Now that our 12 Best Friend of the Year front-runners have been announced, we’d like to tell you a little bit more about them, and why they have been chosen for the final. Today, we’d like to introduce you to John and Samantha.
John met Sam at Whitworth High School in Rochdale, Greater Manchester and the pair hit it off straight away. They lost touch when John left school in 1993 to work in Taylors Engineering and Plastic factory in Rochdale, but 4 years later, Sam started work at the same factory. Their friendship was soon rekindled and they were inseparable. Sam was the first person John came out to as gay – and, to his surprise, Sam told him that she was gay too!
In 2002, John went on a night out in Blackpool and never wanted to come back. He moved there – and three months later, Sam turned up on his doorstep. She’d missed John, her partner in crime, on their regular nights out in Manchester.
In 2012, John became seriously ill with pancreatitis and spent eight months in hospital. For part of that time he was in a coma and on life support – and who was there to offer endless support to John’s family and partner? Sam, of course, all the way through John’s illness.
Since then, John and Sam have lived and worked together. John helped Sam to get a job at the Lytham St. Anne’s care home where he worked at the time – and while he has since moved to a new job, the pair talk every day and live less than five minutes apart.
John was clear about why he’d nominated Sam:
“Sam has been the best friend anyone could ever wish for. I’m really excited about being in the final. Sam and I often say, ‘People like us don’t win competitions’, but here we are. We’re over the moon! Sam’s never been to London and she’s always wanted to go, so it’ll be lovely to take her down for the first time.”
Stay tuned to tombola times, to see all of the winners’ stories before the London final on 8 June 2015.