GOLDEN wedding anniversary celebrations ended in tragedy as a loving husband collapsed and died while singing to his wife.

Alan and Anita Jones held a party at St Philip’s Community Centre in Radcliffe on Saturday evening to mark 50 years of marriage.

As part of the celebration, 69-year-old Mr Jones sang to his wife in front of 90 guests.

But the performance ended in tragedy when he collapsed and was taken to Fairfield General Hospital, where he died.

Doctors believe he may have suffered a massive heart attack.

He leaves Anita, three children and four grandchildren.

Mrs Jones, of Seymour Court, Radcliffe, said: “He was surrounded by his family and friends and was doing what he loved to do.

“A lot of people who attended the party will take comfort in that.

“I have had quite a few cards and phone calls from people who have heard about what happened. I have golden wedding cards and sympathy cards at the same time.

“It’s bizarre. It feels like it hasn’t really happened.”

Born and bred in Radcliffe, Mr Jones attended the New Jerusalem School before moving on to Radcliffe Secondary Modern School.

It was there that he met his future wife when he was just 14 years old.

Love soon blossomed and the couple married four years later on July 26, 1958, at Radcliffe Congregational Church.

They both spent many years working at the East Lancashire Paper Mill, where Mr Jones was a reeler man and supervisor for 40 years and his wife was a paper sorter for 25 years.

Mr Jones retired ten years ago after suffering a heart attack, but he remained good friends with his work colleagues, many of whom attended the party. He enjoyed listening to music and was a big fan of Frank Sinatra.

He also enjoyed going to gym, singing, gardening, and going on holiday.

As a youngster he liked running and was the Lancashire county cross country champion in 1954.

Mrs Jones, aged 69, said: “He will definitely be missed by a lot of people. He was a lovely man, a real gentleman.

“He loved his children and grandchildren and was always there for them. He was very well respected at work as well.

“The paramedics and hospital staff worked really hard to try and save him.

“They did everything they could and we are very grateful to them.”

A date for the funeral has not yet been fixed. Enquiries can be made to Silletts Funeral Service on (0161) 723 2383.