Britain’s biggest Gary Barlow fan has finally met her idol – after tweeting him a staggering 5,000 times.
Mum-of-two Sue Smith was so desperate to meet the former Take That singer that she blitzed him with hundreds of messages on social media.
The childminder first tweeted the 48-year-old song writer to come to her 50th birthday party in 2014.
Gary declined her invitation but met her backstage at London’s O2 arena after one his shows instead.
Sue has followed the Take That superstar across the world and has so far met him 11 times- but said her husband Graham is supportive and even went to a concert with her.
She even has a wall dedicated to Gary at the home she shares with Graham, and a tattoo of his signature on her wrist.
Sue, 54, explained: “I’ve got a ‘Gary wall’ at home with all my pictures of Gary and other fans I’ve met.
“My 19-year-old daughter Lara is also a fan so I think she follows in my footsteps!
“I married my husband in 1989 and that was the year that Take That formed and from that moment I loved Gary from there. He knew from the start I loved him!
“My husband does drive me to places and he even went to a concert so he is quite involved!”
Sue from Ely, Cambridgeshire, has stacks of Take That memorabilia including custom Gary high heels and piles of T-shirts and mugs.
And so far she has received over 25 messages from Gary and said he now knows her on a first-name basis.
Sue first launched a Twitter campaign to meet the Take That star back in 2014 where she began strategically messaging him.
Her main goal was to get Gary to attend her 50th birthday party and after tweeting him almost 5,000 times he finally got in touch.
Sue was stunned when he privately messaged her and said: ‘Sue, you’re a one off! Love it! See u soon xxx’.
And although Gary couldn’t make it to Sue’s big bash, her efforts definitely paid off after the superstar invited her backstage at one of his shows.
Sue said: “When he picked up the tweets, he invited me back stage for his show on June 12.
“He said he couldn’t come to my party but he promised me that he would meet me. I received 13 messages off him before we even met!
“He asked if I would like to meet him and I said: ‘Gary I have stalked you for 13 months, you know the answer!’
“Gary walked through the double doors in his blue trousers and a blue shirt and he said:
‘You’re completely nuts, come here’ and he gave me a huge hug.”
And even when Sue went through a knee operation Gary made sure she was okay and even offered her a good spot at his show.
She said: “He said if I needed a wheelchair he would get me a great spot but it turns out I was okay to go and he saw me from the stage and was so surprised to see me!
“He actually messaged me before and said: ‘Sue, I’m worried about you. How have you been?’ Gary is such a lovely genuine person.”
On one occasion, Sue found out that Gary was staying at a hotel in Norfolk and waited until he came out to meet him.
“We found out where he was staying so I went down there from 7am until 2pm in the afternoon and I was the only fan there.
“Gary came down with his security and said: ‘If I had known it was you, I would have come down sooner!’
“I had a sharpie with me and he signed my wrist so that very same day I went to the tattoo shop and got it tattooed on me!
“We’re very respectful of him and in return he’s respectful of us and gives us some of his time. He’s exactly how you see him on the tele, he’s just a lovely guy.
“He’s been through hard times himself and he can go a bit quiet but he never lets it get the better of him.
“When Take That came back and when he started doing some solo stuff I loved him even more and it’s just grown from there!
“I seem like a very confident, outgoing person but if something knocks me back it can knock my confidence and I think Gary is similar.
“But the fact is we get through it and Gary is really inspiring for me.”
Sue has made lots of friends over the years of trying to meet Gary when she joined the GB Army fan group ‘Thatters’.
She added: “I’m not more worthy than any other fan, we’re just like a huge family so it’s really lovely.”