Steve Harper with Lewis York and familyTwelve year-old Lewis York from Gateshead is jetting off today on a once in a lifetime Christmas trip to Lapland with his family, after winning a Newcastle United Foundation and Metro Radio Cash for Kids competition.

A pupil at Cedar's Sport College, Lewis was just four when he was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, a nerve tissue cancer. He was chosen as the winner after hundreds of entries nominating deserving children were sent in.

Lewis will be joined by his parents Gary and Dawn, five year old brother Mason, and Metro Radio's Breakfast host Anna Foster, Lewis will be treated to a truly magical Christmas experience complete with a reindeer sleigh ride and storytelling with Santa's elves.

As an extra treat before he jetted off on his holiday, devoted NUFC supporter and season ticket holder Lewis was invited with his family as VIP guests to the West Brom game on Wednesday night. They were then waved off by United goalkeeper Steve Harper at Newcastle Airport who said: "It was great to meet Lewis and his family and I am sure they will all have a fabulous time in Lapland. Our Foundation, along with Metro Radio, have done wonderfully well to put this together and the supporters who generously bid for the letters have done their bit too, as ever in a huge way.

"It's a shame I couldn't have hopped on the plane too!"

Lewis' Dad, Gary, added: "We've always wanted to go to Lapland but haven't ever been able to in the past. It really will be such a special trip - I snapped my Achilles tendon earlier in the year so because of this and our working patterns we haven't been able to go away together. It will be great to spend some quality time as a family.' 

Twelve runners-up of the competition were also given a special Christmas treat earlier this month when they were whisked away to Alton Towers for a Santa Sleepover. The children and their families enjoyed a memorable day which included a trip to meet Father Christmas and a Christmas disco.

These two special festive trips were made possible by the generosity of the Club's fans, who in October raised over £10,000 in an auction of the old Newcastle United letters from the East Stand.