A lollipop man who was adopted at birth was stunned when he tracked down his biological father and discovered he was applying to do the SAME job.
Darren Wardle, 47, never met his real parents who were forced to give him up when he was just a few days old because they were both aged 15 when he was born.
But after his adopted dad died he decided to track down his real father and was amazed when he found out he had applied to the same council to be a lollipop man.
Incredibly, Darren’s adopted mother, his wife and mother-in-law have all worked as school crossing attendants too.
Darren, who has five children and two grandchildren, has now been reunited with his father Paul Ferris, 62.
Darren, from Cannock, Staffs., said: “Both my parents had me at just 15 years old, they were children themselves so I was put up for adoption from birth.
“Around 25 years ago I decided to trace my mum, I went to our old house and asked a neighbour who had lived in the street since the houses were built if she knew where my mum may have moved to.
“She told me the area of Tamworth, I immediately looked in the phonebook and found an Uncle, he then put me in touch with my mum and the rest is history, it literally took around three hours.
“After speaking to my mum, she gave me some information about my dad but I didn’t search for him until 2010, four years after my adopted father died of cancer.
“I hadn’t seen my dad for 44 years and I managed to get in touch with his daughters, my half-sisters via Facebook, they told me to write to him, so I did.
“Just a few days later, he got back to me, he phoned me and we decided to meet at his house in Tamworth in May 2010.
“When we met, it was an emotional thing, but I was just so surprised when he told me he was applying to be a lollipop man at the same council as me.
“Due to the fact I am a mobile lollipop man, I don’t have a fixed station so it would be very rare for our paths to ever cross.”
The long-lost father and son now both work for Staffordshire County Council and between them they have helped thousands of children safely cross the region’s roads.
Paul said: “I was obviously delighted to meet up with Darren, and we found it particularly amusing that after all that time we were both going to be lollipop men. Like father, like son I guess.
“I was an engineer by trade and when I retired I decided to have a go at being a lollipop man to keep myself busy.
“I love the work. It’s the kind of job where you know you are doing something good and making a real difference.”
Cllr Simon Tagg, who oversees road safety in Staffordshire said: “It makes you wonder whether being a lollipop man might be in the blood.
“Paul and Darren are the guardians of our roads and like our other 321 patrol officers do a fantastic job in keeping our school children and parents safe.
“We have some of the safest roads in the county here in Staffordshire which is something we are proud of and have worked very hard to achieve.”
* Last week parents told how they saw double thanks to a pair of identical lollipop ladies – who are TWINS.
Inseparable Mandy Withington and Donna Lovatt both work on the same stretch of road in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs.