A dad-of-two who spent 40 years trying to find his father was devastated to find out that he had died.
Builder John Ayton, of Flockton , told his emotional story on ITV show Long Last Family where he revealed being shocked as a 13-year-old to find out he was adopted.
As a child growing up in Meltham , he said he hadn’t felt loved or wanted.
“Forty-odd years I’ve been searching for my father. I need a connection to him, a sense of belonging. I’ve wanted that every single day of my life.”
He began searching for his birth parents only to discover his mum had died aged 19.
He contacted Long Lost Family after failing to track down his father.
But after 18 months the ITV team discovered that Kenneth H Harrison had died 10 years ago.
However they discovered that John has a brother and sister that he never knew about.
John, who has two grown up sons, recalled his own childhood and the feeling of being unloved.
“For some reason I didn’t feel part of the family. Mum used to say ‘if you don’t behave we’ll send you back.”
He was 13 when he discovered what his mum had meant by that.
He was asked to bring his birth certificate to prove his age when he joined a local football team. He was stunned to find out that he was adopted.
“Reality changed that day for me,” he said.
“I remember thinking ‘where are my real parents?’ Are they alive? The biggest issue was, why am I not with them?”
He began trawling through records at Huddersfield library where he discovered his mum, Marlene Munro, had died. She had been 17 when John was born.
He was unable to find his dad but the programme was able to reveal his name and that he had been a plumber in Manchester, had married three times and had died, aged 68, a decade ago.
Presenter Davina McCall then revealed that John has two siblings – Gaynor, who lives in Bulgaria, and Stephen, who lives near Blackpool. A DNA test proved the family link.
John and Stephen were introduced on the show and hit it off straight away in an emotional get-together.
Stephen revealed that his dad had “disappeared” when he was eight and he had spent 10 years searching for him.
John, who was in tears on meeting his brother for the first time at a pub in the Yorkshire Dales, said: “I feel calm, I feel belonging, and that for me is what I’ve missed. There’s a lot of catching up to do. It’s the start of my life again.”
He told his brother: “I’m so happy that you’re here. I don’t have any blood family so I’ve never experienced anything like this before.”