Norwich City’s new signing Steven Naismith hopes to continue community work in Norfolk

Steven Naismith was a fans' favourite at Everton. Photo: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire.

Steven Naismith was a fans' favourite at Everton. Photo: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Footballers are not always known for attracting positive headlines but Norwich City look to have recruited one of the game's good guys.

Norwich City Football Club's new signings Steven Naismith and Timm Klose formally unveiled to the me

Norwich City Football Club's new signings Steven Naismith and Timm Klose formally unveiled to the media at Colney Training Ground. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

There was an outpouring of good wishes from Everton supporters when Steven Naismith signed for the Canaries in a deal worth about £8million this week.

Although the 29-year-old was popular on Merseyside for his hard-working and energetic style on the pitch, it was his community efforts off the pitch which also helped Toffees fans to take him to their hearts.

'It's lovely to read these messages and it's somewhere where I know I'll always be welcome,' Mr Naismith said after signing for City.

His good deeds included paying for Christmas meals for the homeless and giving away Everton match tickets to unemployed people.

Norwich City Football Club's new signings Steven Naismith and Timm Klose formally unveiled to the me

Norwich City Football Club's new signings Steven Naismith and Timm Klose formally unveiled to the media at Colney Training Ground. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

'I think as a footballer you grow up and it becomes a job that is really a hobby that you've managed to turn into a career, which is great,' the Scotland international continued.

'Especially now with the media coverage and the Premier League being the biggest in the world, it's an opportunity to give back and, with all the outlets on social media and stuff, it would be an opportunity missed.

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'It's on causes that I feel strongly about; it's not as if I just get involved in anything, and it's something I'll look to continued to do.'

Mr Naismith now intends to continue his community-spirited work in Norfolk, adding: 'If it's not something that's interfering with the football side of things, it's something I definitely want to be involved in.'

Naismith factfile

The 29-year-old was born in Irvine and raised in the nearby Ayrshire town of Stewarton.

There he learned his early football skills at boys club Stewarton Annick, where his father was a volunteer.

Mr Naismith has provided financial support for the centre and has also visited as part of his work to raise awareness of dyslexia. The Scotland international had to contend with the condition as a youngster and is now an ambassador for Dyslexia Scotland.

The forward made his professional breakthrough with Kilmarnock in 2003 before going on to join Glasgow giants Rangers in 2007.

During his time with the Gers a period of injury rehabilitation allowed Mr Naismith the time to start his involvement with the Loaves and Fishes charity, which works to support the homeless. He remains involved with the group, paying for the Christmas meals of people sleeping rough in the city again in 2015.

After switching to English club Everton in 2012, Mr Naismith continued in a similar vein with the Whitechapel Centre in Liverpool – sponsoring Christmas dinners for the fourth consecutive year in December.

He also drew praise after buying tickets for Toffees matches and handing them out to job seekers in Liverpool in 2014.

As well as starting an initiative to help injured members of the armed forces, Mr Naismith has certainly shown he has a big heart – as City fans are sure to soon learn.