A COUPLE whose eyes first met at a badminton class in Birmingham in 1958 celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary last Thursday.

Jenny and David Ball, of St John’s Road, Newport, tied the knot in 1959 following a whirlwind romance, which saw them engaged and married within a year.

A reciprocal love of sport has led to them travelling the world together in pursuit of various shared pastimes, with Ipswich-born Jenny and Birmingham-born David ultimately settling on the Isle of Wight.

Regarding the secret of their enduring marriage, David said: “We have respect for what each other does and who each other is.

“There is a mutual tolerance, and of course it helps that we have an affinity of interests, both loving sport and travel.

"We have very rarely had a row in 60 years.”

Both David and Jenny remain active in their early 80s.

David is currently working with the Ryde School under 16 and under 18 rugby teams, mainly on the administration side, while Jenny spends much of her spare time gardening — another lifelong passion — as well as teaching adult swimming lessons and making jam to raise money for good causes.

Jenny is proud that a playgroup she founded in Carisbrooke continues to this day.

The couple have four sons, all married, and nine grandchildren.

They celebrated their anniversary with a family gathering.