A 50-YEAR-OLD man is looking forward to the “best present ever” when he spends time on Christmas Day with his long-lost father.
Westley Grey, who lives near Greenock, Inverclyde, had never met his father until October this year when he travelled to the United States.
Along with his twin brother David, Westley started searching for his birth father after their mother, Thomasina, died.
They knew that he had served in the US navy and eventually tracked him down to Texas.
Westley Moorehead joined the US navy in 1945, aged 17.
In the early 1960s he was stationed at Holy Loch in Argyll and Bute, which was a US nuclear submarine base during the Cold War.
While there he met Thomasina and they fell in love, but shortly afterwards, Mr Moorehead was sent to the Caribbean in the Cuban missile crisis and later to war in Vietnam.
Just after he left, Thomasina discovered she was pregnant with twins, but had no way of contacting Mr Moorehead – who had no idea he had fathered the boys until David found him in the US.
David travelled alone to Texas to meet his father, who is now 84, and discovered that he and his brother have three step- sisters and a stepbrother.
Westley, who has learning difficulties and lives in supported accommodation run by Quarriers, held a series of fundraisers and together with money given to him by the charity, eventually raised enough for him and two of his support workers to join David on a flight to meet his father, who had since moved to Tennessee.
Their October flight was delayed due to Hurricane Sandy, but the wait was worth it for Westley, who said: “It’s been the best year of my life and now I can’t wait to see my dad on Christmas Day when I Skype him.
“That’s the best Christmas present I could ever want. It was the most amazing moment in my life to have finally met my dad for the first time.
“I waited 50 years to see him and was completely lost for words when I first saw him. I just gave him a big hug.”
Mr Moorehead had heart surgery earlier this year and lives in Tennessee with his daughter. Speaking from his home, he said: “I felt blessed to have met Westley and David. It was incredibly emotional to have met Westley, Now I’m very much looking forward to speaking to him on Christmas Day.”