Sunderland couple who tied the knot as England won the World Cup celebrate 50 years of marriage

Golden wedding anniversary of Barbara and Charlie Booth
Golden wedding anniversary of Barbara and Charlie Booth
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It may have been the day England won the World Cup – but it was special goal to one Wearside couple for a very different reason.

Charlie and Barbara Booth tied the knot 50 years ago today.

England's triumphant 1966 World Cup final. Picture: PA Photos

England's triumphant 1966 World Cup final. Picture: PA Photos

While the Three Lions were defeating West Germany 4-2 on July 30, 1966, the happy couple were becoming newlyweds and saying ‘I do’ at St Benet’s RC Church, in Sunderland.

Since then, the couple, both 73, who live in Fulwell, have had two sons, five grandchildren, and 50 happy years of married life together.

They met in 1958 when they both worked at Jackson’s Tailors, in the city’s Villiers Street.

Mr Booth was a cutter and his wife, a fitter.

Golden wedding anniversary of Barbara and Charlie Booth

Golden wedding anniversary of Barbara and Charlie Booth

He said: “I saw her and knew I wanted to take her out on a date. We were only 15 at the time and I took her out on my first wages from the tailors.

“I was quite nervous to ask her though and I told her it was my friend who wanted to go out with her at first.”

The couple dated until they were 18, and were temporarily separated when Charlie moved to Australia.

They kept in contact, sending letters back and forth, and when he returned four years later, they picked up where they had left off.

Golden wedding anniversary of Barbara and Charlie Booth

Golden wedding anniversary of Barbara and Charlie Booth

Mr Booth said: “I think I always knew I wanted to spend my life with Barbara. I originally brought up getting engaged when we were 16, but she just said, ‘what would we want to do that for?’ We were a bit too young really.”

On the day they got married, the couple were blissfully unaware of what was happening in the World Cup – but their guests weren’t.

Charlie added: “I was the only man at the reception at one point, because all the others were off in the bar watching the match.

“I’ve always followed Sunderland and my dad even used to send me the Football Echo every week when I lived in Australia, but when I came back football wasn’t a big thing for me because we had decided to get married.

“I took every job I could to save up enough money for our wedding, so I didn’t get much chance to watch the football.

“50 years on and after all this time together we’ve always been ourselves. We’re never going to agree on everything, but we don’t argue, we have discussions.

“Since I got back from Australia we’ve never been apart and she’s just the most fantastic person I’ve ever known.”