Long Lost Family: What Happened Next?: Dominic Matteo introduces his daughters to their grandmother


Ex-Liverpool and Leeds defender Dominic Matteo – who found his birth mother after a brain tumour left him ‘fighting for his life’ – has finally introduced his daughters to their grandmother for the first time on Long Lost Family: What Happened Next.

The Scottish footballer, 48, who was put up for adoption as a baby, was reunited with his birth mother Margaret on the ITV programme last year, following his battle with a rare, cancerous brain tumour in 2019.

In tonight’s episode, the sportsman – who made a miraculous recovery thanks to life-saving surgery – was revisited as he declared how important it is for him to ‘keep going’ for his loved ones – which now includes his biological mother. 

On the programme, Margaret was also left in tears as she finally met her two granddaughters in-person.

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Ex-Liverpool and Leeds defender Dominic Matteo - who found his birth mother (pictured together) after a brain tumour left him 'fighting for his life' - has finally introduced his daughters to their grandmother for the first time on Long Lost Family: What Happened Next

Ex-Liverpool and Leeds defender Dominic Matteo – who found his birth mother (pictured together) after a brain tumour left him ‘fighting for his life’ – has finally introduced his daughters to their grandmother for the first time on Long Lost Family: What Happened Next

On the programme, Dominic's birth mother Margaret was also left in tears as she finally met her two granddaughters in-person (pictured)

On the programme, Dominic’s birth mother Margaret was also left in tears as she finally met her two granddaughters in-person (pictured)

The Scottish footballer (pictured), 48, who was put up for adoption as a baby, was reunited with his birth mother Margaret on the ITV programme last year, following his battle with a rare, cancerous brain tumour in 2019

The Scottish footballer (pictured), 48, who was put up for adoption as a baby, was reunited with his birth mother Margaret on the ITV programme last year, following his battle with a rare, cancerous brain tumour in 2019

Travelling from Scotland to Halifax with her fiancé John, Margaret, who has already met Dominic’s youngest child Luca, was captured meeting her granddaughters for the first time during the episode. 

Becoming emotional during the introduction, Margaret said: ‘It was amazing, just to see the girls, they’re so nice… It’s a miracle that we’re back together, going from no son to like having the whole family.

‘…Meeting Dom has changed my life. I did feel an emptiness over the years, something was missing. It was missing and now it’s back.’

Margaret was just 17 when she fell pregnant in the 1970s and previously said giving up her child was the toughest decision she’s ever had to make. 

‘I was at school, I was very young and didn’t have a job,’ she said on This Morning. ‘I realised this was the best thing when the adoption society told me about Dominic’s parents and what kind of people they were.

Travelling from Scotland to Halifax with her fiancé John, Margaret, who has already met Dominic's youngest child Luca, was captured meeting her granddaughters for the first time during the episode (pictured)

Travelling from Scotland to Halifax with her fiancé John, Margaret, who has already met Dominic’s youngest child Luca, was captured meeting her granddaughters for the first time during the episode (pictured)

Becoming emotional during the introduction, Margaret said: 'It was amazing, just to see the girls, they're so nice... It's a miracle that we're back together, going from no son to like having the whole family

Becoming emotional during the introduction, Margaret said: ‘It was amazing, just to see the girls, they’re so nice… It’s a miracle that we’re back together, going from no son to like having the whole family

‘It was the most difficult decision of my life, it was a terrible grief having to go through that, but it’s turned out so well.’ 

Speaking of the emotional meeting between his daughters and birth mother, Dominic said: ‘I’m absolutely buzzing, something I’ve wanted for a long time… [Margaret is] part of our life now. So I can’t think of any other way… feels like we’ve always known her.’

The footballer said finding his birth mother was ‘pivotal’ in his recovery, adding: ‘How can you not be inspired by her? She’s a lovely person and she’s got the best interest. I don’t think there’s a bad bone in her body.’

Recalling his battle with a rare, cancerous brain tumour in 2019, he continued: ‘My life will never be the same. I’ve probably cried more over the last two years than I’ve ever done in my life.

‘I think I realise now how precious life is. As a young lad growing up, you wanted success and all that, but for me, I’ve realised what is important to me.

Margaret (pictured) was just 17 when she fell pregnant in the 1970s and previously said giving up her child was the toughest decision she's ever had to make

Margaret (pictured) was just 17 when she fell pregnant in the 1970s and previously said giving up her child was the toughest decision she’s ever had to make

Speaking of the emotional meeting between his daughters and birth mother (pictured), Dominic said: 'I'm absolutely buzzing, something I've wanted for a long time... [Margaret is] part of our life now. So I can't think of any other way... feels like we've always known her.'

Speaking of the emotional meeting between his daughters and birth mother (pictured), Dominic said: ‘I’m absolutely buzzing, something I’ve wanted for a long time… [Margaret is] part of our life now. So I can’t think of any other way… feels like we’ve always known her.’

‘Who knows how long we’ve got on this earth? And I’ll tell you what I’m not going to waste a day of it.

‘I need to stay alive for my family. I have to keep going for them, a million per cent, that’s everything for me. And Maggie is now a huge part of that.’

The Scotland defender was taken seriously ill in November 2019 and underwent life-saving seven-hour surgery to remove an ependymoma brain tumour.

Describing his symptoms he said: ‘A bit of a headache, my eye sight a bit was blurred which is unusual for me. It just felt like as the days were going on things were going downhill a little bit, but being me I just kept working.’ 

He was due to fly to Singapore but cancelled the trip after being told by his doctor that a scan had become available. 

‘Someone was looking out for me there, definitely,’ he said. ‘We went and had the scan and found out there was a massive mass in my brain, which was so unexpected and I just went down hill from that point so quickly.’ 

Last year, speaking on Long Lost Family, Dominic explained the reason for his search for his birth mother (pictured together, visiting Glasgow)

Last year, speaking on Long Lost Family, Dominic explained the reason for his search for his birth mother (pictured together, visiting Glasgow) 

He added: ‘I’m so thankful for the help I have had, the NHS, doctors, everyone did their bit there and to get down last minute was life changing for me. 

‘If I had been on that flight it could have been a hell of a lot worse so for me. I’m just very, very thankful that happened.’  

In April 2020, Dominic revealed he had been given the all clear, thanking the staff at Leeds General Infirmary and St James’s Hospital on Twitter for ‘saving my life’. 

Last year, speaking on Long Lost Family, Dominic explained the reason for his search for his birth mother. 

‘The only thing I ever wanted to be was a footballer. I was very lucky, even played for my country’, he said.  ‘I’ve had a great life, but I never thought I’d end up with a brain tumour. I was fighting for my life, this time last year. 

‘I got to a place where I was just thinking about meeting my birth mother. When you’re close to your life being over, it just becomes more important.

‘I’m not sure we’d have had this conversation before my illness, I’m not sure, I’m not sure, but it’s made me think completely differently about life.’

Dominic made his senior Liverpool debut in October 1993 and made 155 appearances in seven years before joining Leeds in 2000. He was a regular at Elland Road, playing 146 times in four years. 

He helped David O’Leary’s side into the Champions League semi-finals in 2001, scoring a famous goal against AC Milan in the San Siro on the way.

But he was part of the side that was relegated in 2004 before moving on to Blackburn and then Stoke before hanging up his boots in 2009.

He was capped six times by Scotland despite having earned Under 21 caps for England.



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