Mixed-race truck driver, 52, whose late white mother was pressured by her family into giving him up as a baby discovers she never stopped talking about him as he’s reunited with his step-siblings
- Roy, 52, from Wigan, Greater Manchester, given up by his mother Janet
- Janet’s white family didn’t approve of relationship with his black dad Eccelston
- Mother-of-two Janet, died in West Sussex in 2019 year Roy started to look for her
- But through Long Lost Family, learned had two siblings who knew all about him
A truck driver was reduced to tears after finding out the mother who gave him up as a baby and who died before he could find her never stopped talking about him to his step-siblings.
Roy, 52, from Wigan, Greater Manchester, grew up thinking his father’s wife Joan was his real mother, before finding out his birth mother, a woman named Janet, left him for his dad to raise when he was a baby in 1969.
After looking for Janet with the help of the Long Lost Family experts, Roy, who appears on tonight’s 9pm show, found out that she was pressured by her white family to give the baby up because his father, Eccelston, was Jamaican, and he was a mixed-race baby.
While Janet died in 2019 before he could meet her, Roy was introduced to his step-siblings Jo and Dan thanks to the show, who told him his mother told them about him and never stopped thinking about him.
She told people she was a ‘mother-of-three’ and wished him a happy birthday on the day every year.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Roy, a father-of-two, said the search for his birth mother has been ‘an emotional roller coaster’ but that he’s delighted to have found his step-siblings and speaks to them every day.
Roy, 52, from Wigan, Greater Manchester, met his step-siblings Jo, centre, and Dan, right, for the first time after looking for his late mother Janet through Long Lost Family. His story features on the show’s episode tonight at 9pm
Roy, pictured as a child, had a happy childhood and never questions his origins, He only found out aged 18 that his father’s wife Joan was not his real mother
Roy, who learned of Dan and Jo’s existence thanks to the show, said it was ‘amazing and humbling that they’ve known about me their whole lives.’
However, the truck driver admitted he felt ‘upset’ because he knew nothing about them.
He learned his mother tried to look for him, but never got anywhere because she used the wrong name.
He said meeting his siblings left him with ‘a nice, warm feeling inside me.’
Roy’s mother, Janet, pictured, was pressured by her Family to give him up when he was a baby because she was white and his father was Jamaican. She died in 2019 and always regretted giving her child up
He said it was ‘extraordinary’ to get to know his brother and sister now, and that he is ‘learning something about them every single day.’
The father-of-two revealed they now talk everyday, and that he has met his sister and brother’s family.
Roy said the siblings are now planning on bringing their families together sometimes in August.
Roy said he never felt ‘anger’ or ‘resentment’ towards his birth mother.
Roy was raised by Eccelston and his wife Joan, and never questioned his origins, up until he joined the Royal Navy aged 18.
Pictured: Roy as a baby held by Janet in hospital shortly after his birth in 1969. His step-brother Dan revealed Janet was forced to give him up due to her parents’ racial prejudice
Pictured left to right: Step-brother Dan with Roy, step-sister Jo and father Eccelston after they met on the show
After coming across his birth certificate, he asked his father about his middle name, which led his father Eccelston to confess that his birth mother had given him up.
‘My dad said, “Now is probably as good a time as any to tell you that your mum, Joan, is not actually your mum”,’ Roy recalled.
Eccelston and Roy discussed the father’s relationship with Janet on the show.
‘She was such a nice person. She told me that, she was in the family way,’ Eccelston recalled.
He revealed he offered to marry Janet, however, she refused his proposal because she felt her parents would not approve of their union, due to the fact they were an interracial couple.
‘I was born in ’69. There was quite a lot of racism going on at the time,’ Roy said.
‘To give a baby up because of the colour of their skin, that cuts really, really deep to the core,’ he added.
‘And it’s important to know whether she regrets her decision.’
Eccelston said he never felt resentment towards Janet, adding: ‘I respect her and I love her for it.
‘If she didn’t give me a son, I wouldn’t have nobody. She gave me the prize I wish anybody to have,’ he added.
