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Veteran Recognizes Homeless Man As The Brother He Hasn't Seen For 28 Years

North West News

An Army veteran has reunited with his long-lost brother after a chance encounter.

Roy Aspinall, 38, was leaving a Remembrance Sunday service in Wigan, England when he spotted a man with intriguing features. He decided to approach 28-year-old Billy White and offer him a cigarette.

"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," Aspinall told the Metro.

The emotional reunion was the first time Aspinall had seen White since he was an infant.

"I was in tears when we worked it out. I just told him to grab his stuff and said he was coming with me," he said.

White said he was stunned when Aspinall had approached him.

"This guy came over to me and was asking me lots of questions, about my mum and my sister. He said I'm your brother. I didn't believe him at first," White told the BBC.

"You can't explain that feeling inside. It's mad. I'm still in shock. My mum had always spoken about [Roy]," he said.

The pair share the same mother, Lorraine White, but due to family divisions, Aspinall was raised by his aunt, while White stayed with their mother until the age of 10, when she passed away.

White had been homeless on three separate occasions, including the last eight months. After rejoicing in their reconciliation, Aspinall knew he couldn't go back home without his brother.

Since the brothers found each other in late November, White's life has drastically changed.

The father-of-six invited his brother to move in with him, and has helped him secure a job at a logistics firm.

"My life changed when he came over to me. I'm living with him at the moment. He looks after me, like a big brother should," White said.

Aspinall and White are enjoying their time together, and have noticed they share many similarities.

"We've noticed so many similarities," Aspinall said. "I thought I was the only one in the family who drank coffee. But when asked what he wanted he said coffee with milk and two sugars, which is exactly what I have."

"We've both got dimples. It's like a big explosion, talking and laughing and sometimes we repeat each other," White added. "We're non-stop talking all the time... but we've now got the rest of our lives to know each other."

Have you ever been reunited with a long-lost family member? Share with us in the comments!

Maya has been working at Shared for a year. She just begrudgingly spent $200 on a gym membership. Contact her at maya@shared.com