“When I was six I was living with my grandparents and he promised he’d come to see me and take me for a pub lunch – but he never turned up.
“I sat at the window all day waiting. I never spoke to him after that until I was an adult. My mum tried to get in touch with him, but nothing.”
He went on to explain that his family discovered Steve had fled to Australia and started a new life on the other side of the world. He now lives in Melbourne and runs his own barbershop.
Tony, 33, went on to explain that his dad made a somewhat feeble attempt to rebuild their relationship when he came back to the UK after his testicular cancer diagnosis.
“He told me I should get myself checked,” he said.
“I was angry at him for most of my life and didn’t want to see him at first, but he promised he really wanted to build a relationship with me. And then nothing.”
According to Tony, Steve failed to keep in contact when he moved back to Australia.
“I really do think that things would have been different in my life if I had a male role model and a dad. He’s never taught me anything.
“The only thing that I’ve learnt from him never being around is to do the opposite of that and never leave my children. That’s why I’m now a single full-time dad,” he said.
Earlier this week, Steve broke down to his MAFS wife, Mishel about his son, saying: “I haven’t seen him for so long,” and spoke about a planned trip to Australia that didn’t go ahead.
“I love my son ‘Shel,” he said.
“He was due to come over here and I hadn’t said anything to anyone or told anyone, I was super excited about it. I haven’t seen him for so long.”