Army veteran is stunned to discover a homeless man he offered a cigarette to after a Remembrance Day service was his long-lost BROTHER he last saw as a newborn baby 30 years earlier
- Father Roy Aspinall, 36, was leaving a Remembrance Sunday service in Wigan?
- He 'felt something in his features' and wandered over to speak to homeless man
- The Army veteran 'filled up' when it dawned on him the man was in fact Billy White, 28, the long-lost brother he last saw as a newborn baby in a pram
- Due to family splits Mr Aspinall was raised by their auntie, while Mr White was cared for by their mother Lorraine White, until he was put into care, aged 10?
- Now Mr White has moved in with his brother as they catch up on 28 lost years?
An Army veteran, who offered a homeless man a cigarette in the street, was stunned to discover it was his long-lost brother.
Father-of-six Roy Aspinall, 36, was leaving a Remembrance Sunday service in Wigan when he saw the man and wandered over.?
Mr Aspinall, who served in the Queens Lancashire Regiment, felt 'something in his features' made him curious about the man - so started to chat.
And he 'filled up' when it dawned on him the man was in fact Billy White, 28, the long-lost brother he last saw as a newborn baby in a pram.
Both were sons of Lorraine White, but due to family splits Mr Aspinall was raised by an auntie while Mr White stayed with their mother until going into care aged 10.
Now Mr White has moved in with his brother as they catch up on the 28 lost years.
Father-of-six Roy Aspinall, 36, was leaving a Remembrance Sunday service in Wigan when he saw the man and wandered over
He 'filled up' when it dawned on him the man was in fact Billy White, 28, the long-lost brother he last saw as a newborn baby in a pram
Explaining how he was drawn to the homeless stranger, Mr Aspinall said: 'I walked through the churchyard to get my bus and I saw this guy sitting on the brick wall.
'The recognition of his face was there. I thought I had to see who he was. He had his little bag and sleeping bag.
'I went over, offered him a cigarette and starting having a chat. Eventually asked if he was William. He said yes but they called him Billy.
'I was in tears when we worked it out. I just told him to grab his stuff and said he was coming with me.'
Mr Aspinall remembers just one occasion when he saw his brother but as a baby at a relative's house.
Due to family tensions when very young Mr Aspinall was given to her sister and brought up by her.
For years he believed his aunt was actually his mother - and mistakenly thought his cousins were in fact his siblings.
Mr White, meanwhile, was brought up by Lorraine until he was 10 then after she passed away he moved into the care system.
Mr Aspinall remembers just one occasion when he saw his brother but as a baby at a relative's house
Later White spent three long periods on the streets - including the last eight months.
He added: 'Our mum was amazing and the sweetest woman going. I wish Roy could have met her, things could have been different.'
Mr Aspinall agreed: 'I wish I could have met her as well. I never had that opportunity.
'It's so weird saying 'brother' or 'uncle'. It's something I've never had.'
Mr White admitted it was sheer chance he happened to be sat in the church yard on Remembrance Sunday when Mr Aspinall wandered past.
He added: 'I just came to the church yard to sit down before finding somewhere to get my head down.
Due to family tensions when very young Mr Aspinall (pictured on Remembrance Sunday, wearing sunglasses) was given to her sister and brought up by her
'This guy came over to me and was asking me lots of questions, about my mum and my sister.
'Then he said I'm your brother. I didn't believe him at first. It's mad.
'I always knew I had an older brother, my mum explained everything to me.
'But I didn't know anything about him or even if he lived in the same area. I'm still pretty shocked by everything.'
Mr Aspinall immediately invited his brother to come and stay at his home and now they have formed a close bond.
Thanks to Mr Aspinall (pictured, wearing sunglasses, his brother has also got support with housing and found a job with a logistics firm
Thanks to Mr Aspinall, his brother has also got support with housing and found a job with a logistics firm.
He said: 'My life changed when Roy came over to me. He looks after me, like a big brother should.
'We're non-stop talking all the time... but we've now got the rest of our lives to know each other.'
While Mr Aspinall - who works as a volunteer for veterans' support group in Wigan EDs Place (Everyone Deserves Support) - said: 'We've noticed so many similarities.
'When asked what he wanted he said coffee with milk and two sugars, which is exactly what I have!
'To say "I've got a brother" is so foreign but it's a feeling of joy, not tears. He's never getting rid of me now!'?
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