A lonely Hampshire pensioner is yet to find a friend to share Christmas with - despite his desperate attempts to make new pals.

As previously reported in The Gazette, Tony Williams has been left bereft after losing his beloved wife Jo in May. 

The couple, who were unable to have children, only moved to Alton last year to be closer to Jo's sister Beryl. 

Feeling lonely without any friends or immediate family nearby, Tony put up a poster in the window of his home in Medstead, Alton, in September in a last-ditch attempt to make friends. 

News of his plight went viral, with kind-hearted strangers all over the world reaching out to contact him.

But sadly, Tony said his appeal didn't result in any genuine local friends - leaving him still desperately lonely. 

Speaking exclusively to The Gazette three months on from his appeal, the retired physicist said he can go days without speaking to anyone, “the unremitting silence 24-hours-a-day unbearable torture”.

He said: “I can see the prospects looming of me spending Christmas alone for the first time in my life and I’m thinking I’d rather cut my throat.

"And then I thought I don’t need to do that there is probably someone else in my situation who might enjoy my company.”

Basingstoke Gazette: Tony lost his wife Jo in May (SWNS) Tony lost his wife Jo in May (SWNS)

Now in a bid to find a friend to spend the festive period with he has created cards advertising a place at his Christmas table.

He is hoping someone will take him up on his offer to join him on Christmas Day for lunch at his. 

Tony has been putting up cards around his village for the last fortnight but unfortunately he is yet to receive a response.

“I can only have one-person round mine for Christmas because my first priority is safety from the virus," he said. 

Tony said his perfect companion would be someone like him, who does not have anyone to spend Christmas with.

“If I find someone to spend Christmas with then we would need to be quite comfortable in each other’s company which would mean me talking to them and meeting them before Christmas.

“The person has got to be outgoing, easy to talk to, optimistic and loves a joke.”

Basingstoke Gazette: (Image: SWNS)(Image: SWNS)

Tony Williams, 75, has been suffering from loneliness since his beloved wife Jo, also 75, passed away in May.

Tony met Jo, a legal secretary, in a bar more than 35 years ago, and their marriage was "perfect harmony".

The couple were unable to have children and only recently moved to Alton before Jo tragically passed away just nine days after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Tony explained that the couple moved to be closer to Jo’s sister: “I always thought the husband dies before the wife and that if we moved she would always be near her sister but fate decreed otherwise and stole her away from me and so I’ve got nobody at all.”

After a poster campaign went viral in September, he had people from all over the world messaging him but unfortunately, he didn’t find any local friends.

Cursed by loneliness he often goes for walks around the local village hoping to bump into someone who he could spark up a friendship with.

Basingstoke Gazette: (Image: SWNS)(Image: SWNS)

Chatty Tony has a wide variety of interests including music, literature, nature, sports and geology which until recently he was studying to gain an A-level in.

He hopes to share his passion for food this Christmas: “I love cooking but the thing is I don’t want to cook for just myself on Christmas it’s awful I can’t bear the thought of putting in all the hard work just for me.”

One of his specialities is smoked duck breast thinly sliced with pieces of orange.

The pensioner also used to run his own wine appreciation society and would love to share a bottle, or some champagne, with someone over the festive period.

  • Can YOU help us find Tony a friend for Christmas? If you or someone you know lives local and can help Tony please email megan.hinton@newsquest.co.uk.