WIDOW Vera Stratford is used to getting groceries delivered straight to her door - but nothing prepared her for what arrived on her 80th birthday.

For the man holding the basket turned out to be her son, Mark, 49, who lives in Canada.

Mrs Stratford usually depends on her son to buy her groceries over the Internet from his home in Toronto.

She has suffered from multiple sclerosis for 45 years, has bad arthritis and broke her leg in 2002, leaving her unable to visit the supermarket.

Normally, her weekly list goes via phone to Canada, then Mr Stratford orders it from Asda via computer before the goods are delivered ten miles to her house in Wheldrake from the Monks Cross store, York.

But when Asda bosses heard about the helpful son, they flew him across the Atlantic so he could deliver the order personally as an 80th birthday present.

Mrs Stratford wept when she saw her son dressed as an Asda delivery man.

"I didn't realise it was Mark until he took his cap off," she said.

Mr Stratford left for Canada in 1973 to work as a store manager. He promised his mother he would only be out of the country for two years, but makes frequent trips home.

"It was great to see her face," he said.

A spokesman for Asda said: "Vera is an inspiration to us all. We were delighted to be part of her special day."