Man finds long-lost sister at local Penzance football club

Gemma Sanders and Barrie Prowse Barrie Prowse has trained on the same pitch as Gemma Sanders for several months

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A man who spent 11 years searching for his birth family has discovered he has a sister who plays football for the same west Cornwall club.

Barrie Prowse, 27, is a midfielder for Penzance football club while his sister Gemma Sanders, 23, represents the women's XI.

Mr Prowse, who was adopted as a baby, said finding his sister so near was "quite a shock".

Mr Prowse has trained on the same pitch as Miss Sanders for several months.

"I have been searching on and off since I was 16 years old," he said.

"It was around a month ago when I really put it into action, going down every avenue possible."

'Really excited'

Mr Prowse was able to contact his birth mother through Genes Reunited, who told him he had a sister called Gemma Sanders.

He said: "I typed her name into the internet and Penzance Football Club kept coming up, I couldn't believe it.

"It was my sister who had been playing at the same club as me. I had no idea whatsoever, it was quite a shock."

Initially Mr Prowse sent Miss Sanders a message on Facebook.

He said: "I approached it saying that I thought we might be related. She was really excited because it makes her an auntie, as I have two daughters."

Miss Sanders, who lives in Redruth, is a member of the Great Britain deaf women's football team.

Mr Prowse said: "I was a bit gutted though as it makes me not the most successful person in my family at sport, but I am pleased for Gemma.

"We're getting one of our daughters christened and we've asked Gemma to be a godmother."

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