Sunderland's new psychic pig predicts outcome of Checkatrade Trophy final against Portsmouth

There was only one place to go for a prediction for this Sunday's Checkatrade Trophy final between Sunderland and Portsmouth.

By Gavin Ledwith, Digital Specialist
Thursday, 28 March, 2019, 12:51

He even forecast the penalty shoot-out drama against Colombia - his hesitation suggesting a long evening - before telling porkies by eventually backing a South American win.

Meet Little Rob - Sunderland's new psychic pig.

Twelve-year-old Big Bob, a popular attraction at Down at the Farm, near Houghton, has alas failed a fitness test for this weekend's cup final as he continues to recover from a winter stroke.

So it is down to his son - Little Rob - to hog the psychic limelight for the first time.

Asked to choose between two bowls of sow rolls - one marked "win" and one "lose" - the two-year-old Maori pet pig quickly plumped for a Sunderland victory after he was released from his pen.

Owner Will Weightman, 45, who runs the farm with wife Catherine, 44, said: "Little Rob has a hard act to follow so hopefully he'll be a capable substitute.

Rob, accompanied by owner Will Weightman, weighs up his options...........

"There'll certainly be some apples for him as a treat if he gets it right.

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"Who knows? It might actually be a substitute who gets the winning goal on Sunday."

Big Bob was chosen for his World Cup role last summer because he was usually the first of the farm's many animals to sense when it was meal time.

He then brought home the bacon three times on the trot at the start of the tournament after prophesying England triumphs over Tunisia and Panama as well as their defeat against Belgium.

.........before quickly predicting a Sunderland win this weekend.

He recovered from his Colombia setback by foreseeing a Three Loins - sorry, Lions - victory over Sweden before patriotic fervour got the better of him as he wrongly predicted a semi-final success against Croatia.

While his psychic days may be temporarily over, Big Bob still has one prediction outstanding - last August he forecast that Sunderland would return to the Championship via the play offs.

So there could yet be another red and white pilgrimage to Wembley in May to match this weekend's exodus.

Down at the Farm, in Stoneygate Lane, off the A690, is open from 10am-5pm at weekends and from Saturday, April 6, to Monday, April 22, over the Easter holidays.

Little Rob's dad, Big Bob, is on the mend after suffering a winter stroke.