A Northampton couple who got married on the day England won the football World Cup in 1966 are set for a 50th anniversary celebration of their own this Saturday.
Susan and Norman Hales, of Woodborough Gardens, Wakes Meadow, got hitched on July 30, 1966, hours before Geoff Hurst scored the winning extra time goals against West Germany at Wembley.
As the nation prepares to mark the 50th anniversary of England’s one and only World Cup triumph this Saturday, the Hales’s will be hosting around 40 family and friends at their home for a golden wedding party.
Susan, 71, and Norman, 73, got married at Bedford registry office in front of a handful of witnesses before holding a reception at Norman’s parents’ home nearby.
It was here the newlyweds huddled around a “tiny television” to watch the final along with around 400 million people worldwide.
But Sue’s parents - who were England fans despite emigrating from West Germany in 1939 - ended up missing Sir Geoff’s iconic 120th minute strike into the roof of the net as supporters ran onto the pitch - because they had to get back home to Surrey.
“About 15 minutes from the end my mum said, ‘We had better get going or we’re going to hit traffic’,” Sue said.
“You should have seen the look on my father’s face.”
The Hales’s went on to have three children and three grandchildren.
Norman, who was a firefighter in Rushden at the time of the wedding, later went on to become a security officer, while Susan worked as a nurse all her life - including a 12-year stint as team nurse for Northampton Saints.
While the couple admit they are mainly rugby fans, they are still proud of sharing an anniversary with the England’s most revered sporting triumph.
Susan said: “The children always say they can never forget when our wedding anniversary is because TV and the radio are always reminding them it’s the anniversary of England winning the World Cup.”
She said the key to a long lasting relationship is to give each other a bit of space every now and again - “just not for too long.”