Real Life

Man who met the brother he never knew existed tragically dies only weeks later

Steve Belshaw appeared on ITV's hit show Long Lost Family to find his birth mother, whom he'd never met. Instead, he met the brother he didn't know he had.

Steve met his brother, Rob Hall, after the Long Lost Family team found him on the search for his birth mother, who gave him up for adoption shortly after he was born.

Steve, 54, from Blackpool, was desperate to meet her, but was given the devastating news that she had passed away in 2004.

But his mother, whose name was Frances, went on to have another son - Rob, now 49.

The brothers had no clue about each other's existence, but were elated to meet each other for the first time on the show.

In a shocking twist, it turned out that the brothers had only lived a mile away from each other their entire lives.

WATCH: Steve Belshaw discovers he has a half-brother who lives a mile away on Long Lost Family

Their instant connection was clear to viewers watching at home, and they were overjoyed to have finally found each other.

But the happy union has ended in a heartbreaking turn of events, as Steve suddenly passed away last Friday.

Rob's partner Kelly told The Independent: "I don't know what to say other than we're devastated and he's been taken from us far too soon."

Tim Hall, a colleague of Steve's, wrote on Facebook that his cause of death was "unkown".

The Twitter account for the TV show that brought them together paid tribute to Steve.

Fans of the show immediately flocked to tweet back, with many passing on their condolences to the family.

One wrote: "Oh no that is so sad. I love watching that one with him trying to find his brother. So glad they got to meet before he passed away," whilst another added: "Such a sad ending to his story, but he must have been so happy to have been reunited with his brother. RIP Steve."

On the show, Steve discovered that his mum, Frances, had been forced to give up her baby son when she fell pregnant at age 17 and her boyfriend and father of the child was killed in a motorbike accident, taking out a newspaper advert looking for prospective parents.

He broke down on the programme: "To have lost her boyfriend, the father of her child, I can only see her world fall apart. It’s unusual to advertise your unborn child but I think it’s an extraordinarily loving thing to do.

"To have a little brother... I never saw this in my wildest dreams. Meeting Rob has allowed me to feel closer to my birth mother. He has got so many memories to share.

"All that will help to build a much clearer picture of the kind of person she was. And knowing she had gone to all that trouble to find the most suitable parents speaks volumes about her character.

"If I had one chance, it would be to say 'thank you'."

Rob told him at their meeting: "I hope we will be friends as well as brothers. I think we will be."

Absolutely heartbreaking. 💔

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