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Unbreakable bond: Best pals Brian Kelly and Edward Costello reunited after 43 years

By Cate McCurry

Published 20/09/2016

Ed Costello and Brian Kelly
Ed Costello and Brian Kelly
The pair at Brian’s wedding back in 1973

This is the heartwarming moment two best pals were reunited for the first time in more than 40 years.

Brian Kelly and Edward Costello grew up in Belfast together and were inseparable for 15 years. But the pair lost contact when Brian moved to Dublin and Ed started working in Scotland some four decades ago.

Brian (70) and Ed (68) first met when they played on the same football team, St Anthony's Boys' Club.

They had been on holiday together in Majorca when Brian met and fell in love with a Dublin woman called Vera.

The couple married, with Ed the best man, and moved to the Irish capital, while Ed moved to Scotland for work.

But while they may have been out of sight, they certainly weren't out of mind and Brian recently set out to find his long-lost friend.

He launched an appeal and, with the help of Belfast Telegraph readers, the once inseparable chums were reunited in Belfast's Kitchen Bar on Sunday for the first time in 43 years.

The meeting came after Ed's daughter, Rosemary, spotted the appeal on the Belfast Telegraph website and immediately recognised her father as Brian and Vera's long-lost best man.

She had heard her dad talk about Brian before and knew he was definitely the Ed they were seeking.

They were put back in touch and reunited in what's been described as an "emotional" meeting.

"It was great seeing him again," Ed said. "We were friends for so long and it brought back so many great memories of when we were young footballers." Ed's daughter, Rosemary Costello, said they now have plans to meet again in Dublin.

"It was good to see Brian and his family - we got on so well and, while it was emotional, we had good banter," she explained.

"It went really well and we all gelled - it was like we had known each other for years even though the only connection that was there was the friendship between my dad and Brian.

"My dad had spoken quite a lot about Brian and about all the things they used to do, and then he would end the conversation with, 'I don't know where he is now though, but I hope he is doing well'.

"Brian used to do the same thing as well. They were best friends for a long time so it's hard to break that bond, even after 40 years. Brian had been trying for a few years to find my dad and started looking for him in Scotland but he didn't stay long there. We can't wait until the next visit now and hope to meet in Dublin."

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