A Newcastle fan has described the shock and horror of returning from a match to find his League Cup Final tickets destroyed by the family dog.
Alan Carling was returning home downtrodden from his team's home defeat against Liverpool on Saturday 18 February when his day got considerably worse.
He opened the door to find freshly delivered post in tatters on the doormat, with Rudy the 11-month-old Golden Retriever immediately emerging as prime suspect.
When Mr Carling saw a flash of green and the words Carabao Cup Final among the destruction, annoyance quickly turned to dismay.
"I realised it was my Carabao Cup final tickets for me and my wife," he told ITV News Tyne Tees.
"My jaw just dropped and I was in sheer amazement. I think I told the dog to just leave the room.
"I was gobsmacked. Wor tickets were here. But the dog’s eaten them."
Mr Carling remembers making the discovery
The lifelong Toon fan only recently learnt his ballot application had been successful and began planning his first ever trip to London for the biggest day in his club's recent history.
Tickets are selling for thousands online, so when he saw his in tatters on the floor, all he could do was laugh.
"I just started laughing as I was picking up all the tickets," he added. "What’s the point in being angry?"
But all hope was not lost - Mr Carling called Newcastle United on Monday morning and described what had happened.
He has been asked to take what remains of the tickets to the ticket office with identification to verify they are genuine.
"I'll take ID, proof of address. I'd give them a blood sample. I'd do anything," he joked.
"They can't print them off at St James' so I'll have to pick them up at Wembley on the Sunday. It's a nervy wait."
Rudy, who is about to begin training to become a therapy dog for autistic children, has been forgiven after consuming "the most expensive treat he’s ever had", according to Mrs Carling.
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