Who is Dominic Matteo?
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Long Lost Family on ITV1: Who is Dominic Matteo and who did he play football for?

The former footballer searches for his his missing mum in new series

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Long Lost Family returns to ITV1 and the first episode attempts to reunite Dominic Matteo with the mum who gave him up for adoption – but who is he and what happened to him?

Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell return to tell incredible stories of people desperate to find missing family…

Here’s everything you need to know about Dominic Matteo and the new series of Long Lost Family on ITV1.

Who is Dominic Matteo?
Long Lost Family returns with hosts Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell (Credit: ITV)

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Who is Dominic Matteo?

Dominic Matteo is a former professional footballer.

The Scottish sportsman played as a defender and midfielder from 1992 to 2009.

He made a total of 366 league and cup appearances, of which 276 were in the Premier League.

He was capped six times by Scotland after originally representing England at under-21 and ‘B’ team level.

During his 17-year career, Dominic played for Liverpool, Sunderland, Leeds United, Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City.

He famously scored a goal in the Champions League against A.C. Milan.

He retired in 2009 at the age of 35 as a result of injuries.

After retiring, Dominic struggled with gambling addictions and was declared bankrupt in 2015.

In his autobiography, he admitted to having run up over £1,000,000 in gambling debts.

He and his wife Jess appear on Long Lost Family on ITV1.

Long Lost Family Dominic Matteo brain tumour

In November 2019, Scottish defender Dominic underwent surgery on a brain tumour.

Surgeons saved his life during seven-hour surgery to remove a rare, cancerous brain tumour – a ependymoma brain tumour.

Luckily, he was declared fully recovered in April the following year.

During Long Lost Family on Monday July 05 2021, he says: “I was fighting for my life.

“I just got to a place where I was thinking about meeting my birth mother.

“When you’re close to your life being over, it just becomes more important.

“I’m not sure I would have had this conversation before my illness.”

Who is Dominic Matteo?
Dominic Matteo with his wife Jess (left) and his found birth mother Margaret (right) on their reunion day (Credit: ITV1)

Read more: Long Lost Family: How can I apply?

How old is Dominic Matteo?

Dominic Matteo was born on April 28 1974 in Dumfries, Scotland.

He is currently 47 years old.

Long Lost Family Dominic Matteo: What happened to Dominic and his mum?

Former Scotland footballer Dominic Matteo started to search for his missing mum after suffering a life-threatening brain tumour.

His mum left him as a three-month-old baby in a pram on the street.

His mum then watched the child she gave up for adoption become a famous footballer and appear on TV.

Dominic’s parents told him he was adopted when he was a child.

He didn’t quite believe it at first.

He recalls: “It was a very slow process for me to take it in. And I was maybe a little bit in denial.”

Until now, Dominic has never spoken about his adoption.

He says: “I’ve kept it quiet because it’s very, very personal to me.”

Dominic’s birth mother Margaret is found living in Scotland.

When Nicky meets her, she reveals she has actually seen Dominic playing football for Scotland on TV and had no idea he was her son.

She says: “Do you know, when I said goodbye to him, his wee finger in my hand, I thought ‘you’re gonna do well’, but this is doing very well!”

Margaret tells Nicky how happy she is to have been found.

She says: “After all this time, 46 years, I’m quite emotional about it.

“I’ve never stopped thinking about him… he’s a part of me, who I am.”

Who is Dominic Matteo?
Dominic as a baby sat on his adoptive mother’s knee, with his older brother and adoptive father (Credit: ITV1)

Long Lost Family series 11, episode one

The multi award-winning series returns with more extraordinary and moving stories of people desperate to find missing family.

With help from a team of trained intermediaries, DNA experts and investigators, Nicky Campbell and Davina McCall find people that previously couldn’t be traced and answer questions that have haunted entire lives.

Episode one features two stories of children searching for their birth mothers after life-changing events.

Former professional footballer Dominic Matteo searches for his real mum after surviving a rare, cancerous brain tumour.

Meanwhile, Lisa Phillips has decided the time is right to search for her birth mother.

She’s had unanswered questions ever since she was told she was adopted at the age of seven.

But, it was on her wedding day in 1992 that it really hit home that there was one person absent.

Long Lost Family returns to ITV1 on Monday July 05 2021 at 9pm.

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