Boy falls for a girl at age 9 and 85 years later are still going strong

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Credit: Cavendish Press Agency

Two sweethearts who have been together for an astonishing 85 years have credited "respect and good manners" as the secret for their success.

Thomas and Irene Howard are two elderly sweethearts who have been inseparable for 85 years. They have revealed the secret of a long marriage -- to show ''respect and good manners'' towards others.

The couple, from Longton, near Preston, Lancashire, met when Thomas’ grandmother moved four doors away from Irene’s family home and became friendly with her brother Frank. “I was only about nine then and when I first saw Irene I thought 'what a lovely girl', she’s going to be my girl this one and my fondness for her grew since then,” said Thomas.

Thomas mentioned while growing up with Irene, they would take walks together around the local parks and became best friends.

Thomas served as a private in the Lancashire Fusiliers and was called up age 19 in 1941 to help care for troops injured on the frontline. When he came home he proposed. They married in 1945 and recently celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary.

“Being polite and having good manners has been an important part of our lives. We've thought the world of each other,” said Irene.

“We’re still in love all these years on. I still have her now and I’m proud of her - if I was fortunate enough to do it all again I’d marry the same girl every time,” said Thomas.