LONG-lost brothers separated more than 40 years ago enjoyed an emotional reunion on Friday.

Stephen Speakman, from St Stephen’s Avenue, Longford, and brother Michael had not seen their younger half-brother Julian since their dad Derek passed away in 1974.

Julian, a toddler at the time, moved away with his mother and the brothers had no idea of his whereabouts, until 12 weeks ago Stephen’s daughter Emma made the discovery on Facebook.

“When our Emma told me it was him, I just started crying uncontrollably,” said 53-year-old Stephen. “I couldn’t believe it.

“It was a huge relief, it’s something that’s been nagging away at me for years and years and I was never able to do anything about it – you get on with your life but have that underlying feeling all the time.

“My mum and dad separated when I was eight, I used to see my dad every other week until he sadly died when I was 12.

“It was bad enough losing my dad but Julian went as well. I always thought is he alive? Is he well? “ The only memento Stephen had of his brother was a photograph of Julian as a toddler with the family on a beach while on holiday in Newquay.

“Julian would have been about two,” added the taxi driver. “Until Facebook it was like finding a needle in a haystack, I didn’t know where he had gone at all.

“There was a big age difference so he was still really a baby and I remember caring for him and looking after him.

“When Emma sent the message I didn’t know how he would react, if he would welcome it or shun it.”

But Julian, who lives in Colwyn Bay, did welcome the contact and the brothers are already planning their next meeting.

“It was like seeing my dad sat there,” added Stephen. “It was lovely, Julian is going to bring the whole family up next time he visits.”