Devoted couple wed days before groom died

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A devoted couple who were together for 40 years married in hospital just three days before the groom died from a very short illness.

Sandal plumber Nigel Moore died aged 60 on May 3 after wedding his partner Julie at an intimate service in Leeds General Infirmary on April 30.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby had to give special permission for the service after Julie proposed to Nigel in line with the leap year tradition.

Friends and customers of Mr Moore’s business NM Property Services “brought Sandal to a standstill” because of his funeral’s huge turnout.

Mrs Moore, of The Russets, said: “We had been together for 40 years and got married on the Saturday before he passed away.

“The chaplain at the LGI had to get a special licence from the Archbishop of Canterbury to marry us.

“We were planning to do it while he was in Pinderfields Hopital. We just decided that we would because it was a leap year. I decided to ask him the day after my birthday.”

After Nigel and Julie exchanged vows, those who attended the small ceremony told the couple it was as though they had been practising them for 40 years, Mrs Moore said.

She added: “We toasted with the chaplain with Ribena.”

They moved to Sandal in 2000 from Weston-super-Mare, where they had met years before through a mutual friend. Nigel developed a lot of loyal customers over the years, many of whom became close friends.

Mrs Moore said: “Business just blossomed. Cards said how he turned up to people’s houses as a plumber and was a friend before the time he left.

“They felt he became one of their family.

“He was obviously very kind which is reflected with the crowds at the funeral. It was amazing that so many people came. Sandal came to a standstill, people keep telling me.”

The service was held at St Helen’s church by the Reverend Rupert Martin.

Mrs Moore said she and Nigel spent time together raising money for Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood, a charity close to the family.

She added: “We liked travelling. We enjoyed everything in life, really.

“We had been up to Scotland for our last holiday together and we absolutely loved it.

“It was wonderful.”