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A very special girl was named mascot by club sponsor Wonga for the Barclays Premier League Newcastle v Aston Villa match on Sunday.

Ellie Hedley, aged 11, from Fenham, is a keen Newcastle United fan who loves nothing better than watching her favourite side play and was able to meet her favourite player Tioté pitchside during the pre-match handshakes.

Ellie's Mum, Kerry, said:

"Ellie loved the experience, and was high as a kite afterwards! Tioté was amazing with her having a kick about on the pitch before the match; I can't thank you enough."

The moment was made even more memorable for Ellie, with Newcastle winning the match in the concluding few minutes. Ellie now hopes to keep her passion for football up, along with her brothers who participate in the Foundation's Soccer School courses.

Her mother, Kerry, is also close to the club participating in Newcastle United Foundation's United for Employment programme. The 10 week programme is designed to build confidence and practical work based experience for people who are unemployed and wish to return to work. The programme has helped over 40 individuals since starting 18 months ago. Kerry has also shown great generosity by signing up for the Foundation's charity abseil, from the roof of St James' Park in April, working in a team to reach the £1500 target.

It is both Ellie and Kerry's dedication and passion for Newcastle United, which prompted the Foundation to nominate Ellie to receive the unique reward from Wonga.

For more information about the courses that Newcastle United Foundation delivers contact