Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'I Thought I'd Never Know Who My Dad Was.Then He Added Me on Facebook'

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'I Thought I'd Never Know Who My Dad Was.Then He Added Me on Facebook'

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES CAIN james.cain@trinitymirror.com @JIMMYMCAIN

"I'M so glad you met your Dad, you'll never be alone," were her grandma's words as she neared the end of her life.

Following the tragic death of her mum, Penelope Thrower had been brought up by her grandparents, Vera and John Williams, from being just 22 months old.

For the next two decades, she grew up, went to school, got a job, and passed many of life's milestones believing the identity of her dad had been taken to the grave.

But the 27-year-old revealed how seven years ago on Monday, one simple Facebook friend request changed everything.

Sitting with her one-and-a-half-yearold son, Junior Meynell, in the front room of her Lazenby home Penelope said that, by the age of 20, she had made her peace with her situation.

She said: "My mum killed herself when I was 22 months old.

"I was brought up by my grandparents and I always grew up thinking nobody knew who my dad was.

"I just didn't think I would ever find out who he was. There was a lot of 'hearsay' but never anything solid.

"Then one day, I was in the back of a friend's car on my way to work when he just added me on Facebook from nowhere.

"He sent me a message saying 'I'm your dad.'.

"I sat there and cried my eyes out. I didn't know if I was happy, angry or what. Not a clue.

"He rang me and my grandma and grandad said they would support me in whatever I wanted to do."

Penelope's dad, Tony Peacock, 57, said that because of the tragic circumstances surrounding Penelope's mum's death, he believed his presence in his daughter's life would cause too much upset.

He said: "I followed her growing up over the years. But I didn't want to cause any trouble.

"I kept photos of her. Her mum's friends got them for me.

"Finally I sent her a friend request and 'liked' one of her pictures.

"She asked me 'Are you my dad?' That was how it happened."

A few weeks later, Penelope arranged to meet Tony where his band, Outrageous Wallpaper, was gigging at the Station pub in Redcar. …

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