A British non-league football steward who was adopted as a baby has learned aged 40 that his long-lost father is the legendary American boxing commentator Bob Sheridan who first learned he had a secret son during his wife’s wake.
Simon Edwards, a supporter of Hitchin Town in Hertfordshire who lives with his adoptive parents, made the incredible discovery about his birth parents after tracking down extended family in Galway, Ireland, and taking a DNA test.
But reports that Simon is in line to inherit a huge fortune are wide of the mark, with his birth father saying recently he has never been a millionaire because he ‘spent it on booze and women. And the rest? Oh, I suppose I just blew it.’
He now lives in a rented suburban home in Vegas, after being declared bankrupt in 2014.
Mr Edwards found that his birth mother Rosemary, who died in 1985, was from County Clare. She had a dalliance with Mr Sheridan while working in a ‘fancy hotel’ close to where the self-confessed ‘wildman’ spent a summer driving cattle in Bunratty, near Shannon.
Simon was born in Newham east London and was handed to a Catholic charity before being adopted by British Aerospace scientist Mike Edwards and his wife Sue, a healthcare worker.
Describing the moment he learned he had a son minutes after returning home from his wife Annie’s funeral, Mr Sheridan said: ‘Holy sufferin’ cats. I went from the lowest of the low to the highest of the high in just one hour’.
Mr Edwards, a 40-year-old father-of-two, contacted Bob ‘The Colonel’ Sheridan just as the celebrated boxing commentator laid his wife of 26 years to rest. The couple had no children of their own.
The Boston-born journalist has covered 10,000 fights for TV and radio including the Rumble in the Jungle between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in 1974 and was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 2004. Simon has now adopted the nickname ‘Colonel Jnr’ and will meet his birth father for the first time in Las Vegas in June.
Describing the moment he found out he had a secret son after his wife’s funeral, Mr Sheridan said: ‘About 30 people came back to my house where I had a pint of Guinness. Then I got a call from people high up in the Government and they told me without question that I have a 41-year-old son named Simon Edwards.
‘We have talked on the phone every day. It is an inspiration in life for me. They took away my wife and the same day they gave me my long-lost son. I had no idea this boy existed. I was lost for words when I was told, I have spent every day on the phone with Colonel Jnr. It has given me a new lease of life and I’m looking forward to the reunion with junior in Las Vegas later this year.’
Simon Edwards, who was adopted as a child, found out the truth about his birth parents after tracking down extended family in Galway, Ireland and was amazed to learn his father is America’s most famous boxing commentator
Sheridan, pictured with Mike Tyson, has covered more than 10,000 fights including 100 heavyweight title bouts and was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 2004
The resemblance between son (left) and birth father (right), as young men, is uncanny. They will meet for the first time this summer
Simon’s Irish birth mother Rosemary died in 1985 – five years after he was born. She had a dalliance with the boxing commentator in 1980 while working in a hotel. She was sent to London to have the baby and he was adopted via a Catholic charity
The Colonel lives in this suburban home in Vegas, having been declared bankrupt and admitting he spent his cash on ‘booze and women’
Simon was adopted as a baby and found his long-lost father is legendary US boxing commentator ‘The Colonel’ Bob Sheridan
‘The agency that called me we have done a background investigation and this is a terrific kid who is a practicing Catholic and is also a star athlete. He has all his own money and he doesn’t need you for money, he just wants to meet his father. I am flying him to Las Vegas on my birthday in June.
‘I bought his ticket to travel first class from London to Las Vegas on the 21st of June. Everyone in my family is excited. On the 22nd of June is my birthday. We will have my party and Simon’s coming home party’.
Bob Sheridan added that when Simon first contacted him his reaction so soon after his wife’s death was: ‘I couldn’t believe it – I had a 41-year-old son I can take him out and travel the world and have a few pints with him and he’s coming over to Vegas for my birthday in June and we’ll go and see the rest of the family in Boston. We’ve been talking on the phone every day and I’m thinking this kid is more like me than I am. Here’s a baby boy that I can go and get hammered with’.
How world’s top boxing commentator Bob Sheridan has called 10,000 fights for TV over 45 years but blew his millions on ‘booze and women’
Bob Sheridan is famous for his distinctive voice and has called ringside action for over 10,000 fights.
This includes nearly 1,000 world title bouts and 100 heavyweight title fights, many invoiving his friend Muhammad Ali, including the famous as ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’ with George Foreman in 1974.
He also called most of Mike Tyson’s fights, including when he was knocked out by Buster Douglas and bit Evander Holyfield’s ear. He was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 2004.
He is known as the Colonel because of his rank in the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts.
Bob hoped he would be a professional baseball player – but when this plan failed he went into boxing commentary, a career that has lasted 45 years and taken him all over the globe.
He’s had at least four heart attacks, including during 1997 ‘bite fight’ between Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson where he told the ambulance to wait outside until the fight was over.
