A WINSFORD couple whose first date hinged on whether the right horse won the 1968 Grand National will celebrate their golden wedding anniversary on Saturday.

Bill Duvall promised future wife Val that he would take her out if Red Alligator, the horse he had backed, won at Aintree.

He did win, so the two workers at Fine Fare in Speke went off to the Black Horse pub in Old Swan, Liverpool, and the couple married at the Liverpool registry office on June 20, 1970.

Val told the Guardian: "It was just a quiet affair – not one of these weddings now that are all glamorous. It was just ourselves with family.

"We had our wedding breakfast at the Kardomah Cafe. It was just bacon, sausage, egg – but it was lovely for us."

Winsford Guardian:

The couple moved from Liverpool to Winsford in 1979 with sons Wayne, Lee and Karl – and it wasn't long before another new arrival was on the way.

Val said: "You know the old saying – along with a new house comes a new baby. We moved in May 1979 and our daughter Kelly was born in February 1980.

"We were determined to have a daughter. We always picked a name for a boy and a girl each time and after having three sons we thought the name Kelly must be jinxed."

Bill, who turned 70 on June 1, worked at the Womble Inn in Winsford before both worked at the store in Northwich.

The couple later worked for Morrisons – with Bill based at Gadbrook Park and Val working at the Winsford store.

They had been set to celebrate with a party for 140 people and a coach trip to Lake Como, in Italy, later this year.

But lockdown means they will be seeing relatives at home instead, with their four children and six grandchildren taking turns to see the couple in line with Government guidelines.

Val said: "It's a such a disappointment, but the most important thing is we are here and we have got our family around us."

And the secret to a successful marriage?

Bill said: "It's easy to have a bad marriage but it's extremely hard to have a good one.

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"You have to respect each other and put each other first. We have not really got big aspirations but we have been and happy with what we have."

"We don't have riches but what we have got is more than money can buy," added Val.

"We've got our children and our grandchildren, and as long as they are well that is all we can ask for."