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One a day Live

Husband reunited with wedding ring 52 years after losing it

A grandfather in the UK has told of the "unbelievable" moment he was reunited with his wedding ring, 52 years after losing it at a cricket match.

Eddie Stokoe had been married to wife Jean for just six months when the golden band, which has both their names engraved on, disappeared as he played for Shotley Bridge Cricket Club in Consett, County Durham, in March 1966.

The retired teacher, now 73, thought he would never see the ring again, and repeatedly turned down his wife's offers to buy him a new one.

However, the grandfather-of-four was stunned when his brother Billy, 81, phoned him earlier this month to say it had been found on the same field where it disappeared more than half a century earlier.

Describing the moment it disappeared, Mr Stokoe said: "I was absolutely devastated, as you could imagine.

"We had to take our jewellery off before going out in the field, and when we finished I realised that it had completely vanished.

"I searched everywhere for it but could not find it, and spent the next few weeks quartering the field like a barn owl, desperately looking for that ring, but with no luck."

The childhood sweethearts, who married on October 16 1965 and live in Consett, had given up hope of finding the precious band.

Mr Stokoe, a father-of-three, added: "I have never had a replacement. Every time a big anniversary came around, Jean would offer to buy a new one, but the original is absolutely irreplaceable.

[quote]Our rings are matching, with matching engraving on each, so to have replaced it with something else wouldn't have been right. I had completely given up the ghost with it.[/quote]

However, he was left "in disbelief" when he received a call from his brother to say a ring bearing his and 75-year-old Mrs Stokoe's names had been found discovered in near-perfect condition.

"It had been gone so long that Billy couldn't even remember that I had ever had a ring," he said.

"I could not believe it was still there after all that time. Maybe it had been picked up by a magpie and dropped off somewhere, or perhaps it had got caught up in a lawnmower.

[quote]When we got it back and I showed it to Jean, she broke down in tears of joy. It has been unbelievable. I wish it could talk because, having been lying there for 52 years, it must have an awful lot of stories to tell.[/quote]

Although the wedding ring no longer fits his ring finger, he now wears it on his little finger with pride and has no intention of taking it off.

"It must have been destiny that it came back, but now that I have got it I am never taking it off and risking losing it again."

- PA