Long Lost Family helps premiership footballer find birth mum after brain tumour

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Tonight’s episode of Long Lost Family is going to be an emotional one, with a former footballer set to be reunited with his birth mother following his recovery from a brain tumour.

Dominic Matteo, who played for clubs including Liverpool and Leeds, was diagnosed with a rare and cancerous brain tumour in 2019, and after coming through the ordeal he was spurred on to reconnect with his birth mum who put him up for adoption 46 years ago.

Speaking in a teaser clip for the first episode of the ITV series, presenter David McCall says: “Our first search is on behalf of a former premiership footballer, who having been through a huge health scare was spurred on to look for his birth mother.”

Telling his story, Dominic reveals: “The only thing I ever wanted to be was a footballer. I was very lucky, even played for my country. I had a great life, but I never thought I’d end up with a brain tumour.

“I was fighting for my life this time last year….I got to a place where I was just thinking about meeting my birth mother. When you’re close to your life being over, it just becomes more important,” continued the 47 year old.

“I’m not sure I’ve ever had this conversation before my illness. But it’s made me think completely different about life.”

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The Scottish star is helped in his search by his wife Jess, who is a professional dancer and ballet teacher.

When Dominic’s birth mother Margaret is found living in Scotland, a delighted Davina is able to share the news with Dominic.

Margaret then travels down to Halifax to meet her son, with the sportsman admitting: “I feel like I want to smile today.”

Dominic, who admits he was in denial when he was told he was adopted as a child and had kept the news a secret until now, adds: “I’ve had some tough times over the last year or so, so it’s nice to be in this position now and to be happy. And we can be happy together.”

Margaret also reveals she has seen Dominic playing football for Scotland on TV and had no idea he was her son.

She says: “Do you know, when I said goodbye to him, his wee finger in my hand, I thought: ‘You’re going to do well’, but this is doing very well!

“After all this time, 46 years, I’m quite emotional about it…. I’ve never stopped thinking about him… he’s a part of me, who I am.”

Long Lost Family returns on Monday at 9pm on ITV

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