A man who offered a cigarette to a homeless man in the street was shocked to discover that he was actually speaking to his long-lost brother.
Roy Aspinall, 36, was at a Remembrance Sunday service when he saw a homeless man and walked over to him.
He said there was 'something in his features', which made him want to know more about the man, who had been sleeping rough, so he began a conversation with him.
The pair quickly began chatting and as the conversation went on Roy, who serviced in the Queens Lancashire Regiment, realised that he was speaking to Billy White - his long-lost brother whom he hadn't seen in almost three decades.
The last memory Roy has of Billy is seeming him in a pram, as a new born. Shortly after this Roy was taken to live with his aunt and Billy stayed with their mum for ten years, before eventually going in to care when their mum Lorraine died.
Roy told the Mirror: "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.
"I went over, offered him a cigarette and starting having a chat. Eventually asked if he was William. He said 'yes' but they called him Billy.
"I was in tears when we worked it out. I just told him to grab his stuff and said he was coming with me."
Billy, now 28, has moved in with his brother and the pair are enjoying catching up and getting to know each other after so long apart.
Billy has spent long periods of his adult life on the streets, including a recent eighth month stint, before he bumped into Roy.
He told the Mirror: "Our mum was amazing and the sweetest woman going. I wish Roy could have met her, things could have been different."
Roy added: "I wish I could have met her as well. I never had that opportunity.
"It's so weird saying 'brother' or 'uncle'. It's something I've never had."
Talking about their chance meeting, Billy said: "I just came to the church yard to sit down before finding somewhere to get my head down.
"This guy came over to me and was asking me lots of questions, about my mum and my sister. Then he said I'm your brother. I didn't believe him at first. It's mad.
"I always knew I had an older brother, my mum explained everything to me.
"But I didn't know anything about him or even if he lived in the same area. I'm still pretty shocked by everything."
The pair are now learning about each other and bonding; through his brother, Billy has also got support to find housing and a job, saying his life changed when the pair met.
Roy said: "We've noticed so many similarities.
"When asked what he wanted he said coffee with milk and two sugars, which is exactly what I have.
"To say 'I've got a brother' is so foreign but it's a feeling of joy, not tears. He's never getting rid of me now."
Featured Image Credit: EDS