Michael Weir: Paul Hanlon and Lewis Stevenson Foundation one of the ways players are putting something back

Duo deserve credit for community work for which they seek little publicity

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 6:00 am
Paul Hanlon and Lewis Stevenson recently funded a Show Racism the Red Card workshop

It’s that time of year when our television screens and newspapers are full of pictures of football teams up and down the country visiting their local children’s hospitals.

The kids obviously love meeting their heroes and the players themselves enjoy seeing the pleasure they can bring to youngsters who are unwell and, in some cases, might be facing Christmas in a hospital bed.

Football is much-maligned at times, in today’s world of mobile phones players are under scrutiny wherever they go and any misbehaviour can quickly “go viral” thanks to the internet.

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But while the festive visits to hospitals are highlighted, I can assure you that throughout the year many players do plenty of charitable work which goes totally un-noticed and for which they don’t go seeking publicity.

A lot goes on in the background for which players don’t get enough credit. I was fortunate enough to be a professional football player and appreciated the life I enjoyed and aware many people don’t have such luck.

Hibs has always had a huge role to play in our local community and today two of our longest serving players, Lewis Stevenson and Paul Hanlon are helping a lot of charities through their foundation.

Both gave up sizeable chunks of the proceeds from their testimonial years for good causes and now the Hanlon Stevenson Foundation is carrying

on that work.

One such organisation they’ve helped in recent days is one with which I work, Show Racism the Red Card. The foundation generously gave us a donation for which we can’t thank them enough, it will make a big difference to us.

It will help us in our work such as the workshop we had at Livingston’s Tony Macaroni Stadium earlier in the week for 80 children from West Lothian, seeking to educate them about the scourge and the menace of racism in our society.

Both Lewis and Paul deserve great credit for what they have done and continue to do although both are self-effacing guys for whom knowing they are doing their bit is reward enough.