What a pair: Sheffield couple who met over poker table celebrate diamond wedding anniversary

Peter and Muriel today and on their wedding day
Peter and Muriel today and on their wedding day
Have your say

Sweethearts from Sheffield who met across the poker table proved they are lucky in love, if not cards, as they celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.

Peter and Muriel Elsworth, of Wincobank, first locked eyes at a mutual friend's house in Thrybergh, Rotherham, where neighbours gathered regularly for card games and to watch what was then the only television set in the village.

It didn't take Peter long to show his hand, gallantly helping her over the fence before asking her out to the cinema.

Within a few months he had proposed and nine months after meeting they tied the knot in Darnall, on August 10, 1957.

Sixty years later, Peter, now aged 80, still has no doubts popping the question was the best call he ever made.

"I knew straight away she was the one for me. She was young and pretty, and, besides, she was the only one available at the time," said the former steelworker and haulier, whose mother was the celebrated Sheffield record shop owner Violet May.

Peter and Muriel married within a year of first meeting

Peter and Muriel married within a year of first meeting

Their married life didn't get off to the most auspicious of starts, with the pair's honeymoon consisting of a rainy week at a bungalow near Skegness, during which Muriel had an epileptic episode.

"It was our wedding night and I was thinking she must be having the best night she's ever had but it turned out she was having a fit," joked John.

There was another minor hiccup when it emerged Muriel, who has just turned 82, had been celebrating her birthday on the wrong day all her life after it was incorrectly recorded on her birth certificate.

Her age on her wedding certificate was therefore wrong, but when John asked the registrar if that meant they were not legally married he was told 'sorry, you can't get out of it that easily'.

Peter and Muriel look back over their life together

Peter and Muriel look back over their life together

Those hurdles overcome, they went on to have two sons and a daughter, and now have a 32-year-old grandson.

They have enjoyed a lifetime of adventures together, with the keen travellers going on numerous cruises and visiting far-flung destinations from Tunisia to the Caribbean.

Muriel has not always had the easiest life. She lost her mother aged three and was working at Sheffield's Medico Legal Centre on the day of the Hillsborough disaster, after which she required counselling having been so traumatised by the sight of all the bodies laid out.

"John and I were both brought up a bit rough, so we helped each other out," she said.

"I think the secret to a good marriage is honesty. Sixty years... even train robbers don't get that."

The couple celebrated their anniversary with their family at Genting Casino, in Sheffield city centre. They also received what Muriel described as a 'beautiful' card from the Queen.