SUPERSTAR singer, songwriter Gary Barlow was just 15 when Norma Metcalfe earmarked him as something special.
Little did the Rainhill woman imagine that 28 years later she would be right up alongside him singing on stage before 12,000 fans.
Mother-of-two Norma, who lives in Marley Close, is just crazy about Gary and a member of his dedicated GB Army.
She admits her husband, Paul, “has had a lot to put up with in competition”.
Last week her wildest dream came true when Gary picked her out of the crowd to go on stage and sing with him during a concert at the Liverpool Echo Arena.
“There was a connection, we were like old friends,” said Norma, after joining Gary at the piano.
“I was stunned when he picked me out of the audience to go on stage with him and Gary’s security guy escorted me up there. He gave me a hug, sat down and played the piano. I sat opposite him and we sang A Million Love Songs.
“Gary changed the words and sang Norma, here I am.”
When they danced Norma admits she was swept off her feet and almost fainted when Gary gave her a kiss at the end.
“I couldn’t sleep that night,” said Norma, whose 26-year-old daughter Amanda is a fan of Gary in Take That and the early days. Younger daughter Mia, 13, is very much a modern Gary follower.
But Norma’s admiration of the singer stretches back to 1986.
“He’s always been my favourite since he did a show on Pebble Mill when he was 15. He had the voice and had written a song for Christmas. My husband Paul is a fan too – it’s been instilled into him.”
Now the woman who has travelled extensively to be at his gigs, including to a Take That performance in Vienna, refused to reveal her or her husband’s ages but says they are “just a bit” older than the idol.
“When he lived at Delamere Manor I used to send him cards and we would have a family meal at the Forest View pub then go for a little walk past his place hoping to maybe see him.
“To appear with him on stage with the band directed by Mike Stevens was just a buzz. They were so happy,” said Norma.