A youngster scored a top prize when he won a money-can’t-buy VIP experience at his favourite football club Manchester City.
Tom Ashley, from Oakham, got the chance to experience his first Premier League football match at The Etihad when he saw his team take on Liverpool, with an unforgettable result.
The competition was hosted by Match of the Day magazine, which aims to put footy mad youngsters at the heart of the action.
Tom was treated to the blue carpet experience and got the chance to high-five some of his footballing heroes as they entered the stadium.
Tom, along with other competition winners, also enjoyed a matchday tour of the stadium, ahead of the game, a meet and greet with club mascots Moonchester and Moonbeam and the chance to be pitchside while the players were put through their paces during the warm-up.
Tom, who attended the match with mother Ann, could barely contain his excitement.
The nine-year-old said: “I had such a great day. I loved seeing all the players’ shirts and boots hanging up in the changing room before the match.
“We even saw Joe Hart’s goalie gloves too.
“My favourite part though was the blue carpet experience where I got “high fives” from all the players as they arrived – especially Aguero and Hart.”
Tom’s mum Ann, said: “We had a truly fantastic time.
“Tom went into school with his certificate and programme and made his class mates extremely jealous when speaking about his experience.
“It was such a great day and certainly one that Tom will never forget.”
Manchester City’s ‘My First Match’ offers young fans the opportunity to win a money-can’t-buy, immersive experience which puts them at the heart of the action on a Premier League matchday.
Recent signing Raheem Sterling recalls his very first football match.
He said: “The first football match I ever went to was Manchester United versus Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley and I was 12-years-old.
“I used to play football with friends as a 10-year-old and it makes me just as happy now as it did then.”