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"I won my wife in a tennis match" - and Gloucester couple have been together ever since

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 06, 2013

  • WINNER! Norman and Patricia Culley. Right; In their younger days.

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DEVOTED lovebirds Patricia and Norman Culley fell in love after he won her in a table tennis game.

It was a teenage romance when they met at Hempsted Youth Club in the 1940s.

She was a stunning raven-haired 15-year-old who caught Norman's eye.

After besting her then boyfriend Tony in a show of sportsmanship, he walked his 'prize' home.

They fell for each other almost instantly and 64 years later are as much in love as ever.

Patricia, known as Tricia to her husband and Pat to her friends, said: "It was quite romantic really.

"I didn't think he'd win because Tony was a very good player but I was really pleased when he did because he was very handsome and still is.

"Tony was quite upset but he went on to get married and have children and be happy."

The 78-year-old said her husband, a retired laboratory worker, is 'lovely' and always spoils her, especially on Valentine's Day.

"He's so kind and we are still very much in love, " said the former secretary.

The couple, who still live in Hempsted, got married in July 1951 and Norman left to do his national service just two months later.

The 79-year-old said: "She was just beautiful with long black hair and it was difficult to leave her."

The couple penned each other love letters during their two years apart and fortunately Norman returned home safely.

They have lived happily ever after in Gloucester surrounded by their fours sons, seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren, who all live locally.

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