‘I can feel a hole in my heart growing because there is somebody that should be there,’ Roy admitted.
The show’s expert found that Janet died in 2019, but their search also found she had two children, who both lived in Worthing, East Sussex, who had always known about Roy.
Roy, a father-of-two, said it hurt to think he wouldn’t ever get to meet Janet. However, he said he was happy to hear she had never stopped thinking about him
‘While we knew of Roy’s existence, never in a million year did we think we’d have the opportunity to meet him,’ Dan said.
‘Mum had a conversation with me that she’d have a baby when she was 19 but that she wasn’t able to keep him,’ Jo revealed through tears.
‘On Roy’s birthday every year she used to say “Happy birthday, I wonder what he’s doing”,’ she added.
‘She would say she had three children when people asked her how many she had,’ the siblings recalled.
‘Mum always got so upset when she spoke about him because it was her biggest regret that she wasn’t able to keep him,’ Jo said.
Dan and Jo, who have known about Roy all their lives, said their mother would have been happy to see all her children finally reunited
Dan explained she had been pressured by her parents to give Roy up because of their racial ‘prejudice.’
‘Their prejudice came into play. She was only 19 when this happened. If you’re told you can’t be with the person you want to be with, and that you can’t keep the child that you would otherwise have kept, that has to sit with you,’ he said.
‘I know what it would have meant for mum to meet Roy, and I think it’s important that he should know that she cared deeply for him even though she wasn’t there to do it in person,’ Jo said.
And the siblings were excited to meet the step-brother they had heard so much about.
‘I know there won’t be a shared history but I think it would be nice to get that connection and to get to know him,’ Jo said between tears.
‘And to tell him that he was loved. Even if he wasn’t part of her family physically, she thought about him a lot,’ she added.
I’d love to meet both of them, I really can’t wait.
Roy was deeply moved by the fact his birth mother had died.
‘The year she’s passed is the year I decided to search for her so it hurts a little bit more,’ he told Davina McCall as she came to his house to deliver the news.
He was left fighting back tears after Davina revealed his mother had never stopped thinking about him throughout her life.
‘I’m shocked. Wow. Didn’t expect that. She did think about me,’ he said.
‘It kind of hurts now. Knowing that I couldn’t part of her life,’ he added.
He also understood how the racial prejudice of the 1960s came into play.
‘I can get that because it was late 60s. I would never hold it against her, ever. Because it was different times then,’ he said.
Roy was given a picture of his birth mother by Davina and joked ‘I can understand why my dad liked her.’
‘It’s just unfortunate that this is the only way I see her,’ he said of the picture, alluding to the fact Janet had passed away.
Reflecting on the news that he had siblings, he said it was a ‘strange feeling, because for 23 years, I’ve been an only child… So now to see pictures of siblings, I feel quite blessed.’
The siblings arranged to meet for the first time on the show, with Roy saying he felt ‘every emotion that you can think of running through me.
‘I hope her spirit is around to feel the love, even though I’ve never seen her, the love I have for her’ he said.
Jo and Dan were equally as emotional ahead of the meeting.
Jo had found pictures of Roy taken by Janet when he was a baby that she intended to give him.
‘I feel so grateful I’ll get the chance to meet him but so sad for her that she isn’t,’ she said, her voice breaking with tears.
‘I’m so glad we got to meet you,’ Jo said.
Roy agreed, adding: ‘a whole new chapter is about to begin.
‘All the fears that I had all disappeared I felt like my birth mother was there,’ he told the camera.
‘I think my mum would have been very pleased to see her children together,’ Dan said, crying.
Jo gave Roy the pictures that Janet had kept all these years, which led the three siblings to cry together.
‘Seeing those photos, that hurt. But a nice hurt, because that meant my mother had kept them for whole of her life,’ he said.
‘It’s just absolutely amazing,’ he added.
Eccelston also met Jo and Dan on the show and said ‘we won’t be anymore strangers.’
Long Lost Family airs tonight at 9pm on ITV.