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Vitalii Mykolenko shocked and grateful over Everton support for Ukraine

Vitalii Mykolenko File Photo
(Image credit: Richard Sellers)

Everton’s Ukraine defender Vitalii Mykolenko said he has been “shocked” by the club’s support following Russia’s invasion of his homeland.

Mykolenko, who arrived at Goodison Park from Dynamo Kyiv on New Year’s Day, was handed the captain’s armband in Everton’s FA Cup win against Boreham Wood earlier this month as a show of solidarity.

The 22-year-old left-back has been moved by requests from team-mates and club staff to help house refugees.

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He told the club’s official website: “I am shocked. Honestly, I am shocked.

“Donny van de Beek, a world-class player, approached me and said, ‘my father and I want to rent a house for people, whether in the Netherlands or in Poland. We will take them from the border, settle them, and pay for it’.

“I’m pleasantly shocked. I don’t know how to thank these people.

“A physiotherapist came up and said, ‘I have a room, a bed for two people, those who have nowhere to live, we are ready to shelter them’.”

Mykolenko, capped 21 times by Ukraine, has made six appearances in all competitions for Everton and three in the Premier League after making his debut in the FA Cup win at Hull in January.

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He added: “Everyone came up and asked how my family was, my friends.

“On the second day, the head coach (Frank Lampard) came up and said, ‘if you need a rest, if you need time, take your time’. I am grateful to the club for its support from all sides.”

Everton said they had pledged £250,000 to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal and that had been matched by a joint donation from club chairman Bill Kenwright and majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri.

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