A Cork pensioner living in Britain has said he is “overwhelmed” by the response to his call for somebody to spend Christmas with after spending nine years alone.
James Gray, 85, originally from Midleton, Co Cork, but living in south London, put an advert in The Irish Post earlier this month after spending the past nine Christmas Days on his own.
Since the newspaper published a story on the retired butler, he has been inundated with offers and Christmas cards from people across Britain
“It is so touching to me, after all these years alone, to see this response from people,” he said. “I’m so appreciative of the offers. I should have done this years ago.”
The story struck a chord with the public on both sides of the Irish Sea, with a host of media outlets joining the campaign to find James some company on Christmas Day.
Offers have come from as far and wide as the Isle of Skye and New York to have Christmas dinner with him.
James, who has no family, spoke to the newspaper about how hard it is to be alone at Christmas.
“I just want to find someone in time. I am used to the loneliness, but I do not want it to be the same this year.
“I just had smoked salmon and prawns on my own last year and I had to put up with it. I think the last time I saw someone on Christmas Day was when I saw my accountant about 10 years ago. This time of year is so hard if you are old and alone because it feels like everybody else around you is enjoying themselves."
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