SWINDON Town’s 50th anniversary celebrations today will be shared by two lifelong supporters whose wedding clashed with the 1969 League Cup final at Wembley.

The match of the day involving Roger and Jean Sheppard, from Shrivenham, meant neither was able to watch their heroes earn a famous 3-1 triumph over top-division giants Arsenal.

But the couple “couldn’t be happier” to be toasting their golden wedding anniversary five decades on from what was an unforgettable day in more ways than one.

Roger said: “I’ve supported the team since I was five years old, I used to sit on my dad’s shoulders at Stratton Bank and I was a season ticket holder for many years and I still keep up to date with all the results. We were big Swindon Town fans, I watched every round and every game up until the final. I couldn’t believe it once I realised our wedding was going to be the same day. We had to book the wedding a year in advance so there was no way we could have known.”

A few of the invited guests ended up going to the match, rather than the wedding. Jean said: “Some of the people we had invited for the day were unsure what to do. So we said ‘please, if you want to go to the match then go, it is okay’. Because it something that was never likely to happen again, so we understood.”

“People were passing round loads of transistor radios trying to find out how the match was going.

“One of the guests even told the speaker to be quiet so they could hear what was happening!”

After the reception the couple went to catch catch the train to their honeymoon in Mousehole, near Penzance. “The train we caught in Reading to go on our honeymoon was the one bringing all the Town supporters back from the match, so we got to see everyone celebrating,” said Jean. “It was nice to get a bit of the atmosphere.”

Roger added that it wasn’t all plain sailing once they got to the hotel. “We’d asked for a television in the room where we staying in but when we got there it only had BBC and the highlights of the match were on ITV. So we had to go to the local grocers shop and ask the owner if we could watch his!”

Jean added: “We feel lucky in a way, not many people get to 50. It is nice because we have our family and we’ve lived happy lives.”

Roger agreed. “We’ve had some good times and some struggles but we’ve got three lovely children and two grandchildren, we couldn’t be happier.”