A pair of geriatric lovebirds have tied the knot in their 80s after they fell for each other on an internet dating site.
Besotted Tricia Shaw, 85, admitted she was smitten “at first sight” when she went online and found her “toy boy” lover Ian, 82, who was three years her junior.
The ex-cosmetics manager and private detective then reached out to qualified pilot Ian, who agreed to meet up after sensing there was “something about her.”
And Tricia, who’d previously met four potential suitors online, said she was left “wobbly at the knees” when she first tucked into a fish supper with her new beau.
The couple, who now live together, went ahead with their wedding in February after Ian was diagnosed with heart disease and needed a risky bypass operation.
Tricia now believes more octogenarians should embrace online matchmaking after the pair enjoyed a “magical” wedding in front of 115 guests.
She said: “I highly recommend online dating because you tick so many boxes before you even meet. You can tell you’ve got a lot in common.
“The wedding was the most magical time of my life. Everything was spot on, and I couldn’t have imagined anything as wonderful.”
Ian added: “It certainly worked for us. So I certainly would say to people to give it a try, and I’m happy to recommend it.
“Tricia said it was love at first sight. She fell for me straight away, and I also liked her from the word go. The wedding meant everything to me.”
Great-gradmother-of-five Tricia, from Lytham St Annes, Lancs., came across Ian’s profile after going on the dating platform Plenty More Fish seven years ago.
She joined the site after losing her previous husband of 33 years and had met a handful of men before messaging the retired optometrist, originally from Glasgow.
The relationship got off to a rocky start when Ian, previously married for 35 years, ignored her first text, which came at the start of his seven-day walking holiday.
But he was intrigued when Tricia sent another cheeky message prompting him to get “in touch” and wrote back after completing his hike.
Ian said: “The message arrived just as I was getting on a train, and I thought, ‘Well this will keep until I get back home.
“But later, I got a message from Tricia saying ‘I can’t believe you haven’t been in touch’. And I thought: ‘This one has got something about her.'”
The pair first met up at Formby Hall Golf Resort, Merseyside, on October 5, 2015, where Tricia had met up with other potential matches she’d seen while online dating.
And as soon as she got talking with Ian over a fish and chip dinner, Tricia said the silver fox had caught her hook, line and sinker.
She said: “My legs wobbled when I first met Ian.
“I’d met four other gentlemen before, always at Formby Hall to make sure I was safe, so they knew what was happening.”
The love-struck pair moved in together 14 months later and had made plans to marry sometime in the future.
But when Ian got the news he would need a heart-bypass operation, they decided to press ahead with their wedding, which eventually took place on February 10 this year.
Ian said: “It was one of those classic things where we both enjoyed good health, and we both thought ‘Well, eventually we’ll get married’.
“But I was diagnosed with needing a heart bypass operation on December 11. That altered the timing for us a bit.”
Tricia added: “Ian wanted to get married 29 days after he proposed, but because of Christmas and New Year, we couldn’t get hold of a registrar, so we had to delay it.”
Over a hundred friends and family showed up for the wedding, where Tricia was given away by her son Timothy and grandson Henry.
Ian said: “It started off as being family. And then after I had my operation, we had a big doo and it just morphed into a big wedding.
“I have no family, but Tricia has an enormous family. All of them came and loads of friends. There were 115 eventually.”