Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield mum finds stranger's poem where daughter died

Sharon Green's daughter Rebecca Image copyright Sharon Green
Image caption Sharon Green's daughter Rebecca went rollerblading in 1996 and "never came home"

A mother who marks every anniversary of her daughter's death by placing flowers at the roadside was "overwhelmed" when a stranger left a poem for her to find.

Sharon Green leaves a floral tribute by the road in Sheffield where 13-year-old Rebecca was run over in 1996.

Peter Fearnley actually wrote the poem in 2018 as the lyrics to a song. This year, he attached a laminated card of his verse to the railings.

Ms Green found his work and they were put in touch through social media.

"I was just overwhelmed to think that someone would go and put so much effort into writing the most beautiful verse," Ms Green told BBC Radio Sheffield.

Image copyright Peter Fearnley
Image caption In his poem, Mr Fearnley described the flowers as "an epitaph and a shrine for a loved one lost too early"

Part of the poem read:

"I've seen this act of sweet remembrance for over twenty years

Flowers on the railings full of tenderness and tears

All the colours of the rainbow wrapped up in a pretty bow

The flowers on the railings for a love that won't let go"

Rebecca was knocked down at a crossing on Penistone Road on 20 January 1996, and each year since then her mum has left flowers as a "reminder" for passing drivers.

One of the motorists who noticed them over the years was Mr Fearnley, who commutes into Sheffield from Deepcar.

Two years ago Mr Fearnley recorded a song he shared online, in the hope the person who left the flowers would come across it - but to no avail.

"I thought it was a really touching tribute and always felt really moved [by the flowers]," he said.

"I've been a songwriter for many years so it was natural for me to try and put those feelings into verse."

Image copyright Sharon Green
Image caption Sharon Green's daughter Emma shared the poem on Facebook

After reading the verse, Ms Green asked her daughter Emma to share it on Facebook and the following day they made contact with Mr Fearnley.

"It's absolutely wonderful," Ms Green said. "I can't believe someone has been driving past for the past 24 years and taking note that the flowers were there."

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