A COUPLE celebrating their golden wedding next week married when the groom was feted as a top footballer in St Neots. When Janice and John Benson married at St Mary s Church, Houghton, 50 years ago, the report in The Hunts Post described the bride and bri

On their wedding day in 1957.

A COUPLE celebrating their golden wedding next week married when the groom was feted as a top footballer in St Neots.

When Janice and John Benson married at St Mary's Church, Houghton, 50 years ago, the report in The Hunts Post described the bride and bridesmaids' dresses and even the groom's gifts to the bridesmaids.

Both are now familiar faces in Huntingdonshire - Janice as a volunteer at the Red Cross shop in Hinchingbrooke Hospital for 25 years and John as a footballer and printer.

When they married, John was goalkeeper for St Neots Town Football Club, which he had joined at 16. As a teenager, he was also an amateur player for Leicester City.

Mr Benson played football until he was 37, including some time at clubs including Biggleswade and Ely. He went on to manage a trophy-collecting Sunday league team called the Cromwellians.

And he was assistant at St Neots to manager John Gregory, the late father of John Gregory, the former manager of London club Queens Park Rangers who was sacked earlier this month.

John and Janice who first knew each other as school pupils, met again at dances at St Neots Public Rooms. She lived in St Neots. He lived in Brampton but they met at the hops in the town's public rooms on Saturday nights. They married when he was 22 and she was 21 on October 26, 1957.

Each of them said separately that the secret of a long and happy marriage was "having your own interests".

Mr Benson said: "You need to do things together but you also need to do things apart and to have things to talk about. There has to be a lot of give and take because being married is not easy. You get a piece of paper and that is supposed to make you compatible for the rest of your life."

Mrs Benson said: "I do my thing and he does his. He has never, ever stopped me doing what I want to do. We have always been ever so happy."

The couple are planning to celebrate their anniversary with a party at The Windmill in Somersham and also a trip to China next year.