The president of Mullion Football Club will celebrate his diamond wedding anniversary tomorrow (Thursday) – 60 years after he first ‘scored’.
David Walden, who is also the club’s football secretary, met wife Hazel when they began working together for a refrigeration firm in Oxford.
Despite an early attraction the couple were not allowed to marry for another four years, because Hazel’s parents believed her too young to wed.
They finally said their vows just three weeks after Hazel turned 21, on September 12, 1953.
David’s love of football has been at the forefront of their relationship from the very start – to the extent that he persuaded Hazel to move their wedding date, because it clashed with an important FA Cup game.
“He said, ‘You can get married but I won’t be there’” remembered Hazel, aged 81, of Tregellas Road.
Over the years she was been a strong supporter of David’s football life, however, explaining: “If you can’t beat them, join them. It doesn’t bother me.
“When we are just to have our dinner on a Sunday and the phone rings, and it’s football, I do get mad though.”
Clearly proud of his wife’s interest in his passion, however, David, 87, added: “She’s forgotten more about football than a lot of people will ever know.”
Thankfully the sport did not come between the couple on another key event in their life – the birth of their son, who was due on a Saturday.
“I was told, ‘Have him in the morning or at night, don’t have him at 3pm’,” laughed Hazel, who successfully managed to obey orders.
They moved from Oxfordshire to Swansea when David’s work was relocated, before the office moved again to London. The family decided to return to Oxford to live, with David commuting to work until he took redundancy in 1985.
Having honeymooned in Cornwall, at Perranporth, the couple retained a fondness for the county and it was to here they decided to retire – but not slow down – in 1990.
They chose Mullion, having been on regular holidays to Mullion Holiday Park while visiting their son and daughter Mark and Deb, who were both stationed at RNAS Culdrose for a period.
Hazel went to work nights at Poldhu Nursing Home for 14 years, while David did odd jobs around the village and also subsequently worked at the home, as a part-time gardener.
They also took on the “almost extinct” scout pack in the village for two years, before passing the permitted age for scout leaders which prevented them from continuing and the group folded.
David and Hazel hope to celebrate their anniversary with a short service in Mullion Methodist Chapel tomorrow morning, followed by an “open house” event for friends and neighbours. Friday evening will see a get together at the football club, with a family lunch on Saturday.
Son Mark and wife plan to travel from their home in Spain, as well as their daughter Deb and her partner from Dorset, although their grandson and great-grandson are unable to travel over, also from Spain.
One sadness is that Hazel’s brother and his wife will not be with them, as he cannot fly over from Australia, but she said: “We shall think about them.”