Grandad scores Aston Villa fan's Wembley dream

    Aston Villa fans celebrate victory on the pitch after the FA Cup Quarter Final match between Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion at Villa Park on March 7, 2015 in Birmingham, England

    (CNN)Sometimes it takes a grandad to turn a lifelong dream into reality.

    That was the story of CNN's Tom McGowan this morning when -- along with a prized ticket to this Sunday's FA Cup semi-final match between his beloved Aston Villa and Liverpool -- he received a loving, hand-written note from his octogenarian grandfather.
      James Costello, who began following Villa shortly after World World II, happily provided a ticket for grandson Tom -- but not without laying on a prank guilt trip first.
      "After queuing for hours and hours, in cold wet pouring rain, I managed to get you one ticket," he wrote, before dropping his act of wry humor. "Actually it was 90 minutes in lovely sunshine."
      McGowan tweeted a photo of the letter this morning which elicited dozens of adoring responses (mainly from fellow Villa supporters), hundreds of retweets and attention form the UK newspapers and websites keen to follow up on the story.
      McGowan, a digital sports producer for CNN World Sport in London, has attended numerous matches as part of the press. However, the experience of watching his local team battle for a spot in the FA Cup Final -- without the burden of suppressing his cheers -- will surely outdo the rest.
      Aston Villa have won the 144-year-old competition seven times, though they have come up dry since 1957. Back then, Costello was forced to watch the match through a store window in Berlin, where he was stationed as a member of Britain's Royal Air Force.
      He will be sitting comfortably in his living room this time, hoping for another chance to line up for a ticket to send his grandson to the finals.
      Aston Villa last played in the final in 2000, losing 1-0 to Chelsea.