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Greatest Day for Take That fans as they meet idols.

Byline: David Owens Reporter david.owens@walesonline.co.uk

IT WAS the Greatest Day when Reann Jenkins and her two daughters met their Take That heroes in Cardiff.

The mum-of-seven, from North Cornelly, was at the city's HMV store when Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald met 200 adoring fans at a signing session to promote their new album III and 2015 arena tour.

It was especially memorable for eight-year-old wheelchair user Ashley Jenkins, who has spina bifida and hydrocephalus, and her six-year-old sister Maddie Jenkins, who were as thrilled as their longtime Take That fan mum at meeting the pop stars.

"They were especially brilliant with my daughters," said 33-year-old Reann.

"I'm still shaking and in shock now. I couldn't believe it. I've been a fan for 20 odd years now since I was 11. All my kids have grown up listening to Take That so they know all the songs. When I managed to get tickets, I took the two girls and their faces just lit up."

There was an especially moving moment when Ashley, who also has selective mutism, chatted happily at length with the boys.

Her mum said: "We didn't know how Ashley was going to react, because of the selective mutism, but when she got in the store, the girls saw Gary and they left me behind and raced towards him. They were so excited.

"The first thing I noticed was that Gary got up from his seat, then got down on his hands and knees to talk to Ashley.

"He was so lovely to her, stroking her face and telling her how beautiful she was. Seeing Gary like that with my daughter was absolutely amazing.

"And I was so shocked when Ashley spoke to them. She responded so well. We've been through a hell of a lot as a family and Take That made her day."

Reann said she met former Take That star Robbie Williams when she was younger and was thrilled that her daughters could also meet their heroes.

"I met Robbie when I was a kid on the Life Thru A Lens tour in Newport years ago, so to see my kids meeting Take That was amazing."

Reann has seven children - Edie, two, Leon, three, Harrison, four, Maddie, six, Ashley, eight, Nicky, 11, and Saul, 12 - who has learning difficulties.

She said: "I took the two girls along because they love Take That the most. HMV were so good with them, I can't speak highly enough about how helpful they were.

"We took presents for Take That. We gave Gary a Star Wars mug because we know he likes Star Wars, Howard had a Welsh dragon and Mark had a Welsh bear.

"I also took three CDs to be signed, one for the Welsh learning difficulties charity Follow Your Wish - who have helped my family, one for the kids for school and one for us.

"I was so nervous, I was shaking. If I didn't have the two girls with me, I don't know what state I would have been in."

Reann said that since she got home, the girls haven't stopped talking about their momentous meeting.

"When they came out of HMV, their faces were lit up and they haven't stopped talking about Take That since they've got back home," she said.

"They were so thrilled. The boys made our day."

CAPTION(S):

Reann Jenkins from Bridgend with daughters Ashley and Maddie meet Take That's |Gary Barlow

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Dec 4, 2014
Words:578
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