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Lockdown anniversary celebration for former Norwich City player

PUBLISHED: 13:00 10 June 2020

John and Carole Wilson on their wedding day in 1960. Picture: Supplied by Sarah Gooch

John and Carole Wilson on their wedding day in 1960. Picture: Supplied by Sarah Gooch

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John and Carole Wilson are looking forward to celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary with family and friends when coronavirus social distancing measures allow.

Carole and John Wilson, who are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary. Picture: Supplied by Sarah GoochCarole and John Wilson, who are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary. Picture: Supplied by Sarah Gooch

September 28, 1958 would always have been a significant date for John Wilson – it was the day he was de-mobbed from his national service with the RAF.

Then that evening John, who played for Norwich City, went for a night out to the Lido, a popular club on Aylsham Road in Norwich.

He asked Carole, who was there with a girlfriend, if she would like to dance. And on Thursday, June 11, the couple will celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.

“He asked me to dance and that was it. Eighteen months later we got married,” says Carole. During their courtship John lived away some of the time – after leaving Norwich City he played for Chesterfield – and Carole busied herself planning their wedding. She worked for Singer sewing machines and her wedding gown and bridesmaids’ dresses were made by a colleague.

The couple exchanged their vows at St George’s Roman Catholic chapel in Fishergate, followed by a reception at the Samson and Hercules in Tombland.

While it was a happy occasion, Carole says there was a tinge of sadness as her father had passed away six months earlier and her sister couldn’t attend as she’d emigrated to America.

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Today some weddings can last a whole weekend, but, says Carole, their wedding ceremony was at 11am and at 4pm the reception finished and they set off for their honeymoon at Paignton in Devon.

For the first 18 months of their married life the couple lived with Carole’s mother, while their home was built in Thorpe St Andrew. And they still live in the same house today.

“We watched it being built,” says Carole.

John made his debut for Norwich City’s first team on Christmas Day, 1953 and between then and 1959 made 48 appearances for the Canaries. He also represented the RAF football team during his national service – and in 1957, in a match against the Army, played against Bobby Charlton. After leaving Chesterfield he played for King’s Lynn, Lowestoft, Thetford and Hellesdon and while at King’s Lynn he was part of the 1962 squad that reached the FA Cup third round, before being beaten by Everton. He also worked as an electrician.

Carole and John have two daughters, three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

While the coronavirus outbreak means that they’ve had to postpone their plans for a party, John, 85, and Carole, 81, are looking forward to marking their milestone with family and friends when social distancing guidelines allow.

Their daughter, Sarah, says: “They have looked after me and my sister Mandy so well. We had a great childhood always going out and on lovely holidays. All through our lives they’ve always been there for us. We wish them a very happy 60th wedding anniversary with many more to come.”

Being married for 60 years is a remarkable achievement. Do Carole and John have any tips for a happy marriage?

“You have to get on with each other – I don’t think we’ve ever had an argument,” says John.


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