A young boy is set to live every football fans’ dream as he gets the chance to lead out some of the world’s greatest players at the Champions League final this weekend.
Seven-year-old Malachy McCrory, from Crawley, is about to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as he prepares to walk onto the pitch with stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah in Kiev on Saturday night (May 26).
The youngster has been flown out to the final - involving European giants Liverpool and Real Madrid - by Mastercard and will be within touching distance of one Europe’s most famous footballing trophies.
His mother Lisa Elhajoui secretly entered him in the Mastercard Priceless Mascot competition and said he was bouncing around the room when she broke the news that he had won.
She said: “I applied without him knowing thinking it was never going to happen, these things never happen to us. Then they contacted me to say he’s won.
“He can’t wait, every time we talk to him about it he has the biggest smile on his face.”
Lisa explained Malachy, who is a young carer for his older brother Reece, had experienced a difficult year.
She said: “We have had a really bad year. There’s been hospital trips and he lost one of his grandparents last year.
“To be honest we still didn’t believe it until they sent the boarding passes over as well as a Mastercard for him to spend with when he is out there.”
Malachy is a Mancherster City fan and although a little disappointed his team couldn’t overcome Liverpool in the quarter finals he was still extremely excited to meet some of his idols.
So far he has not been told which player or team he will be leading out but he will get the chance to meet all of the stars in a special meet and greet.
“I am very excited for him,” Lisa added. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”