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The wee cub named Fox in tribute to late NI gran who loved wild animal


Mark Roberts with mum Lynne

Mark Roberts with mum Lynne

Mark Roberts with Laura and baby Fox

Mark Roberts with Laura and baby Fox

Mark Roberts with mum Lynne

A Co Down man is celebrating the arrival of his first child on what would have been his late mother's 65th birthday.

And Mark Roberts has given his son the unusual Christian name of Fox in a poignant tribute to his mum and one of her favourite animals.

Lynne, a teacher in Bangor, passed away 12 months ago after a courageous four-and-a-half year battle against cancer.

Mark said that during the last months of her life one of Lynne's greatest pleasures was sitting in her conservatory and watching animals, including a fox, in the garden she had created at her home in Holywood.

But it was after Lynne found it impossible to come downstairs that Mark saw the fox, and was convinced he had come to see his mother.

"It was during a heavy downpour and the fox was soaked," he said.

"He made his way across the garden and over to the conservatory window at what we had dubbed 'mum's spot'.

"He stopped and looked in.

"It was as if he was looking for mum - but after realising she wasn't there, he turned and disappeared slowly up the driveway." Mark, who now lives in Chicago where he works as personal trainer, said it was a profound moment for him that he could never forget.

And two months after his mother's death he discovered that his partner Laura was expecting their first child.

"After we found out it was a wee boy there was never any doubt in my mind about what his name was going to be - Fox."

The baby was due three days after what would have been Lynne's 65th birthday but he arrived early.

"And it was really special that he was born on mum's birthday," added Mark.

"Knowing her, she made this happen for all of us to have such joy on such a sad day."

Belfast Telegraph