Bob ‘The Colonel’ Sheridan lost his wife in the morning and gained a son in the afternoon (Image: John Chapple / SplashNews.com)

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A boxing icon worth £200million has described how he found out he had a long-lost son just half an hour after burying his wife.

Bob 'The Colonel' Sheridan, 77, was without an heir to his fortune before he discovered he had a biological son from a love affair in the 1980s.

In an exclusive interview with The Mirror, Bob said his son Simon Edwards, from Hitchin, Hertfordshire, gave him a reason to continue living after the death of his beloved wife Annie.

He found out Simon, 41, whose mum gave him up for adoption, was his biological son just half an hour after his wife's funeral on January 26.

The boxing commentator, who claims to be worth £200million, said: "After the funeral I was distraught. I got home and had a pint of Guinness and then got a phone call from a government agency.

Brit Simon Edwards is now the sole heir to Bob's £200million fortune
(Image: south bedsnews agency_sbna_fairleys)

"They said 'Colonel, I've got some good news for you'. They told me I had a son.

"I lost my wife in the morning and gained a son in the afternoon.

"I thought it was the end of the world to lose a companion like my wife Annie. I had nothing to live for.

"Then all of a sudden I found out I had a son… now I live for the future.”

Bob, who has no other children, is 'elated' to finally have someone who will inherit his riches and carry on his legacy.

Bob said his son is a 'handsome devil' who 'looks like his daddy'
(Image: John Chapple / SplashNews.com)

He added: "I can't blame God for taking the love of my life away because on the same day he gave me my new love, my son."

The boxing legend, who has called 10,000 fights and was friends with Muhammad Ali, has already written Simon into his will and they currently speak almost every day over the phone.

Bob today revealed they are planning to meet for the first time in London later this year.

He plans to bring former heavyweight champs Mike Tyson and Larry Holmes along for the reunion.

'The Colonel' has promised to meet his son face-to-face in London later this year
(Image: John Chapple / SplashNews.com)

Describing how he met Simon's mum, Bob said he had a 'love affair' with Irish hotel manager Rosemary Ruane while running a cattle operation in Ireland.

He left Ireland without knowing Rosemary was pregnant and that Simon was adopted.

He said: "She was the manageress at the Shannon Shamrock Hotel and I met her there when I was single.

"She gave me a free room there whenever I wanted it because I spent so much at the bar. We talked a lot and were great friends and eventually had a love affair.

The boxing icon was friends with Muhammad Ali and called his 1974 'Rumble in the Jungle' bout
(Image: xxxxxxxxxxx)

"That must have been when Simon was conceived. She hadn't told me she was pregnant. She couldn't have an abortion as she was Catholic so she went to England and had Simon."

Rosemary, who died when Simon was just five years old, gave her son up to a Catholic adoption agency.

Dad-of-two Simon told The Mirror that he cannot wait to meet his biological dad.

He added: "I don't care about the money or showbiz lifestyle.

Simon's mum Rosemary Ruane passed away when he was five-years-old
(Image: xxxxxxxxxxx)

"I didn't meet my birth mum and I've not met my birth dad yet. I don't really want to think about the cash because once I inherit it that means I've lost my dad.

"People are talking about the money like my dad is already dead, it's a bit sickening."

The incredible tale of how Simon discovered ‘The Colonel’ was his father made headlines around the world in March.

Although Simon – who has two girls, Keira, nine, Scarlette, five – does not like to think about inheriting his dad's millions, he has a few ideas on how to spend the money, including on a plan to open a strip club in Hitchin.

Bob said he looked identical to Simon when he was younger

He said: "I'm going to set two daughters up nicely and I'll also sort out some friends and family.

"Hitchin is my hometown so I'll be pumping money into the football team – where I'm a steward – and the cricket club.

"I thought I'd love to have a sports bar with the football on and a horse racing bar.

"I also thought I'd open a gentleman's club so people can go watch the football and horse racing during the day and then go for a lap dance."

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Bob is planning to visit London later this year to meet Simon, although the pair are already well acquainted thanks to video and telephone calls during the pandemic.

Remarking on their similarities, Bob said: "He's a handsome devil, he looks like his daddy.

"He's exactly like me. His appearance is almost exactly what I used to look like. His eyes, nose, face and smile – it's all just like mine."