REMEMBER how Paul the octopus was squid’s in with his World Cup predictions four years ago?
Now meet our own challenger for his crown – World Cup Woolly the psychic sheep.
We are asking Woolly, named in honour of 1966 football mascot World Cup Willie, to predict the outcome of each of England’s group games in this year’s tournament in Brazil.
Woolly, who lives at Tweddle Farm petting farm, in Blackhall Rocks, was given the choice of three bottles of milk to choose from for our first game against Italy tomorrow.
One was marked with the word “England”, a second with “draw” and the third with “Italy”.
The pressure is all on after Paul, an octopus vulgaris, who lived in a zoo in Oberhausen, Germany, correctly predicted all seven of Germany’s results at South Africa 2010.
He then made it eight out eight by choosing Spain’s badge ahead of Holland after both finalists’ colours were lowered into his tank.
With a 100 per cent success rate to emulate, Woolly certainly has a tough act to follow.
Is he up to the task or will he end up, erhm, a lamb to the slaughter?
Dan Wayman, who looks after Woolly, a three-month-old Ryeland sheep, said: “I’m looking forward to seeing how close Woolly is with his predictions.
“Hopefully he will take us all the way.
“I think that England will do well, they could win it.
“We’ll beat Brazil in the final, Sturridge will be top scorer.”
Woolly’s skills will be put to test against Brazil’s various oracles.
Whisper it if you are in Woolly’s presence, but he wasn’t even first choice for the job.
We were intially hoping to be granted an audience with the farm’s Amazonian blue parrot, Butch, a native of Brazil, who alas refused to take our bait of three bowls of birdseed.
But we are happy for Woolly to lead our Baa-rmy Army – for now.
Should he fail to produce the goods then he might just be in for the chop.
So what is Woolly’s prediction for the Group D clash with Italy tomorrow night?
You’ll have to wait until Saturday and buy tomorrow’s paper or log on to our www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk website to find out.