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Akld Girl Winner of Dream Manchester United Trip

Media Release 12 December 2007

AIG Life Names Auckland Girl the Winner by Popular Vote of Dream Manchester United Trip

Hillsborough 11-year-old Theresa Carbines has captured Kiwi hearts and been voted the winner of the AIG Life Manchester United Young Star competition, beating out four other soccer-mad finalists from around the country. As her reward, she and her mother Maria will this month join a travelling party of eight, led by New Zealand soccer legend Wynton Rufer, on an extraordinary trip to Old Trafford, home to the celebrated Manchester United.

AIG Life CEO David Pierce said his company was thrilled to present the prize to such a talented and passionate young player. “She obviously struck a chord with New Zealanders when they saw the five finalists on TV. We had well over 9,000 votes through our website, and Theresa received more than 3,000 of them, so she was a clear favourite with the public.”

Theresa’s win was no accident; along with a Campbell Live screening of the finalists training with Wynton Rufer and nightly reminders to viewers, her success was assured by a fervent campaign which saw her parents – Allan is a pilot and Maria a nurse at Starship – canvass friends, family, work colleagues and hundreds of homes around their Auckland neighbourhood armed with flyers and a persuasive spiel.

An Australian junior tournament champion and year-round player, Theresa, who plays for Three Kings United, is an Auckland under-12 representative and serves as ball girl for senior women’s matches. The young devotee sleeps under a soccer-ball duvet – she even wears soccer-motif pyjamas and underwear – and harbours a dream to play for New Zealand like her heroes Ria Percival and Hannah Rishworth.

The live announcement to Theresa and her family was broadcast by Campbell Live, and the full video can be viewed at

Mr Rufer will lead the trip to Old Trafford between Tuesday 18 and Monday 24 December. Theresa and her mum will enjoy match-day hospitality at Manchester United’s game against Everton on Sunday 23 December, with five nights’ accommodation in Manchester. Other treats in store for them include meeting Ryan Nelson, the Kiwi soccer star and Blackburn Rovers captain.

As principal sponsor of Manchester United, the most successful worldwide soccer club of the past twenty years, AIG Life’s parent company AIG has access to tickets, hospitality and merchandise.

AIG Life is a subsidiary of American International Group, Inc (AIG), a global leader in insurance and financial services with operations in more than 130 countries. It has US$1 trillion in assets, 69 million customers and 106,000 employees worldwide.


About AIG Life
AIG Life (formerly AIA New Zealand) is a subsidiary of American International Group, Inc (AIG), a global leader in insurance and financial services with operations in more than 130 countries. For more than 20 years AIG Life has provided New Zealanders with innovative risk management, focusing on life, health and financial protection. AIG Life products are available nationwide through a network of independent financial advisers. AIG Life holds a financial strength rating of ‘AA+’ from Standard and Poor’s, the New Zealand government-approved rating agency.

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