‘A wonderful life together despite multiple sclerosis’

Roy and Val Samworth

Roy and Val Samworth

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys. Call me on 01865 425403

FOR the last 50 years Roy Samworth has cared for his wife Val, who has been disabled by aggressive multiple sclerosis since her 20s.

Mr Samworth, now 70, worked as a street cleaner seven days a week, was the primary carer for his wife, and helped bring up their three sons Neil, Kevin, and Mathew.

Mrs Samworth, nee Ray, was diagnosed with MS at the age of 24 – four years after their wedding.

She said: “He’s wonderful with me, I’m very grateful.

“He has cared for me an awful lot, even when he was working.

“He used to come home and do things with the kids because my mobility – I’ve got a wheelchair.”

Oxford Mail:

The couple's wedding day

Now, on the Rose Hill couple’s 50th wedding anniversary, she added: “I love him to bits because he’s so loving – he always tells me he loves me every day and he always makes sure I’m okay.”

Mr Samworth insisted it was his wife who deserved the credit.

“She’s a very loving person,” he said.

“Despite her illness she’s always happy and puts everyone else before her. She never complains.”

The couple married on September 5, 1964, at St Mary’s Church in Iffley.

It is also Mrs Samworth’s birthday, with her celebrating her 70th today.

Mr Samworth joked: “I married her on her birthday so I didn’t forget the anniversary cards.

“I can’t believe that 50 years have gone by so quickly.

“We’re taking our wedding vows again on Sunday.

“If we’re prepared to do it again it couldn’t have been a bad run.”

The couple recalled that they nearly never met as Mr Samworth almost refused an impromptu meeting.

He said: “We met on a blind date. There was a friend of mine from work, John, and he said he had a date that night and there was a girl for me.

“I said no, I’d been out every night that week so I didn’t want to go, but he persuaded me.”

Recalling the meeting, he said: “We just seemed to click.

“It was the best thing anyone could have done, pairing us up. I’d do it all again, exactly the same.

“We’ve had a good 50 years, bringing up a family. We have three sons and between them we now have 15 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, if you can believe it.

“There were good times and some bad times, but everything’s fine.”

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