IT was labelled as a whirlwind romance and, five decades down the line, Latchford residents Pat and Peter Clarke are still going strong.

The happy couple, who were married at St Thomas’ Church in Stockton Heath on January 11, 1964, will celebrate their golden wedding anniversary on Saturday.

Pat, aged 67, and Peter, aged 68, of Cumberland Street, met when they were both teenagers and have been together ever since.

“We were talking about whether we would do it all over again and I told him ‘once bitten, twice shy.’” joked Pat, a former shop assistant. “But he is great and I’m not just saying that because he’s in the room.”

The couple were first introduced when Peter came to work at Pat’s family home when she was aged 17 and he was aged 18 and have not left each other's side since.

“I first saw him when he came to help with converting the back bedroom into a bathroom,” remembered Pat. “Then we just started talking and that was it.”

The couple were married a year later and have proved that they are a perfect match as they celebrate 50 years of wedded bliss this weekend.

Rugby fan Peter, who played professionally for Rochdale, Blackpool, Swinton, Wigan, Huddersfield and Bramley, and Pat have three children, Graham, Debbie and Colin and eight grandchildren and one great-grandson.

The couple plan to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary surrounded by friends and family with a party at their daughter’s house.