Australian widower looking for ‘fishing mate’ reels in thousands of applicants – FOX31 Denver

SYDNEY — A 75-year-old man in Australia who posted a personal ad online was stunned by the number of responses he got.

Ray Johnstone posted an ad on Gumtree looking for a “fishing mate” after his friend died. He described himself as a “widowed pensioner” and included a selfie.

Johnstone listed himself as “free” and his condition as “used.” He encouraged anyone interested to contact him to arrange a meeting to “see if we could get along with each other.”

The ad hooked people across the country and around the world, and people shared it on social media with the hashtag #illfishwithray.

A man who runs the Facebook group All Things Fishing Sydney started a GoFundMe page for Johnstone.

“I have started this fund raiser to get Ray flown over to Sydney, Australia to go fishing with mates for the weekend,” Joe Forza wrote. “A few of the boys already have shown interest to take Ray out for the day.”

Another man from Brisbane plans to fly Johnstone to Queensland for a deep-sea fishing adventure, the Advertiser reported.

Johnstone told the newspaper he only expected “about three or four replies” to the ad he posted on Jan. 19. It has been viewed more than 96,000 times.

According to radio station Triple M Brisbane, more than 55,000 people applied to be Johnstone’s new fishing buddy.

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