You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Father reveals the 15-point plan left by his late wife that has helped him raise their eight children

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 6/17/2018 George Martin
a group of people posing for a photo: Ian Milthorpe (front centre), 56 with his eight children Ryan (top right), 32, Damon (top middle), 29, Rhys(top left), 27, Connor (far left), 19, Jake (front left) and Jade (front right), both 15, Cory (centre left), 12 and Ella (centre right), 11 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Ian Milthorpe (front centre), 56 with his eight children Ryan (top right), 32, Damon (top middle), 29, Rhys(top left), 27, Connor (far left), 19, Jake (front left) and Jade (front right), both 15, Cory (centre left), 12 and Ella (centre right), 11

A single-dad raising eight children has revealed the secret to his success is a 15-point plan written by his wife before she died.

Ian Millthorpe, 56, was left struggling to cope after his wife Angie died in 2010 following a long battle with cancer.

But the former miner says he was able to come to terms with the burden of raising his enormous family after Angie compiled a list of parenting essentials for him just days before she died at the age of 48. 

'I can never replace Angie,' Ian said, 'I don't want to – but I'm determined to do everything that I can to make her proud of our family. Luckily she has made it easier for me.'

a group of people standing in a yard: Ian said the 15-point plan has helped him cope with raising his eight children in the wake of his wife's death © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Ian said the 15-point plan has helped him cope with raising his eight children in the wake of his wife's death

Among the 15-point plan are rules like 'Only one hour a day on the computer,' and, 'don't let them bite nails' - but Ian says the guidelines have made it infinitely easier to raise his children. 

 'I'm very fortunate. I have a bunch of hard-working, caring kids' he added.

'I'm really proud. My children talk about Angie every day, what their Mam used to do, what she used to say.'

a person standing in front of a building: Ian and Angie Millthorpe dressed up on their wedding day in 1985 in Grimethorpe, Yorkshire © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Ian and Angie Millthorpe dressed up on their wedding day in 1985 in Grimethorpe, Yorkshire Ian and Angie married in 1985 after falling in love at 14 when they met in the park in Grimethorpe, South Yorks in the U.K.

The couple had three sons Ryan, 32, Damon, 29, and Reece, 27 before Angie developed cancer for the first time aged just 29.

a woman sitting on a couch: Angie Millthorpe with newborn twins Jade and Jake who are now 15 and studying in secondary school © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Angie Millthorpe with newborn twins Jade and Jake who are now 15 and studying in secondary school

After getting the all clear five years later, they had five more kids – Connor, 19, twins Jake and Jade, 15, Corey, 12, and Ella, 10.

But in 2008, non-smoker Angie, was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer - prompting her to write the list.

The plan written by wife Angie (Image: NB Press) © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited The plan written by wife Angie (Image: NB Press) Angie's 15-point plan

After Angie's death, Ian noted daughter Ella's first nativity play as a particularly difficult moment.   

He added: 'As I sat down a ­teacher said 'Mr Millthorpe, you are in for a real treat'. Then Ella sang a solo number. I could see the parents turning to look at me. I was almost in tears and I kept looking up wishing Angie could see her too.'

a small child sitting on a leather couch: Ian said he now uses the plan to look after his five grandchildren (left to right) Isaak, 7, Warren, 11, Willow, 1, Cohen, 17 weeks and Jaxon, 3 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Ian said he now uses the plan to look after his five grandchildren (left to right) Isaak, 7, Warren, 11, Willow, 1, Cohen, 17 weeks and Jaxon, 3 According to Ian, the list has worked so well that the rules are being passed on to  his grandkids – Ryan's son Issak, seven, Damon's two sons Warren, 11, and Cohen, 17 weeks, and Reece's son Jaxon, three, and daughter Willow, one.

'I miss Angie every day but I really did feel her absence during the birth of our grandchildren. She'd have loved hugging them, just as I do,' Ian said. 

But the hands-on dad has his own health battles. Having survived a brain hemorrhage in 2004, Ian has chronic lung disease and has trouble breathing after over 20 years as a miner. 

He said: 'The hardest thing I've had to deal with is my health. I just want to do right by Angie and my kids. I don't want to become a burden.'

a group of people in the water: The family on holiday in Devon in 2002 before Angie was diagnosed with cancer for the first time © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The family on holiday in Devon in 2002 before Angie was diagnosed with cancer for the first time On Fathers Day, Ian and the family walked along the Yorkshire coast - following rule number seven on Angie's list

He said: 'We're going to do our annual walk across Thornwick Bay at Flamborough Head, where we'll pay a visit to Angie's bench, lay flowers and share memories.

'We used to lay in that spot as teenagers looking over the bay, so it's a perfect way to keep her involved. When we used to do the walk with Angie, she'd cook a medium rare steak back at home, with chips, onion rings, mushrooms and a sliced tomato.

'This year I'll order that from a pub, where I'll unwrap presents from the kids. My older sons get me Joop or Hugo Boss aftershave as a nod to Angie, as she'd always got me that from them.'

RELATED: Proud Parents: Celebrities With Large Families [Provided by StarsInsider]

AdChoices

More From Daily Mail

AdChoices

FIND SALONS NEAR ME

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon