Fifty years on Fernside for golden couple

Newspaper: Pontefract & Castleford Express.
Story: Former Featherstone Rovers player Vaughan Thomas from Sharlston Common and his wife, Jean, celebrate their Golden wedding anniversary.
Reporter: John Blow.
Photographer: Andrew Bellis.
Photo date: 31/03/16
Picture Ref: AB134b0316
Newspaper: Pontefract & Castleford Express. Story: Former Featherstone Rovers player Vaughan Thomas from Sharlston Common and his wife, Jean, celebrate their Golden wedding anniversary. Reporter: John Blow. Photographer: Andrew Bellis. Photo date: 31/03/16 Picture Ref: AB134b0316
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A Sharlston Common couple have celebrated their golden wedding anniversary.

Former Featherstone Rovers and England under-24 rugby league player Vaughan Thomas and his wife Jean marked their 50 years last Saturday.

Newspaper: Pontefract & Castleford Express.
Story: Former Featherstone Rovers player Vaughan Thomas from Sharlston Common and his wife, Jean, celebrate their Golden wedding anniversary.
*COPY OF ORIGINAL WEDDING DAY PICTURE - NOT FOR RE-SALE*
Reporter: John Blow.
Photographer: Andrew Bellis.
Photo date: 31/03/16
Picture Ref: AB134c0316

Newspaper: Pontefract & Castleford Express. Story: Former Featherstone Rovers player Vaughan Thomas from Sharlston Common and his wife, Jean, celebrate their Golden wedding anniversary. *COPY OF ORIGINAL WEDDING DAY PICTURE - NOT FOR RE-SALE* Reporter: John Blow. Photographer: Andrew Bellis. Photo date: 31/03/16 Picture Ref: AB134c0316

The pair met at the Kiosk dance hall in Castleford in 1964 before marrying at All Saints Parish Church in Normanton around two years later.

Jean, 69, said: “When I woke up on that morning there was four inches of snow. We got married about two o’clock and it was very, very cold.”

Once they had exchanged vows the pair battled the conditions to drive to Keswick in the Lake District for their honeymoon.

On their return they bought a terrace house on Fernside from Vaughan’s cousin for £1,600.50, and in 1981 moved to their bungalow on the same street.

During the early years of their relationship Vaughan was a professional rugby player. After a stint in the under-17 Wakefield Trinity squad he played his first game for Featherstone Rovers the week before his 18th birthday.

Vaughan, 71, said: “The highlight of my career at Featherstone was scoring a try in the 1967 Challenge Cup final. The Queen presented a medal to us.”

Rovers beat Barrow 17 points to 12 at Wembley.

Vaughan and Jean’s two daughters Claire and Cheryl were born in 1969 and 1972.

Over the years the couple have enjoyed many holidays – taking around three every year. Some of their favourite visits include those to the Taj Mahal and the Canary Islands – “anywhere hot.

“We did a turn around India which was absolutely out of this world,” said Jean.

And the pair revealed the secret their secret to the long-lasting marriage.

“I just feel that for 50 years, it needs tolerance,” Jean said.

Vaughan said: “I think it’s quite an achievement these days. “You have to listen to each other and be a bit tolerant of each other’s views.”

Around 20 family and friends joined Vaughan and Jean to mark the occasion at their home.

“We had a lovely celebration and hopefully we are going away to the Costa Del Sol,” said Jean.