THE former landlord and lady of Blackburn’s own Rovers Return pub will raise a glass today in celebration of their diamond wedding anniversary.

Roy and Greta Shulman, both 81, said there’s no real secret to a long and happy marriage, but added that give and take has meant they have rarely argued in their 60 years of matrimony.

The pair became licensees of the Rovers Return, Shads-worth, in 1970 and were behind the bar for 14 years.

Comedian Tom O’Connor, Coronation Street’s Liz Dawn and Bill Tarmey, who played Jack and Vera Duckworth who ran the fictional Rovers Return, were among the celebrity visitors who came and performed in the pub.

Roy said: “When we got married we got a council house in Shadsworth and I started working in the Rovers as a barman.

“I applied to Whitbreads to become a landlord but they said it wasn’t their policy to promote a barman to a landlord in the same pub.

“They offered me a pub in Manchester which I took on for two years and then the licence at the Rovers came up again.

“I applied and I got it. We had such good times in there.”

Roy, originally from London, became friends with an Accrington man while serving in the Royal Navy stayed in Lancashire during leave.

Roy said: “We went out to King George’s Hall in Blackburn and my friend met a girl and said that he’d got me a date for the next evening.

“We all met up and went out the next day and it was Greta. He ended up marrying the girl he was out with and I married Greta.”

The pair were married at the Church of the Saviour in Sunnybank Road and went back to The Castle pub in the centre of Blackburn.

Greta and Roy went on the run the Farmer’s Arms in Great Eccleston and have a son, Gary, three grand-children, Nicola, Stacey and Declan, and a great grandson, 12-year-old Tyler, with a great grandchild on the way.

The family will celebrate with friends this weekend at Lily Maes in Accrington.