‘Thanks to my girls I found love again’

Rachel Hodges and her Mother Jenny Saunders who have both met new partners with the online dating agency, Dating Direct   (w110919-3b)

Rachel Hodges and her Mother Jenny Saunders who have both met new partners with the online dating agency, Dating Direct (w110919-3b)

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WHEN Rachel Hodges met her husband on the internet, her mother Jenny disapproved.

Neither of them imagined that eight years later Jenny’s daughters would be walking her down the aisle, after helping her find love online.

Rachel Hodges and her Mother Jenny Saunders who have both met new partners with the online dating agency, Dating Direct (w110919-3c)

Rachel Hodges and her Mother Jenny Saunders who have both met new partners with the online dating agency, Dating Direct (w110919-3c)

Rachel, 36, of South Parade in Worksop, spent years searching for the right man.

Her glamourous job singing in Ibiza meant she had a fabulous social life, but despite being engaged twice, Rachel never found Mr Right.

“Rachel announced one day that she’d met this guy on the internet, called Carl,” said mum Jenny Saunders, 62.

“I told her I wasn’t happy and she needed to be careful. I thought it could be dangerous.”

“She is so beautiful and talented, she could have had her pick of men and she goes and meets someone on the internet.”

But when Jenny met Carl her worries disappeared.

“He was so lovely, a really genuine guy and they fit together like a jigsaw,” said Jenny, whose husband John died 13 years ago.

Rachel was head over heels in love, and the relationship moved quickly.

Within 18 months she and Carl had got married, bought a house together and had two children.

Now, eight years later, they have four children.

But for all Rachel’s happiness, she could see her mum was lonely.

Said Rachel: “We saw mum all the time and she was really down and didn’t go out much.”

“She’s my greatest inspiration as a woman – beautiful, classy, confident and she loves life.”

“I wanted to find someone she could share that with. I knew there must be someone out there in a similar situation, who needed company.”

Rachel’s dad John Saunders was a professional footballer for Mansfield Town, Huddersfield Town, Doncaster Rovers, Barnsley and Lincoln City.

After that he was player manager at Worksop Town FC and then chairman.

When the Tigers moved grounds, Jenny and John kept the Riverside club house and ran it as a bar until John died.

Said Jenny: “I was lonely after John died. But I always said if I was going to find anyone they would have to come knocking on my door.”

“I didn’t want to go to these dating nights or anything, so when Rachel said she was going to register me on a dating website I said ‘no you are not’.”

But Rachel took no notice. Joining forces with sister Laura, 23, they secretly created an online profile for Jenny and started looking for a suitable candidate.

“We didn’t tell her anything. It was quite fun pretending to be mum and messaging all these men,” said Rachel.

Jenny was shocked when she discovered what her girls were up to. But she eventually agreed to meet a couple of men.

After a few unsuccessful dates, she was getting disheartened. Little did she know love was just around the corner.

Said Rachel: “I came across a profile for Brian Boothman. He was 66, a widower and he lived in Sheffield.”

“I got chatting and he sounded really nice so I told mum.”

The pair met up in January this year, hit it off straight away and nine months later they have just married in a big ceremony at the Charnwood Hotel.

Said Jenny: “ We just have fun together. He’s 66 and he still works, so I look after him. That’s what I missed when John died.”

Brian also has two daughters, aged 39 and 40 so the couple have a lot in common. They recently moved into a house in Carlton.

Jenny added: “Now we are one big happy family. Brian adores Rachel’s kids and all the grandchildren get on.”

“We are so happy, it’s a companionship and I’ve got my girls to thank for it.”