Saturday 08 September 2012
Everton have won a trophy already this season when the club’s Community Disability Manager earned the top prize at the Liverpool Echo’s Pride of Merseyside Awards.
Steve Johnson was named ‘Pride of Merseyside’ for his outstanding contribution to the local community, having worked tirelessly to make the club's disability programme one of the most influential and iconic of its kind in the world.
Having lost his leg in a football accident in 1985, Johnson discovered amputee football, which was a sport still in its infancy, but one that re-ignited his love for the game. Three years later he won the first of more than 130 England caps and was captain for more than 20 years. During that time the Everton player lifted three World Cups and was voted “World Amputee Footballer of the Year” in 1999.
After retirement, Steve devoted himself to study of the game and picked up UEFA coaching badges, a Sports Science degree and a HND in Sports Science and Disability Studies. These have enabled him at Everton to transform the lives of other disabled people across the north west of England.
Thanks to Johnson, Everton in the Community provides over 10,000 football opportunities for disabled children and adults each year, while the disability programme engages with more than 60 schools in the Merseyside area alone.