Two octogenarian Evertonians said they were “blown away” after being invited to join in the Club’s annual team photo at USM Finch Farm as part of their diamond anniversary celebrations.
Season Ticket Members Peter and Frances Flannery, 81 and 80, married in the autumn of 1959 and marked their 60th year of marriage with a party last weekend.
After hearing of the landmark, boss Marco Silva and his players invited avid Blues Peter and Frances to join them at the Club training ground, where they enjoyed breakfast with 1995 FA Cup winner Graham Stuart.
They then headed outside to meet Director of Football Marcel Brands and first-team coach Duncan Ferguson ahead of taking pride of place on the annual squad snap.
Silva and captain Seamus Coleman later presented the pair with a 2019/20 Everton home shirt with ‘Flannery 60’ on the reverse and a bunch of flowers.
“You’ve blown us away – it’s been a complete ‘wow factor’ since the moment we got here,” said an emotional Peter, who has been a Season Ticket Member at Goodison Park for as long as he can remember. “We found out after our anniversary party that we’d be coming here but we couldn’t have imagined all this. It’s been absolutely brilliant.”
Adopting her husband’s love of Everton, Frances signed up for her first Season Ticket four years ago at the age of 76.
The pair still attend every home game and cheer the Blues on from their seats in the Paddock.
“It’s just been wonderful,” said Frances. “I love them all.”
Club ambassador Stuart showed the guests around the facilities at USM Finch Farm and enjoying learning all about their 60 years together and affection for football.
The former Toffees midfielder, appropriately nicknamed Diamond, said: “Having met them I can see exactly why they have been together for so long.
“They are a fantastic couple and clearly have a lot of love for our football club.
“You could see how much it meant to them, and Peter even got a little bit emotional when all the players were giving them a big round of applause. I think that says it all.”