"PHENOMENAL" police dog Sharkie, who retired four years ago, has died.

Born into a litter for Merseyside Police, Sharkie, who was originally called Sparky, was given to Lancashire Constabulary when the dogs were ready to begin their full police dog training.

Sharkie successfully completed his training with his first handler Ryan before going on to work with three other handlers, Gareth, Hayley and Matt.

Sharkie's tracking ability was described as being second to none and coupled with his bark and drive to protect his handler he formed one half of an invincible team, whoever he worked with.

A spokesperson for Lancashire Police Dog Unit said: "With great sadness we announce that RPD Sharkie has passed away this morning.

"Sharkie was a phenomenal Police Dog as anyone who had the pleasure of working with him will tell you.

"He will be sadly missed by everyone here at Lancashire Police. RIP buddy."

In 2017, Sharkie retired and went back to live with handler Gareth where he enjoyed a very relaxed retirement.

Sharkie's former handlers and everyone at PDU knows that if you clipped Sharkie's lead on then you were definitely not going for a gentle stroll - the lead to Sharkie meant he was going to work, and he loved to work.

In his last two weeks Sharkie was joined in retirement by PD Meg who he knew from when they lived together with Matt prior to Sharkie's retirement.