One lonely pensioner from the UK, was inundated with friend requests after his poster about him being lonely after the death of his wife went viral.
Flooded with friendship offers
Tony Williams’s email box was crashed and he received hundreds of phone calls from strangers who wanted to be his new friend from around the world. People called up from America, Germany, Holland, Australia, Egypt, India, and Japan asking him to go on road trips with him to the U.S. or for an afternoon drinking gin and tonics.
The retired 75-year-old physicist, was offered free lunches, phone calls, and also for their kids to adopt him as a grandfather. Tony, from Alton in England’s East Hampshire, said, “The love and compassion people have shown has actually brought tears to my eyes. People have sent me the most delightful emails.
“They’ve sent me pictures of their kids, their pets, told me about their aspirations and telling me they are thinking of me.” He continues, “I got an email from a local teacher asking if children in her class could write me letters. I got in touch with her straight away and said it would be delightful. I would love that.”
“People have been phone from Canada and the States. One lady phoned up and said if I get on a plane sometime she would pick me up and show me her area of Florida… It’s just been gorgeous.” He added. “When I started responding they were coming in thick and fast. I would say about four or five a minute. The thing is, I can’t respond now, as my email account seems to have crashed. A red message came up saying there was some sort of error and it needs to be reset.”
How it started?
Tony and late wife Jo moved to Alton last year so Jo could be closer to her sister, Beryl. But after his wife died at 75 in May, from pancreatic cancer, loneliness set in. They did not have children and he said he would wait by the phone to ring, but it never did. He felt he was cursed by loneliness.
Tony put two adverts in his local newspaper looking for a friend to chat to but didn’t get any replies. In a desperate bid to make friends, he printed business cards and took them when he went to the supermarket or for a walk. He handed out dozens of them but no one called him back. So he finally decided to put a poster up in his window asking for pals.
Tony has been swamped by the responses and is enjoying chatting on the phone to strangers—now friends—from around the world, and plans to meet up with his new pals once COVID restrictions allow. “I’ve just been completely overwhelmed and am so thankful for it all,” he said.