Manchester

Birthday group take stranger on holiday

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Media captionJoe McGrath is already planning to visit Bristol again and bring the friends to Manchester

A group of friends planning a trip to Majorca asked a complete stranger to go with them when a friend dropped out - because he had the same name.

The 10 friends from Bristol turned to Facebook and found a Joe McGrath in Stockport who agreed to go on the paid-for trip for a 30th birthday.

The 21-year-old said they were "an absolutely lovely group of people".

"They messaged 15 other Joe McGraths on Facebook and only one was stupid enough to reply, and that was me," he said.

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He admitted he thought it was a bit of a joke at first, but after chatting to one of the friends on the phone Joe realised "he was just up for inviting a random guy".

Joe added: "After a couple of days debate and re-assuring myself it was a legit offer for a free trip, I decided to take the plunge and drove down to Bristol on Saturday.

Image copyright Joe McGrath
Image caption The 10 friends from Bristol turned to Facebook to find another Joe McGrath

"I must be a bit mad. I was fully up for it."

The friends had given their names to Ryanair and the hotel, and as the passport details had to be filled in only at check-in, the "new" Joe McGrath simply had to add his details in order to go on the three-day holiday.

He even stayed in his namesake's house the night before the trip.

"I didn't use his toothbrush or anything like that. He wasn't there unfortunately," he said.

Image copyright Joe McGrath
Image caption "I was fully up for it" - the new Joe McGrath enjoyed a three day holiday with the group

Joe is already planning to visit Bristol again and bring the friends to Manchester to take them on a night out to thank them for the trip.

And will he ever meet the original Joe McGrath?

"I do think our paths will cross sooner or later. And it will be a magical moment."

Image copyright Joe McGrath
Image caption Joe McGrath says his new friends are "an absolutely lovely group of people"

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