The climax of the 2017/18 season is right around the corner and, for Evertonians, the final act in this poor campaign cannot come soon enough.
Without wanting to tread over old ground, it's been a season of dashed hopes and a huge missed opportunity for the Toffees given the monetary outlay they made almost 12 months ago.
In spite of this, however, off the field the play the Blues have continued to be lauded for their enterprising work in the community and with their fanbase.
烙 | Introducing the world's first 'virtual matchday mascot’, enabling a a child too sick to travel from home get the full experience at Goodison! @_noisolation @WellChild! #JacksRobotMascot— Everton (@Everton) 23 April 2018
Story https://t.co/wnrxE4b8qJ pic.twitter.com/aTr4YOXQ65
This was brought back to the fore again on Monday night as Everton made yet more footballing history by becoming the first club to use a 'virtual matchday mascot' that allowed a sick lifelong Blue to fulfil his dream of being a mascot for the day.
Jack McLinden - a sufferer of the epilepsy-based disease Lennox Gastaut Syndrome - was able to take in the full matchday experience during Everton's 1-0 win over Newcastle via AV1, a robot mascot pioneered by Norwegian company No Isolation, due to being unable to leave his home due to his illness.
Even though on-the-pitch matters have left Everton's supporter base feeling extremely apathetic about the direction of their club, there's no denying that the one area that the Blues routinely get right is down avenues like this one.
This is tonight’s match mascot at Goodison: the world’s first virtual mascot, controlled from home by chronically ill 14-year-old Everton fan Jack McLinden. Phil Jagielka will carry Jack out onto the pitch tonight. pic.twitter.com/S6LSO7Zh2L— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) April 23, 2018
(You may also be interested in PHOTO: Everton Make History With Virtual Mascot to Give Deserving Young Fan the Matchday Experience)
It's been over 16 years since ex-Toffees manager David Moyes labelled Everton as the 'People's Club', but the motto continues to be true to this day with the superb work that the club conducts within its fanbase.
Football teams up and down the land do their own worthy work - that cannot be denied - but Everton feel like a one-in-a-million club that always makes time for those who come from less privileged backgrounds.
Whether it's via the club's official charity Everton in the Community, performing innovative acts like this one or even helping out supporters of other clubs - such as late Sunderland fan Bradley Lowery - there can be nothing but praise for the compassion, humanity and caring nature that Everton's employees boast.
It makes you proud to be an Evertonian regardless of what's happening on the pitch. Long may it continue.