We never know when or how our lives are going to change. But when it does happen, it’s always when you least expect it.
Such is the case with John, a familiar face at a Northampton pub who never fails to show up Monday thru Friday.
His constant presence caught the attention of his pub’s manager, and consequently, the hearts of people everywhere.
According to pub manager Benjamin Lopez, “I’ve been here as the manager for a month and I saw John would come in every day, Monday to Friday, and have his pint of John Smith’s. He never speaks to anyone – people are friendly and they’ll say hi to him, but he’s always alone.”
“So I decided to chat to him and we got on great. He seemed really happy to talk to me, and opened up a bit about his life,” he added.
To his surprise, John was hiding an incredibly heartbreaking backstory.
“He told me that he has no family anymore. Both his parents and his brother had died and he has no wife or kids. He said he lives alone and doesn’t really get the chance to talk to anyone anymore.”
Since Lopez was an old hand at running charity fundraisings after his sister tragically passed, he decided to share John’s story on Facebook. He was simply hoping to get a few messages of support from people in the community which he could then pass on to John.
What Lopez didn’t expect was for his post to go viral.
“It’s been a really nice surprise,” he said. “We’ve had people getting in touch from all over the UK. People have messaged to offer to buy him a drink – one woman got in touch to ask how much a John Smith’s cost. I told her £3.20 and she transferred the money straight over.”
“He’s had people coming in and buying him pints and sandwiches – and wanting to sit and chat with him. It’s been amazing.”
Some people have even reached out to John with invitations to spend some time with them outside of the pub, so he could mingle with others and build new friendships.
“John was really happy when I showed him. I don’t think it’s all sunk in yet. I don’t think he’s really got his head around it all,” he added.