Town fan finds long-lost sister

FOR almost 40 years neither knew the other existed.

FOR almost 40 years neither knew the other existed.

However today Philip Corton and his sister Mandy Cawkwell are finally getting to know each other after a lifetime apart.

Avid Ipswich Town supporter Mr Corton was stunned to discover he, his 30-year-old brother Mark, of Walton-on-the-Naze, and their 41-year-old sister Sarah, of Clacton-on-Sea, had another sibling they knew nothing about.

Their incredible discovery came after Mrs Cawkwell decided to trace her family. The 45-year-old had been given up for adoption as a baby by her mother Rita.

Mr Corton, 39, said: “Mandy contacted my mum's brother David and he contacted us and told us we had got a sister.

“I was really shocked and amazed. Mum passed away in 2001 and never ever told us.

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“Mandy rang us for about an hour. She said she didn't know how we would take it or whether we would want to meet her. I said I would like to carry on seeing her because it's great to have another one in the family.

“The first time I met her I really had butterflies. I was really, really nervous and she was nervous as well. We had a hug and a kiss and there were a few tears. She looked exactly like my mother and was very chatty.”

Mr Corton, who goes to all Ipswich's home games and used to travel to away matches until diabetes confined him to a wheelchair, said he and his brother are planning to visit Mandy at her home in Newport in December.

While in Wales they plan to take in Town's game against Cardiff.

Mother-of-two Mrs Cawkwell said even though so many years had passed, she had remained curious about her real family.

She said: “I wanted to get my original birth certificate to find out where I was born. I saw my birth mother's name on the certificate and wondered if she was still alive.

“When I was younger I had been told she had died when I was born.”

The mother-of-two, who is a nurse, said she discovered her mother had been a single mum when she was given up for adoption.

During her quest to find her roots, Mrs Cawkwell enlisted the help of Mike Collinson in Gloucester, a specialist in researching family trees.

Today, she is at Philip's home in Warwick Road, Clacton-on-sea to visit her newly acquired family and still vividly recalls their first emotional meeting at his flat last month.

Mrs Cawkwell said: “I was shaking. I knocked on the door and Mark, my baby brother, came down and we threw our arms around each other. It was like I had an instant bond with all of them.”

WEBLINKS: www.ancestry.co.uk; www.genesreunited.co.uk

In 1998, the late Paula Yates learned that the original Opportunity Knocks presenter Hughie Green was her biological father, not the broadcaster, Jess Yates, who had brought her up.

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