Hibbert: Decade at Everton has been a 'blessing'

The Toffees full-back spoke glowingly of his time on Merseyside, saying it is hard to put into words what playing for his boyhood for so long team means to him

Everton defender Tony Hibbert has said his decade of service has been a "blessing," and that the club will always be a big part of his life.

The Merseyside-born 31-year-old has made 253 appearances for his boyhood club since his debut in 2001 and is being rewarded with a testimonial against AEK Athens at Goodison Park. 

No player has more European appearances for the Toffees than Hibbert, and he has spoken of how the club always comes first for his family - and himself.

"It's just normal, I've been here since I was 10 or 11, so Everton is just Everton to me," the veteran full-back told Sky Sports.

"It's a big part of my life and it always will be. My family always say 'Everton's first'. Every single day is Everton.

"Coming here and spending every day here is nothing different to me so it's hard to explain and get across how it is for me.

"To be a part of a club for that long, when I sit down and think about it with my family and go through it, it's unbelievable and I can't say any more really.

"To be here playing for that long, 10 years, really is a blessing for me."

In his time at the club Hibbert has never scored a goal - a statistic he will no doubt be eager to change on August 8 against the Greek side.