Search

Father meets daughter for first time

PUBLISHED: 17:38 21 August 2008 | UPDATED: 11:38 03 July 2010

Sharon Emery with her father John Ford

Sharon Emery with her father John Ford

Dominic Bareham

RETIRED plumber John Ford thought he had won the lottery when a registered letter arrived on his doormat three weeks ago.

And the unsuspecting 62-year-old thought he was dreaming when he opened the envelope and found a letter from the daughter he never knew existed saying he was her father.

RETIRED plumber John Ford thought he had won the lottery when a registered letter arrived on his doormat three weeks ago.

And the unsuspecting 62-year-old thought he was dreaming when he opened the envelope and found a letter from the daughter he never knew existed saying he was her father.

Mr Ford, who lives with wife Val in Sorrel Road, Bradwell, and has two step daughters and two step-grandchildren but no children of his own, said his interest was raised because he never received registered mail.

Inside was a note from Sharon Emery, 38, who lives in Letchworth, saying she had known the name of her biological father since she was eight and had been trying to contact him for years. She explained she felt like 'part of the jigsaw of her life' was missing and that was why she had decided to track him down.

But the news was a total shock to the former Luton man who did not know of Sharon, an only child, and could not remember her mother Doreen Emery, 63, who he had met during a night out with friends at a Baldock Working Men's Club in 1969 when he was 24.

He said: “When I first read the letter, it was not a normal feeling, it felt quite numbing. Now I have got a daughter and five grandchildren that are actually part of me because I have always had step kids and never had any of my own. So I have gone from having four step-children to having a tribe!”

He compared his life to a daytime chat show where guests get to meet the children they had lost contact with. He added: “It is like something you see on the telly. You see somebody on one of the chat shows and then you see his daughter come through, but you never dream it could happen to you.”

He suspected she might be his daughter because she named his twin brothers Dave and Peter in the letter- information she had gleaned from her mother.

A subsequent DNA test arranged through an internet firm proved Mr Ford was the father and he met his daughter for the first time at a pub in Letchworth last Saturday before the pair went to his sister Mary's house in Letchworth.

Father and daughter have already noticed a number of shared biological traits including travel sickness and a love of computers.

And Mr Ford said he shared similar facial features with Sharon's daughter Nicole, 10. The other four grandchildren are Dionne, 16, Abby, 14, Hope, seven and Gracie, four.

He now plans to visit his daughter and grandchildren whenever he can and will be travelling down to see them with his wife next week.

However, he admitted Christmas could be a dilemma and said he would most probably give his daughter some money and leave her to buy presents for the five young girls.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Great Yarmouth Mercury. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Great Yarmouth Mercury