IT started with a meeting at a youth club and 60 years later an Andover couple are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary.

John and Jill Goulding are marking the six-decade feat after they married at Bridge Street Methodist Church on June 20, 1959.

And Jill, being a champion baker, made the wedding cake, with her friend adding the decorations.

They are still members of the church, where they met in the youth club and helped with its running in the 1950s and 1960s.

John, at the age of 18, welcomed 16-year-old Jill to the youth club as it was her first time having been brought along by a friend.

He said: “At first it was just the fact that she just arrived and I tried to get her involved in different things, at the end we were all asked to find somebody for the three-legged race and with Jill being new I said ‘would you like to join me in the three-legged race’, which we won easily.”

The couple did not get together for a number years, and then after some time of dating John asked Jill’s father for permission to get engaged.

The couple have lived life not letting anything get in their way, especially when it comes to sporting achievements.

Jill, 81, has played hockey and cricket for Andover Ladies, and John, 84, played football and refereed for 28 years.

They both ran for Andover Athletic Club, and have been members of the Peter Pan Club for 20 year, playing table tennis and badminton.

But sport is not their only passion, as Jill and John also enjoy dancing at the Royal British Legion club, are members of the U3A and have taken many holidays, travelling in their 33-year-old campervan.

Jill spent her working days in secretarial and admin roles, and John worked as print finisher for the Advertiser, before moving onto Enham Trust, where Jill worked, and then to Philip and Tracey.

The couple have two sons and four grandchildren, who will help celebrate the milestone.

Discussing the secret of such a long marriage, John said: “Love, respect and support, not taking each other for granted. We believe as we have grown older we become even closer as we rely on each other more.”

The happy couple will mark the occasion with their family, before taking a holiday to continue the festivities.