Puppy love proves it was written in stars

By Ian Dipple Thursday 17 April 2014 Updated: 18/04 08:16

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Buy photos » Alan and Gay Hopkins celebrate 50 years of marriage. Picture by Marcus Mingins 1614010MMR2

A MATCHBOROUGH couple who were told their love would never last are celebrating their golden wedding anniversary.

Gay and Alan Hopkins tied the knot on April 18, 1964 at Aston parish church, Birmingham when they were both just 19.

Because of their young age friends and family told them their marriage would never survive, despite the fact it seems fate was conspiring to keep them together.

Not only did they live just a few streets away from each other but they also attended the same infants school, although they did not know it at the time.

They also played a game of darts together in the cellar of the Birmingham Incorporated Building Society where they were both working but only found out it was each other some years after they were married.

They eventually met when they both went to the taping of a television show at the ATV studios in Birmingham at the age of 17.

“There was the television studios in Aston and Alan worked there as an electrician and my mum was a florist and did the flowers. On the Sunday they recorded Thank Your Lucky Stars and we used to go and watch,” Gay said.

“As we came out Alan was standing outside with his friend and he turned to him and said ‘I’m going to marry her’. He came over to look at my autograph book and I couldn’ take my eyes off him. It was a love at first sight thing but everybody said we would never last as we’d got married so young.”

The couple lived in Rednal at first, later moved to Alvechurch and then to their home in Matchborough East in 1971 where they have remained ever since. They have two children, Melody and Eden and four grandchildren Daniel, Taylor, James and Tia.

Gay said there were a number of reasons why she thought they had defied the odds.

“You have to be good friends, interested in each other and keep talking to each other - never go to bed on a disagreement,” she said.

“Also having met at 17 we grew up together, he’s been around my whole life, longer than anybody else.”

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