An eight-year-old Derry girl had the experience of a lifetime as a mascot at the recent UEFA Supercup final.
Ella Johnson went on the all expenses trip to the final in Istanbul earlier this month after her father Gareth won a competition on social media.
She was a mascot for Liverpool during their match against Chelsea, which they won on penalties.
The St. Brigid’s Primary School pupil was already a football fan and had been to see Derry City play on a number of occasions in the past. However, after her experience at the UEFA Supercup final, Ella is even more interested in football and now wants her parents to buy her a Liverpool kit.
Ella’s dad Gareth told the Journal that he had entered competitions run by Mastercard in the past but had no luck.
“About a week before the final I got a phone call from a London number and I ignored it because I thought it was a cold call. Thankfully they left a message to let me know we had won the competition,” he said.
“It was an unbelievable experience and we were so well looked after.”
Gareth and Ella were taken to Dublin Airport in a chauffeur driven car and stayed in a five star hotel in Istanbul for two nights. They were also given spending money by Mastercard.
Mum Maria and brother Fionn, who is football mad but at 11-years-old was too old to be a mascot, watched the match at home with family.
“After Ella came out onto the pitch I got so many messages from friends and family. Ella has friends who are Liverpool mad so she will be a bit of a celebrity when she goes back to school. It was the trip of a lifetime.”