A former rugby player from England is desperately seeking a reunion with the “very nice girl” he met in Ireland more than half a century ago.
Michael Freer, 79, was in Dublin in 1958 for a match at Lansdowne Road against Bective Rangers. At the after match party met an attractive Irish girl and chatted and danced with her for most of night.
Her name was Bridie Fortune and Mr Freer was instantly taken with her. He wrote to her when he returned to England and the two were reunited three years later. Ms Fortune travelled to see him in London, and the two had an evening at the theatre planned.
Mr Freer told Ireland Calling: “We were going to see Billy Liar and she had bought the tickets. I was going to pay her back but I was working as a policeman by then and had to make what I thought was a routine phone call to the station.
“But when I called, my senior officer told me to get back straightaway for an important job. I had no choice but to leave. There were no mobile phones in those days so I phoned the theatre to tell her I was sorry but I couldn’t get back to her.
“I hoped we could meet up later but we lost contact and I never heard from her again.”
He says he’s been haunted ever since by the way he left things that evening in 1961.
“I felt very guilty about it because she was a lovely girl and I let her down. She had bought the tickets and I never got the chance to pay her back.”
The two never spoke again and Mr Freer eventually settled in Leicestershire in England and married.
Now a widower, he has decided to have one last try to find the girl that enchanted him all those years ago. “I’d love to meet her and explain what happened. I remember that she was very attractive and had dark hair. She said she had a brother who was a priest.”
He has the support of numerous media outlets, including the Irish Independent, radio stations and online publishers.
As yet, Mr Freer has been unsuccessful in his search. He has spoken to four people named Bridie Fortune but none have been his “very nice girl” from Dublin.
“It’s really difficult like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I couldn’t believe how many Fortunes there are in Ireland.”
Are you the missing Bridie Fortune? Or do you think you know who she is?
Please contact us at [email protected]://ireland-calling.com/ if you think you can help with the search, and we will pass on the details to Mr Freer.