Romance blossomed for Danny Maskell and Marion Williams after they met on a bus in South Wales.

He was on his way to a wedding and persuaded her to join him at the evening reception.

With Marion working as a vet's receptionist in Newport, and Danny playing professional football for Third Division Watford, it proved to be a long-distance relationship, mainly by phone.

The couple married at Mountain Ash, near Newport, on July 27, 1957.

By then, Mr Maskell had signed for Headington United, the forerunner of Oxford United, and the couple soon settled in Gordon Close, Old Marston, where they have lived every since.

Tomorrow they are celebrating their golden wedding anniversary.

Football wages in the 1950s were a far cry from today's multi-millions. Mr Maskell, now 76, recalls: "We were paid £14 a week in winter and £12 in summer, with £2 for a win and £1 for a draw."

He worked at Pressed Steel, the car body factory at Cowley, for 40 years, and after leaving Headington, played for the Pressed Steel football team.

He finished his career in a charity match against a Showbiz XI including entertainer Tommy Steele.

Mrs Maskell, 71, worked at the Vardoc tie factory in Old Marston and at Marston Middle School.

The couple, who have a son Graham, daughter Jane and three grandsons, celebrated with a party with family and friends.