A couple who fell in love while sharing their passion for cricket are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary.
Sheila and James Wellings, of South Street, Oakham, met each other at the age of 17 and have shared a happy life ever since.
The pair crossed paths while watching cricket at Oakham Cricket Club. Sheila’s father Victor was a scorer and her grandfather William helped out as a groundsman. James often went to watch matches at the club when he wasn’t playing himself in his home village of Gunthorpe in Nottinghamshire.
Five years later they tied the knot in the company of friends and family at All Saints’ Church in Oakham.
Sheila, 82, said: “We met when we were 17 at the cricket pitch in Oakham and have been together ever since.
“We liked cricket and always have liked cricket. We used to go to a lot of games and watch it on the TV together.
“I think the secret to 60 years of marriage is giving and taking. You have to know you can’t always have it your own way.
“I still love James as much as when I first met him.”
James said: “My dad knew Sheila’s dad and he warned me he was very strict.
“He knew I was into her because I kept going down to visit her in Oakham.
“Sheila is right that the secret to a long marriage is you’ve got to give and take.”
Sheila was working in a hairdressers in Oakham when the pair met. She then went on to work at department store Furley and Hassan in Market Place.
James was working on a farm before he worked on the railway lines in Oakham, relaying tracks.
As well as watching sport, Sheila and James regularly enjoy gardening, doing jigsaw puzzles and visiting friends in Northumberland.
The couple’s anniversary is on Tuesday next week. They will be marking the occasion with a celebratory meal with their daughter Sarah McDonald, 46, son-in-law Dougal, and grandchildren James, 19, who is a sports coach at Catmose College, and Sarah-Louise, 12.