Booking a taxi proved to be just the ticket - to Wembley - for one lucky South Shields FC fan.
For the last few weeks Westoe Taxis in Dean Road, South Shields, has been giving customers the chance to win four tickets to see The Mariners play at Wembley in the FA Vase finals against Cleethorpes Town on May 21 - and a taxi ride to and from the game
Everyone time a caller rang up, they quoted the word ‘Wembley’ and their names were placed into a hat for a draw.
The prize winner, Joe Melvin, 64, will be taken from their front door to the game and back in one of the firm’s eight-seater taxis - a trip which would normally run up a bill of £1,100
The competition saw more than 300 entries, but Joe, from Westoe, South Shields, scooped the winning prize.
To make it even more of a red letter day, the final is taking place on his 65th birthday.
It would cost £1100 to take a taxi to Wembley and backGary Davie
Joe said: “I never realised I’d won a taxi ride there too.
“I thought it was just the tickets which was brilliant enough, and its my birthday that day.
“I always go to the Shields matches when Sunderland play away, so I watch them a fair bit. I’m taking the wife, my son and his wife.
“It’s going to be a great day.”
He added: “I am aiming to celebrate my birthday and South Shields winning the cup.”
Taxi firm owner, Gary Davies, said: “It’s been a very popular competition.
“Not many fans will be able to get picked up from their door, delivered to the match and then dropped back off again, all in the same day without any fuss.
“If the meter was running it would cost £1,100 to take a taxi to Wembley and back. It’s quite a prize.
“I understand Joe is taking his family with him to the game, so I am sure they will all have a great time.”
Westoe Taxis has been one of the football club’s sponsors for the last 10 years.
The firm’s office is currently decked out in the club’s colours.
Mr Davies, a former Ipswich Town player, also used to play in midfield for The Mariners back in the 1980s and 1990s.
The 52-year-old, from South Shields, said: “We’re totally convinced they’re going to win.”