Man's appeal to Sheffield: 'Help me find long-lost niece'

Mick Dickinson is desperate to make contact with his long-lost niece
Mick Dickinson is desperate to make contact with his long-lost niece
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A man has put the call out to Sheffielders to help him get in touch with a long-lost relative.

Mick Dickinson, who lives in Washington, outside Sunderland, wants to make contact with his niece.

Kelli, or Kelly, is a daughter of his brother Austin.

Mick lost contact with his niece in the 1990s when Austin died of cancer in Sheffield.

Now, the bus driver wants to reconnect and form a relationship with his relative.

The brothers were born in Northern Ireland, and moved to Ashton-in-Makerfield, Manchester, in 1965.

Austin moved to Sheffield, and contact between the pair was rare after that.

Mick still holds out hope of one day meeting his niece.

"I may be chasing rainbows," he said.

"Time has moved on. Is it time for me to contact her and say 'you've got relatives who want to know you.

"She's the only connection I've got with my brother."

Austin, Mick said, had some brushes with the law. His last contact with him was when Austin was in a bail hostel in Sheffield in the 1990s.

"He was a proper 'jack the lad', and he did some bad things," Mick said.

"But, at the end of the day, he's my brother."

Austin died shortly after, and it was around then that Mick lost contact with his niece.

"He phoned me one afternoon to say he'd found a lump, and it was quite progressive after that," Mick said.

He wasn't able to make his brother's funeral

Mick thinks his niece would be in her late 20s or early 30s now.

He doesn't even have a photograph of her. He remembers her brown, curly hair.

He said there was a family resemblance to Austin.

"She had the look of my brother, her father," he said.

He 'vaguely remembers' a plan of his niece's to scatter Austin's ashes in Sheffield, and Mick would also like to find out more about that.

"It would be nice to visit the place," he said.

Mick isn't a stranger to reconnecting with family. He said he was estranged from his children for eight years.

He said that finding her niece would give him closure. and she might be looking for that, too.

"I just want to let her know that I could answer questions about her dad when he was young, that she might have," he said.

"She's a part of him that lives on."

If you have information about Mick's niece, phone reporter Matt McLennan on 0114 276 7676, extension 3528, or email matt.mclennan@jpress.co.uk