Elderly Man Stunned When He Returns to Store to Find Out Stranger Paid for Groceries


There are few things are worrisome as a declined credit card that you were not expecting.

You know you paid your credit card bill, and all your banking statements were in order last time you checked, and yet the card still got denied!

Then your mind starts racing and the panic starts to set in. How did this happen? Do you have another card to pay for your groceries? What do I tell the cashier?

This is exactly what happened to a couple at an Aldi in Rochdale, a town in Greater Manchester, England.

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Jean and Alan Young had just reached the front of a “mile-long” line at the grocery store and Alan handed his card to the cashier.

After the cashier swiped the card, the Youngs were informed that the card had been declined.

Without another card to use to pay for the groceries, the elderly couple asked the cashier to watch their bags while they run home to see what the issue with the card was.

Sadly, Alan’s pension was not going to come in until the next day so he had to go back to the store and tell them that he couldn’t pay for his groceries. He could not have predicted what would happen next.

“When I went back to Aldi to explain to them that I didn’t have enough money to pay for my shopping and could they keep it until tomorrow when my money goes in, she said no, and that a lady in the queue has paid for your shopping,” he said.


Alan was shocked; someone paid the 45 euros, or about $52, for his groceries. “I just stood there like a gormless idiot and thought she must be joking,” he told the Manchester Evening News.

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But it was no joke, a kind stranger had paid for his groceries. “You read about all the evil going on and this just feels unreal — it’s like floating on air,” Alan said.

“I asked if the lady had left her name or a telephone number, or an address, she said no.” Now Alan and Jean are searching for the woman so that they can properly thank her.

“I’d like to thank that lady for what she has done for me because I’ve had such a terrible year and I just can’t believe that somebody was kind enough to do that for me,” Alan said.

Jean added, “She made our day. It was the perfect day. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith