Finding sister and brother is better than lottery win; William, 72, traces family he never knew he had.
A SCOTS pensioner spoke of his joy yesterday after he found a brother and sister he never knew he had.
William Rae, 72, of Clochan, Moray, grew up with a foster family and spent decades trying to trace his roots without success.
But a fresh bid for information on the internet led to a meeting with his younger brother Ian, 69, a retired council worker from Bristol.
As soon as lollipop man William made contact, Ian made a 1110-mile round trip to see him.
A delighted William said: "We spoke on Friday night and he jumped in his car straight afterwards to drive 500 miles to see me.
"It was the strangest, most wonderful feeling to meet him - like looking in a mirror. Ian has the same mannerisms as me."
William also discovered he has a sister called Jean, 66, as well as eight nephews and nieces. The family are now planning to reunite in the coming weeks at Jean's home in Falkirk.
William was taken into care by the Barnado's charity as a tot and grew up with a foster family.
He said: "I never knew my mother. I tried to trace her several times over the years but just kept coming against a brick wall."
William's luck changed after his stepdaughter, Christine, researched the ancestry of his wife's side of the family.
She achieved impressive results with the help of Aberdeen-based amateur genealogist Suzi Robertson.
Christine then forwarded William's birth certificate to Suzi, who used the internet to find links with his long-lost family.
William said: "That was last Monday. On the Friday, I discovered I had a whole family I never knew about.
"Finding I have a brother and sister is better than winning the lottery.
"I feel fulfilled. I could pass away tomorrow and I'd die a happy man."
William's wife, Sylvia, couldn't believe how similar her husband and his brother were when they met for the first time.
She said: "They're like twins. They're pretty much identical and they have very similar mannerisms.
"Everything down to the way they move their hands was the same.
"It was quite a big shock knowing that he had a brother and a sister and we hope to all meet very soon."
I could die tomorrow a happy man
ROOTS William Rae with his wife Sylvia and, inset, with Ian, the brother he never knew he had PICTURE: HEMEDIA