Long lost pals are reunited 40 years after beach holiday

David Murgatroyd and his wife Josephine
David Murgatroyd and his wife Josephine
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A good Samaritan from Sheffield has been reconnected more than 40 years later with a childhood pal who never forgot his generosity – thanks to The Star’s readers.

Christakis Hadjigeorgiou had appealed for help to find David Murgatroyd, who came to his aid when disaster struck the Cypriot’s homeland in 1974, not long after they struck up a friendship while David was holidaying on the island.

David Murgatroyd, front, with Christakis (left) and another friend on the beach in Cyprus

David Murgatroyd, front, with Christakis (left) and another friend on the beach in Cyprus

An old friend of David’s, Ann Anderson, spotted the appeal in The Star and alerted him – and they have since rekindled their old holiday friendship.

Having shared memories of their days playing football and volleyball on the beach together all those years ago, David is considering returning to the island to meet him and his family in the flesh.

“I had a video call on Skype with him and his family a couple of weeks ago and it was nice to see him, though he’s changed quite a lot,” said David, aged 59, who grew up in Greenhill and attended Jordanthorpe Comprehensive School but now lives near Norwich. “I hadn’t thought much about that holiday in Famagusta, to be honest, because it was 47 years ago, when I was 13.

“But I remember meeting Chris and his friends, playing some football and volleyball, going to his house and watching a local football match. They were really nice.”

David Murgatroyd, circled, with friends

David Murgatroyd, circled, with friends

The holiday friends became pen pals, and when David heard Turkey had invaded the island in a dispute with Greece, leaving Christakis and his family homeless, he sent a box of supplies to help them through the crisis. David was touched to hear all these years later what it had meant to them, with Christakis, now 62 and with two grown children, having kept the blanket from the box all this time.

“Chris showed me the blanket and it was nice to know a little effort on my part went a long way and helped them out,” said David, a retired technical sales worker with one grown son.

“We’re thinking of going out there later this year and visiting Chris and his family.”

Christakis speaks limited English but his son Demetris and daughter Elena thanked The Star and its readers for helping him make touch with David all these years later, which they said had meant a great deal to the former policeman.