dave Hickson, not only a contemporary of his but also the owner of a magnificent quiff.
The tragedy of René’s death was compounded by the inability of his family to pay for his funeral.
This galvanised his former colleagues to club together to cover the costs. At the same time they agreed that this situation would never again occur with a former player of the Club. The formed the Agrupación Ex Jugadores Profesionales Everton (Association of Former Everton Professional Players) with the initial objective of acquiring a mausoleum where they could all be buried. As in many catholic cultures, people are laid to rest in tiered niches – the structure built would represent the blue / yellow and blue of the Everton shirt.
The Association is now planning to build their own centre – where they hope to establish a museum, canteen and dormitory, where visiting former players can be housed. The foundations have been laid and work on the building is about to start. Those players still able, work in the community teaching football skills to young players as well as playing benefit matches for local causes. There is no other organisation like this in Chile and the impact it is having in the local community is significant and is to be applauded.
The Everton Former Players Association (England)
In 1999 Dr David France identified the need to alleviate the medical and other concerns of former players, and with the support of Brian Labone Everton former player and Club Captain and lawyer Norman Jones, established the Everton Former-Players’ Foundation as a registered UK charity.
It was one of the first organisations of its kind in the world and ensured that any former-player who has made one competitive appearance for Everton Football Club qualified for help. Under the direction of Chairman Laurence Lee and his Trustees, the Former-Players’ Foundation has gone from strength to strength and built an organisation which is seen as a model for other football clubs throughout Europe. Since its inception EFPF has helped many former players with physical, monetary or addiction problems. Its activities include fund raising events such as Golf Days, Play on the pitch, visiting former players & arranging trips to Wembley cup finals for those players who otherwise would not have been able to go.
The Trustees of the Foundation have decided to develop the foundation in a number of different directions that include working in closer partnership with the Everton in the Community, The Everton Collection and the Everton Historical Society, thus bringing the Foundation in line with Everton Football Club as the umbrella organisation. The Foundation would continue to work and support the former players and there wife’s and partners who are in need of financial ,holistic and pastoral support but also exploring avenues in relation to supporting the up skilling and the education of former players supporting them in looking for other alternatives outside the Football industry.