YOUNG Aodhan McDonald was in raptures as his beloved Celtic FC triumphed over the mighty Barcelona on Wednesday night.
The seven-year-old, who goes to Tullygally Primary School, was mascot for the Bhoys on a night that he will remember for the rest of his life. Celtic were 2-1 winners over Barcelona in one of the proudest nights in their history.
The ‘MAIL’ spoke to Aodhan and his mum Paula before he made the trip to Scotland, excited at the prospect of meeting his idols.
Aodhan has his mum Paula to thank for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity after she entered him in an online competition to be a Champions League mascot.
Paula explained: “I entered a competition for Aodhan online on the official Celtic Facebook page through Mastercard.
“I clicked on it thinking never in a million years would we hear anything more. That was the end of October.
“The phone rang on Thursday and it was a man phoning to tell me I’d won and Aodhan was going to be one of the mascots for the Barcelona game.”
Aodhan, who has one brother Finbar (four), is a Glasgow Celtic fanatic whose favourite player is Paddy McCourt. He also has a shirt signed by Celtic defender Emilio Izaguirre among his collection of memorabilia.
The seven-year-old plays for Eire Og and also trains at the Pat McGibbon soccer school at Centrepoint.
He’ll have mixed feelings on Wednesday night as Barcelona are his second favourite team, but he assured the ‘MAIL’ that he’d be fully behind the Bhoys on the night.
He’s hoping for a reverse of heartbreaking 2-1 defeat when the sides met two weeks ago in the Nou Camp.
His mum said: “He was the talk of the school when he went back after Halloween. He was itching all weekend to get back to school and tell his friends the news.”
She added: “His dad Dwyer will be going with him. They’re heading out with Lurgan Celtic Supporters Club who are going to pay for Aodhan’s travel and his night’s stay. We’d like to thank Maria Foy for this generous gesture.
“He has to be at Parkhead at 6pm on Wednesday. His dad will go up into the stand when Aodhan gets into his gear and meets the players in the tunnel.”
Paula joked: “There’ll be another wee red head from Lurgan in the tunnel on Wednesday night. I’ve told him to say ‘hello’ to Neil Lennon and tell him he’s from Lurgan if he sees him, but he’ll probably have other things on his mind.”