Ambassador Steven Naismith goes back to his roots

7 July 2014
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Everton and Scotland star Steven Naismith sponsors the side he started playing for as a young boy – and helps Dyslexia Scotland at the same time.
Everton and Scotland star Steven Naismith is sponsoring Stewarton Annick Football Club, the side he started out with on his journey to playing in the best league in the world with Everton.
The club has spent some of the money on purchasing two sets of strips and they have agreed to carry the Dyslexia Scotland logos on the front of their jerseys. Steven is an Ambassador for Dyslexia Scotland. He struggled with dyslexia during his school years.
Steven Naismith commented: “This is an opportunity to support two organisations I feel very strongly about. I get to help the club I started playing for as a young boy and their jerseys will carry the logo of an organisation I try to help as much as possible.”
Steven’s link to Dyslexia Scotland came about through three Knights of The Realm – Sir David Murray, Sir Sean Connery and Sir Jackie Stewart! In a newspaper interview Steven mentioned that he had struggled with dyslexia during his school years. Sir Sean read the article online in his Bahamas home and called former Rangers owner Sir David Murray to say that he found Steven an interesting young man and asked for Steven’s phone number.
The former James Bond star called Steven and suggested he should speak with ex-Formula One racing world champion, Sir Jackie Stewart, who is heavily involved with Dyslexia Scotland. Sir Jackie then called Steven and a bond was formed. They have worked together on several occasions to promote the organisation and prove that people who are dyslexic can succeed in life.
Steven continued: “I have always kept an eye on Stewarton Annick Football Club. It is a great club that gives youngsters in the Stewarton area an opportunity to get involved in football and everything that goes along with it.
“As a young boy I learned so much at the club. Fitness, friendship and the chance to work as part of a team. I can’t thank the adults running the club enough for all the help and encouragement they gave me. The club provided me with a great grounding and the platform to play week in and week out and that ultimately brought me to the attention of Kilmarnock Football Club and the signing of my first professional contract.
“With so many distractions for young people in today’s society, it is excellent to see so many adults giving up their time to help young people enjoy a wonderful sport as well as giving them a sense of well-being.
“I want to make my name as a footballer and I feel I have a lot to give to the sport I love so much. Hopefully the best years of my career lie ahead of me and I feel it’s important that I use the greatly advantaged opportunity that I have as a professional footballer to help encourage others to get involved in the game.
“I am living the dream playing for Everton in what many consider to be the best league in the world. I am also honoured to represent my country at international level. It is great to be in a position where I can help the club where it all started for me.”
Dyslexia Scotland Chief Executive Cathy Magee commented: “We are delighted that Steven Naismith is supporting the Stewarton Annick Boys’ Club and delighted the club has agreed to his request to carry the Dyslexia Scotland logo on the team jerseys. This is a fantastic opportunity for Dyslexia Scotland and for Steven in his role as Ambassador to raise more awareness of dyslexia.
“At least one in 10 of the population has dyslexia, including many successful sportsmen and women. We hope that young footballers, their families and supporters who watch the Club’s matches will now be encouraged to find out more about dyslexia and where to go for support.”
Chairman of Stewarton Annick John Lynes added:  “The club would like to offer a huge thank you and welcome home to their most prestigious ex-player.  We would also like to say how proud we are that Steven has matured into such a great professional playing in one of the best leagues in the world. We are delighted he has chosen to help us as he started his football journey here at the tender age of six.
“We are humbled that after reaching the top of his profession Steven has not forgotten where his journey began. These new strips will display the Dyslexia Scotland logo and I’m sure our players will be inspired by Steven’s kindness and will always wear these strips with pride knowing they have come from such a fine role model while supporting such a worthy charity.”