Couple having 50th anniversary dinner are handed food bill and left in tears

A couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary at a restaurant were "left in tears" after they saw the bill.

Paul and Dawn Molineux from Southport met on a blind date when they were just 14 and 16, and have been together ever since.

The pair's anniversary falls on August 29 but as they have a bash planned for the big day, they decided to get some alone time at Hickory's Smokehouse ahead of the main celebration, Liverpool Echo reports.

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As they were shown to their seats the restaurant's deputy general manager, James Davies, chatted to the pair about their anniversary – they even opened up to him about Paul's tragic terminal cancer diagnosis, which he received in January of this year.

Paul, 68, said: "When you book the table they asked if it was something special, so we put down that it was our anniversary.

"When they seated us they had put down a sign celebrating our anniversary. Our waiter James asked us about our anniversary, and asked us when we began dating and about our life together. In the end we told him that I've got terminal cancer."

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The couple said they enjoyed their meal, and when the bill came they were "gobsmacked" to see the restaurant had paid the full price of their meal and left them a note wishing them a "happy anniversary".

"When he put the bill down we opened it and it said happy anniversary, the bill is on us. It was an 80 quid bill too.

"I just saw the look on my wife's face from across the table and thought have they got this wrong. She more or less broke into tears.

"We were gobsmacked. We had to go and find the bloke. We said you're joking aren't you?"

The pair approached James who told them he had been moved by their story and Paul's health battle, which leaves him with just months to live.

The couple, who share three adult children, hatched the plan to throw an enormous party at the end of August in a bid to live their life to the fullest while Paul still can.

"I can honestly say in those 50 years the amount times we've fallen out I can count on one hand," Paul continued.

"It is difficult with the diagnosis, but we laugh about it.

"We totally intend to live life to the fullest and we've got plans for a big anniversary party in Southport. People will be coming from all over.

"Luckily I've taken to chemo quite well. So many people get such bad side effects."

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