Describing how he’s lost all his money he said: ‘I spent a hundred dollars a day more than I made. I spent it on booze and women. And the rest? Oh, I suppose I just blew it.’
Today he still calls boxing fights for TV, and also commentates on MMA.
The commentator, known for his booming baritone that has made him one of sports most famous voices, has covered more than 10,000 fights including 100 heavyweight title bouts.
His most famous fights include most of Muhammad Ali’s title fights, including the Rumble in the Jungle against George Foreman and the Thrilla in Manila when he fought Joe Frazier.
Simon was put up for adoption in east London via a Catholic agency and adopted by British Aerospace scientist Mike Edwards and his wife Sue, a healthcare worker, took him in and he still considers them to be his ‘real parents’.
Simon, a cost controller who also works part-time as a steward for Hitchin Town FC in Hertfordshire, has been blown away by what’s happened.
He told MailOnline: ‘It is an amazing story. Growing up I always look at my adoptive parents in Hitchin as my mum and dad and hadn’t really looked into my background.
‘Then a couple of years ago, after having two daughters myself, I started thinking I need to try and discover my past. Through a Galway genealogist, I tracked down my mum’s side of the family.
‘They were lovely, all in Galway, and they accepted me as part of the family. We had a great week at the Galway races. My mum had nine sisters and one brother, so I had a lot of cousins and uncles and aunts.
‘Unfortunately she passed away when I was five years old. I saw my birth certificate and saw her name and also Bob Sheridan. I love football and cricket but the name didn’t stand out as I’ve not even been to America.
‘Then I got an email from my aunt at the end of last year saying that your birth father’s wife Annie has passed away – it’s a small place and everyone knows everyone somehow.
‘So I emailed Dad and said ‘sorry for your loss’ – I wasn’t even expecting a reply. Then he emailed me back, said what’s your number, gave us a call and the rest is history.’
In a quirk of fate, Simon’s contacted Bob about their connection on the day his laid his wife Annie to rest.
He said: ‘I just emailed him to say I was sorry for his loss. From there, he asked for my number and we have been speaking on the phone every day.
‘To other people it must seem amazing that this famous person is my dad, but for me it’s amazing to just know who my dad is and be in touch with him.
‘I’d probably still be as blown-away if he was a plumber from down the road.’
Bob Sheridan interviews Muhammad Ali in 1974. He says he knew straight away that Simon was his son when they spoke on the phone
The 40-year-old from Hitchin (left) contacted Bob Sheridan (pictured left), who covered the Rumble in the Jungle between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in 1974, via an agency just as the commentator laid his wife to rest
Simon was put up for adoption in east London via a Catholic agency and adopted by British Aerospace scientist Mike Edwards and his wife Sue, a healthcare worker, took him in and he still considers them to be his ‘real parents’
Simon (pictured in the background) has two children with his partner, who is from the Philippines
He told his local newspaper the Hitchin Comet: ‘My adopted parents are from Irish and Liverpool backgrounds, and I grew up in Hitchin. I hadn’t really looked at getting in touch with my birth parents.
Timeline: How British cost-controller was reunited with eminent boxing commentator birth father
Simon Edwards’ hotel worker mother Rosemary has a dalliance with Bob Sheridan who was holidaying in County Clare.
Rosemary is sent to London to have the baby, which is handed to a Catholic charity and adopted by British Aerospace scientist Mike Edwards and his wife Sue, a healthcare worker, from Hitchin
Simon’s birth mother Rosemary dies
Simon uses a Galway genealogist and discovers his mother’s identity, and sees Bob’s name on the birth certificate.
December 17, 2020
Bob Sheridan’s wife Annie is laid to rest in Las Vegas. On the same day he learns that he has a son in Britain, describing it as the best and worst day of his life
‘My birth mum passed away in 1985, she had nine sisters and one brother – huge family out there – and they filled me in. It was a lovely trip, they really accepted me as part of the family.’
He is now heading to the United States to meet his birth father.
‘All of a sudden all these superstars who are friends of his want to meet me,’ he said.
‘I went to Irish professional boxer Steve Collins’ house, and it turns out he knew my mum as well, and have had other big names get in touch.
‘Bob’s sent me some tickets to go out to Vegas for his birthday in June. From there, I’ll be flying all over America.
‘It’s all very exciting – but I’m trying to take it all in my stride. My mum and dad here are over the moon – they’ve always said if I wanted to find them they would be behind me.’
As The Colonel, given the nickname due to his rank in the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, didn’t have any children with his wife Annie.
Sheridan now says he is looking forward to meeting his new grandchildren, Keira, nine, and Scarlette, four.
Sheridan is famous for his distinctive voice and has called ringside action for over 10,000 fights.
This includes nearly 1,000 world title bouts and 100 heavyweight title fights, such as ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’ in 1974.
He is known as the Colonel because of his rank in the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts.
Simon, who also stewards at Lord’s so he can be part of the cricket, has a day job as a senior credit controller.