They had been apart for more than 40 years, but a chance glance at an old photograph has led to brothers finally being reunited.

Childhood memories sparked a conversation about the kind of things Billy McDonald and his siblings got up to in 1950s Glasgow.

He came across a Herald and Times photograph of the Florence Street massacre in the Gorbals from 1956 and spotted his brother Michael. One particular evening led to what was known as the massacre of Florence Street when children armed with wooden poles and pick axes drove the vermin out of street. The day-long killing spree in July 1956 saw the boys chase and kill 120 rats.

And that moment in time was caught by a Herald and Times photographer who took an image of the youngsters just after their famous victory.

However Mr McDonald and his brother Michael lost touch and the pair had not seen one another for around 40 years, but just days after an appeal ran in someone came forward to say they knew where Michael was. And we are delighted to reveal that they have been put in touch with one another and have finally met.

Read more: Memories of Florence Street Massacre in the Gorbals: Can you help reunite family?

Mr McDonald, now 82, had been looking through nostalgia site Lost Glasgow’s facebook page and was telling his daughter-in-law Lesley Hatrick what he and his eight siblings used to get up to when a photo jumped out at him. It was a time he looked back on with fond memories growing up with his eight siblings.

He had been reminiscing about the rat run adventures when they found the image which showed Mr McDonald’s younger brother Michael. Also in the picture are Gorbals boys John Kinnaird, William McMann, and Dickie Dawson.

Mr McDonald lived in Florence Street, with eight brothers and sisters and their parents. The picture brought back but it also stirred a desire to find his family.

And after more than 40 years apart, he asked for help to find his brother.

All it took was for one person to come forward and thankfully for the McDonald's they did. Mr McDonald’s daughter-in-law Lesley was contacted by a lady in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, who thought she knew a Michael McDonald and that it could be who they were looking for.

A message was passed to him and he and his brother Billy were finally reunited. Adhering to social distancing guidelines, the pair met up for the first time in decades.

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Michael, who is now 78 said: “I couldn't believe I was going to meet my brother after all these years. It was such a surreal feeling. We talked for hours as we have a lot of catching up to do after all this time, but we will always stay in touch now. I have my big brother back in my life.”

The McDonalds, whose parents were Catherine and James, all went to St Luke’s Primary School.

The oldest to the youngest were James, Sadie, Frank, Benny, who died, John, William, Denis, Michael and Catherine.

Billy McDonald lived in Pollok and then Nitshill for nearly 38 years before moving to Paisley.

Their parents are buried at St Conval’s Cemetery in Barrhead, East Renfrewshire. He would lay flowers on their grave and could tell someone had been as fresh flowers had been laid.

“I used to leave a note to ask if they were family and to get in touch, but I didn’t hear anything,” he added.

Mr McDonald was over the moon when he heard Michael had been found.

He said: “I always wondered what family would be still alive after all these years thinking there might be no one, but I so surprised to find Michael after just looking at a picture on my daughter-in-law's phone. It was so great to meet up after all these years. Needless to say we won't be losing touch again.”

For Lesley Hatrick starting the appeal through Lost Glasgow and Herald and Times was something she had no idea where it would lead.

She is just glad the brothers are back together.

Ms Hatrick said: “It really is amazing and so lovely that they have found one another after all these years.”