PICTURES

Straits Times contest winners thrilled to catch football action in London and Barcelona

Top prize winner of The Straits Times Wherever You Are contest Tung Hon Keng, 47, posing for a mock photo with Chelsea players. The engineering manager won a host of prizes for his skyline photo, including $3,000 in cash, return flights to London and
Top prize winner of The Straits Times Wherever You Are contest Tung Hon Keng, 47, posing for a mock photo with Chelsea players. The engineering manager won a host of prizes for his skyline photo, including $3,000 in cash, return flights to London and a pair of hospitality tickets from Chelsea in their game against Manchester City. -- PHOTO:  TUNG HON KENG
Engineering manager Tung Hon Keng (left), 47, and his travel partner Mr Peter Chang at the live match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in London. -- PHOTO: TUNG HON KENG
Engineering manager Tung Hon Keng (left), 47, and his travel partner Mr Peter Chang at the live match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in London. -- PHOTO: TUNG HON KENG
Contest winner Ng Hong Ming got Barcelona player Jordi Alba to sign on his jersey at half-time during the match. The 24-year-old undergraduate won front row seats to catch his favourite football star Lionel Messi in action and sat just beside Barcelo
Contest winner Ng Hong Ming got Barcelona player Jordi Alba to sign on his jersey at half-time during the match. The 24-year-old undergraduate won front row seats to catch his favourite football star Lionel Messi in action and sat just beside Barcelona players at Camp Nou, where the match was held. -- PHOTO: NG HONG MING
Lionel Messi fan Ng Hong Ming, 24, at the live match between Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spain. The Nanyang Technological University student wrote a poem on Lionel Messi being in "top condition" which won him an all-expenses-paid trip sponsored by S
Lionel Messi fan Ng Hong Ming, 24, at the live match between Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spain. The Nanyang Technological University student wrote a poem on Lionel Messi being in "top condition" which won him an all-expenses-paid trip sponsored by Samsung in The Straits Times Appreciates Readers contest. -- PHOTO: NG HONG MING
Lionel Messi fans Mervyn Sng (left), 31, and Ng Hong Ming, 24, at the live match between Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spain. -- PHOTO: NG HONG MING
Lionel Messi fans Mervyn Sng (left), 31, and Ng Hong Ming, 24, at the live match between Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spain. -- PHOTO: NG HONG MING
Lionel Messi fans Mervyn Sng (left), 31, and Ng Hong Ming, 24, at the live match between Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spain. -- PHOTO: NG HONG MING
Lionel Messi fans Mervyn Sng (left), 31, and Ng Hong Ming, 24, at the live match between Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spain. -- PHOTO: NG HONG MING
Lionel Messi fans Mervyn Sng (left), 31, and Ng Hong Ming, 24, at the live match between Barcelona and Real Madrid at Camp Nou stadium in Spain. The two lucky readers won an all-expenses-paid trip sponsored by Samsung for their winning entries in The
Lionel Messi fans Mervyn Sng (left), 31, and Ng Hong Ming, 24, at the live match between Barcelona and Real Madrid at Camp Nou stadium in Spain. The two lucky readers won an all-expenses-paid trip sponsored by Samsung for their winning entries in The Straits Times Appreciates Readers (Star) contest. -- PHOTO: MERVYN SNG

It was a dream come true for football aficionado Ng Hong Ming.

"As a Barcelona fan, nothing would be more precious than watching your favourite team right in front of you. Usually I only see them on television, but they are right in front of me now," said Mr Ng, 24, a mechanical engineering student at Nanyang Technological University.

He and Mr Mervyn Sng, 31, a manager with a mobile services company, were the two winners of a Straits Times Appreciates Readers (Star) contest.

They won an all-expenses-paid trip courtesy of Samsung to catch the highly-anticipated clash between Barcelona and Real Madrid on Oct 26 at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona.

Mr Sng, echoed Mr Ng's sentiments. A supporter of Lionel Messi ever since the latter first played for Barcelona, he said that watching the match live was "a once-in-a-lifetime experience".

It was also a soccer treat for the winner of another Star tie-up, The Straits Times' Wherever You Are contest.

Engineering manager Tung Hon Keng, 47, had the good fortune of watching the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Manchester City in London on Oct 27.

Moreover, he and his partner, Mr Peter Chang, 44, who runs his own computer-services firm, were treated to lunch at the Stamford Bridge stadium where they watched the match.

Mr Tung was taken by "the atmosphere". From the fans' "thunderous cheers and boos" to watching the "star players parading on the pitch", he said anyone would have an adrenaline rush even if one were not a football fan.

Apart from winning a pair of Chelsea hospitality tickets, Mr Tung also won $3,000 in cash, return flights to London and a five-day stay at the Milennium Gloucester Hotel.

kcarolyn@sph.com.sg