As a lifelong Everton fan artist Lee Summerfield has painted portraits of some footballing greats wearing the blue of Merseyside, including Duncan Ferguson and Wayne Rooney.

He’s even put football rivalry and competition to one side and created artwork of Steven Gerard, Cristiano Ronaldo and Eric Cantona.

But it’s his latest painting of the Toffees manager Carlo Ancelotti that is getting the recognition it deserves.

Warrington Guardian: Lee's painting of Everton manager Carlo AncelottiLee's painting of Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti

The one-metre square canvas is hanging on the wall of the charismatic Italian’s office at Everton’s training ground Finch Farm, after Lee decided to send it to him as a gift and Carlo sent a personal thank you to Lee in reply for “the time and effort in painting it” and said he “truly appreciates it”.

The letter said: “I would like to thank you for the beautiful painting that you have sent to me.

“I gave it a nice place in my office at USM Finch Farm.

“Thank you for the time and effort in painting this for me, I truly appreciate it.”

He finished the letter with the popular Evertonian cheer “COYB” - come on you blues.

Warrington Guardian: Carlo's thank you letterCarlo's thank you letter

Lee, who is 46 and lives in Kingswood, has seen his artwork on display in several exhibitions across the country and usually favours nature as a subject rather than people, creating colourful canvases of trees and wildflowers.

In a break from his usual style, Lee, who is a UX designer, decided to paint a portrait of the Everton manager - even capturing his trademark raised eyebrow and arms folded stance.

Lee said: “While I have done portraits of sporting heroes in the past, most of my paintings feature the beauty of nature like sunsets through trees, waves rolling onto the beach or wildflowers against a blue sky in summer.

“I wanted to do a painting of Carlo and it took about two and a half months to complete it because of the detail in his face.

Warrington Guardian: Artist Lee SummerfieldArtist Lee Summerfield

“I was really pleased with the finished artwork and wanted Carlo to have it.

“As a lifelong Everton fan who was born a blue, it was fantastic to receive a letter from the man himself and read that the painting is now hanging on the wall in his office.”