An assortment of club icons, both past and present, turned out for the first ever Everton-themed 5K run this morning.

Current director of football Marcel Brands was joined by an array of the club’s former players, including Duncan Ferguson, and former manager Joe Royle as hundreds gathered at the start line in Everton Park.

The run was intended to showcase Everton Football Club’s 141-year history, as well as to raise funds for a purpose-built mental health facility near Goodison Park.

The start line was fittingly placed next to the 1787 Lock-Up Tower in Everton Park, which features in the centre of the club’s crest.

The route took runners past historical sites such as the Everton Toffee Shop, and the Queen’s Head Hotel where St Domingo’s FC became Everton Football Club in 1879.

Competitors also passed Everton’s former homes – Stanley Park and Priory Road – before finishing in front of the Sir Philip Park End Stand at their current stadium, Goodison Park.

Chief Executive of Everton in the Community, Richard Kenyon, explained how the club worked in tandem with the Everton Heritage Society to make the run as informative as possible.

“The Heritage Society have helped us define the route, and also gave us the right information about some of the sites that we’re running past,” Kenyon told us.

“There are a lot of things over time that become part of a story that haven’t necessarily been correct, so we got the society to double-check everything for us and they’re very good at that.”

Kenyon was keen to highlight how the run would benefit the community on the day, as well as in the future.

“It’s great to see so many Evertonian’s here, but it’s great for three reasons really,” he explained.

“It’s important, the fundraising, but also we’ve been taking about mental health which is the second important thing, and actually getting people out and getting them active on a Sunday morning is important as well, so it’s good in many ways.”

Kenyon also said that there were plans being put in place to repeat the event next year, after this year’s success.

“We’ve already had some thoughts about how we could move this on,” he revealed.

“Some people have already said to me that we should do a 10K next time, and take in Bramley-Moore dock and then come back up [to Everton Park], so that’s a good idea, as soon as this is finished we’ll get to work on the next one.”

Former Toffee’s midfielder Gareth Farrelly was also at the event, and he too expressed the importance of mental health support in the modern game.

“I think mental health is rightly becoming more prevalent, but I think it’s one of the key things Everton are involved in anyway,” he said.

“I think as the game changes and becomes more sanitised and sterile and managed, I think it’s important Everton maintain that association and emphasize its importance.”

Farrelly, who 27 appearances for Everton between 1997 and 1999, believes that mental health awareness has improved since his playing days.

“I think all of those things [mental health issues] were there in my day, but I think now there’s probably more of an awareness of it,” the Irishman suggested.

“Everybody faces different challenges, some of which we’re not aware of, but I think events like today just start to maintain that awareness.”

“I think people realise that there are things there to help, and there are people there to help, and hopefully they will avail of that.”

Farrelly, 44, was happy to don a pair of running shoes and join the community on the 5K jog.

“I’m sure there’ll be a lot of people going past me, so we’ll just see where we get to,” he laughed.

“I am extremely fortunate to have played for the club I supported as a boy, and I have been able to maintain that association with the club.”

“The club’s put a lot of different events on and I’m fortunate to be a part of those – it’s really, really good.”

After the success of the fun run today, Farrelly and the rest of the Everton supporters will hope to see that success replicated on the pitch next weekend, as Marco Silva’s side host West Ham at Goodison Park on Saturday.