Dream trip for Hooper

It’s his first time to Australia, but the only thing on seven year old Matthew Hooper’s mind is a football match.

This Friday night Matthew will get to see Liverpool FC take on Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium, and with the Reds one of Matthew’s favourite football teams along with the Wellington Phoenix and the All Whites, it’s a particularly exciting match.

Matthew’s mum Michelle entered a photo of the football fanatic from Waipuna FC into the #NZWhiteOut competition run during the FIFA U-20 World Cup. Fans were asked to post photos on social media showing their support for the U-20 New Zealand team by wearing all white.

The photo with the most votes won the trip to Brisbane to see the two sides clash, and out of the 141 photos uploaded, Matthew’s received 66% of the total votes cast.

Matthew will be travelling with mum and dad, Michelle and Richard, to Brisbane on Thursday and his mum said his excitement is palpable.

“The only thing he is thinking about is the game! It’s the first time Matthew has travelled overseas but the thing he is looking forward to the most is the football game on Friday night.”

The social media campaign attracted cross-code support, with photos and video messages posted by the Vodafone Warriors’ Shaun Johnson, Konrad Hurrell, and Simon Mannering, the Black Sticks, Snow Sports NZ, six High Performance swimmers, and the Black Caps.

The U-20 All Whites also drew support from the political arena, with the Minister for Sport Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, New Lynn MP Hon David Cunliffe, Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Auckland Mayor Len Brown all donning white.

Flights, accommodation and tickets to the match were provided by House of Travel.

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