How we met: ‘I saw him at his brother’s funeral and was besotted straight away’

It was love at first sight in 1979, when Clare, now 58, met Andrew, 61. They married young and believe that coping with tragedy early on helped them face life’s later peaks and troughs

Clare was 16 years old when her schoolfriend, David, died in a motorbike accident. On the day of the funeral, in the summer of 1979, she spotted Andrew, his brother, for the first time. Although they didn’t speak that day, it was love at first sight for Clare. “I was completely besotted straight away. I still feel the same way now,” she says.

They lived in a small village in Worcestershire, and the community was devastated by David’s death. “It was a very traumatic time, especially for the young people. We were all so shocked by what had happened,” says Clare. She and David’s other friends rallied around Andrew, to make sure that he was coping. Clare regularly cycled past the place where he restored old cars in his spare time to say hello. Andrew admits he “fancied her” but wasn’t sure he was ready to date. “I’d seen her once before my brother’s accident and liked her but hadn’t thought much about it. After he died, the loss was a lot to take on board. I was so hurt,” he says.

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