SYD ATKINSON'S bride-to-be literally bowled him over when they met at at local cricket match.

Today Syd and his wife, Grace, of Stillingfleet, near Selby, celebrate their diamond wedding.

The couple, both from local farming families, met while attending a Methodist church cricket match at Thorganby and, after a two-year courtship, married at the former James Street Methodist Church, in Selby.

“She bowled me over”, quipped Syd.

Both Syd, 89, and Grace, 83, have been involved with the Methodist church all their lives.

Syd is a former local Methodist preacher and circuit steward. He now holds the title Honorary Church Steward.

Grace, who was given the royal Maundy money two years ago at York Minster for her service to the community and the church, still plays the organ for church services.

Both have served on the village parish council jointly for a total of 80 years.

The couple have two sons, a daughter, seven grandchildren and a great grandchild.

The couple said “plenty of give and take and a sense of humour, coupled with plenty of love”, was their recipe for a long marriage.