A bachelor has finally married the love of his life – nearly 47 years after he first proposed to her.
Alan Crotty was just 21 when he popped the question to Cathy Roberts on her 18th birthday.
Railway photographer Alan was heartbroken when their engagement ended two years later and Cathy moved away before she married someone else.
Alan remained single but always carried a torch for Cathy whose marriage in 1973 ended in divorce 10 years later.
The couple spent 37 years apart before their love was rekindled after a mutual friend secretly arranged for them to meet in 2007.
Alan waited another four years to propose to Cathy a second time – at the same spot in London’s Sloane Square where he made his original request in 1968.
To his delight Cathy agreed and they tied the knot on Friday in Tenterden, Kent, where they now live together.
Alan, aged 66, said: “Although we broke up Cathy was always the one for me. She had never left my mind – no-one else would do.
“A friend got us back together by surprise at his home and I didn’t realise she was going to be there.
“I opened the front door, saw her and just said: ‘Hello, Cathy, do you want a cup of tea?’
“I recognised her straight away despite the gap.
“We then went back to Sloane Square in 2011 and I proposed again.
“I didn’t have to buy another engagement ring as Cathy is using her grandmother’s one – but I still have the ring she gave me in 1968.”
Former bank worker Cathy, 63, said: “When we saw each other for the first time after 37 years, it was as if I had seen him just two days before.
“It was as if the time had never passed.
“There was no awkwardness, no difficulty, nothing. We just picked up where we left off.
“Neither of us could remember what had happened or what had gone wrong and we couldn’t find anybody who could remember.
“I think we were always meant to be together, but he needed to develop his career, he did all the things he wanted to do.”