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Love at Leeds

Hands forming heart with Parkinson tower

We met at Leeds

Happy Valentine's Day to all our alumni, especially those who met their partner at Leeds.


From blossoming romance during lectures to dances at the Saturday night hop, chance encounters on the Otley run to kisses on the dance floor at fruity – this week, we’ve been inundated with funny, heart-warming and beautiful stories of love found here at Leeds.

 Love through the years

Use the year you graduated from Leeds to find your Leeds Love story.

1949 - 1960

1960 - 1979

1980 - 1999

2000 - 2010

2010 - 2019


 Feature Stories


The time was right - Rob (1999) and Gwen Atkinson (1998)

With many friends in common, there had been multiple opportunities for Gwen and Rob’s paths to cross throughout their time at Leeds. But it didn’t happen until the time was right...  

"It is 1997, the final months of John Major’s government. The Spice Girls are about to change the world of pop and Gwyneth Paltrow only appeared in a film with an English accent. Her major release that summer was Sliding Door – a film with two parallel plot lines based on whether or not catching a tube train can change your life. In the end she meets the love of her life when the time is right. 
After a falling out with my university housemates I decided I needed to leave. The wonderful staff in the Student Accommodation office agreed to help me find a place in Oxley flats. There happened to be a cute guy in the flat below me and a month later we had our first kiss. 
We realised we had mutual friends and should have met multiple times beforehand. But things kept on getting in the way. But we met each other when the time was right. 
We are still together, are celebrating our 19th Wedding Anniversary and have a five-year-old son."

From Leeds to Vietnam - Ha (2018) and Nondas (2018) 

A relationship which would form in Leeds and blossom across the world...

"We met at Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall for a Ted Talk event and soon became friends. I was studying MSc Enterprise and he was studying for an MSc Human Resource. I remember how he walked around the University when I was struggling with my dissertation, and he brought me a coffee to keep me going. We started having feelings for each other, and he told me how he felt on an October night near Laidlaw library. I had to come back home in Vietnam while his studies continued in Leeds. But, after a year of long distance, he has just proposed to me and I said yes. Leeds is full of so much love and sweet memories."


Still in love with Leeds - Chris (2012) and Fiona Pelly (2012) 

Chris and Fiona’s love of singing brought them together in 2011 and they’ve been together ever since... 

"I met Chris my husband of 5 years through LUU OperaSoc. He was conducting, I was prancing about on stage in a beard. Our love of singing brought us together. We had an aerial photo of the campus as our table plan at the wedding with different buildings that meant something to us as the name of each table. Parkinson was of course the top table. We still have it hanging up at home as a reminder. 
We both now work at the Uni. Chris is in Music where he also did his BA and PG Dip and I'm Faculty of AHC, so technically haven't gone far either, having studied Japanese."

Love that lasts a lifetime - Malcolm (1951) and Shirley Berwin (1952) 

Malcom and Shirley met in Leeds in 1949. It would be the start of a lifetime of love and happiness... 

"I met seventeen-year-old Shirley Ellis just before she started her B.A. General Studies in 1949. I had just completed my first year in B.Com. Textiles. We were at a party, and it was love at first sight. We both lived in Moortown and for the next two years travelled to University together by tram, holding hands. At every break between lectures we met for the awful coffee they served in the Union. She was at every match when I played rugby at Weetwood and sometimes she came to the away games. I coached her team when she was captain of the women’s basketball team. 
We married in 1952 on her graduation day and together brought up our family - there’s twenty of them now! We shared our lives in work, charitable endeavours, travel, art and music. Our lives were rich and full. 
Shirley became ill with a form of Motor Neurone Disease and gradually lost her mobility and speech, communicating with her iPad and seeing her great grandchildren on FaceTime. One day she lost that ability and the next day, she died, holding my hand, on 14th February, Valentine’s Day 2018. 
Thank youUniversity of Leeds, for the part you played in our lives."

1949 to 1960

Pauline Dransfield (Drake) (1952) and Philip Dransfield (1951)

Graham, Jonathan and Patrick: "Our parents Philip Dransfield and Pauline Drake, as they were then – met at the infamous Leeds University Friday Night Bop in the early 1950s and so you can say I owe my existence to the wild nights of Leeds University. Pauline was accompanied by the ubiquitous cousin Peter Meal, also a Leeds alum. The story goes that Peter propped her up against a pillar with the words ‘I am done kid. But some poor bugger will come along and dance with you.’ That bugger was my dad – I saw two of her and both of them were beautiful’ Philip recalled. And thus they started as they meant to continue.
Philip was from a mill workers family in Southcrossland, above Huddersfield, but with great Chartist roots and a belief in self-improvement – as well as a very strong matriarchal woman as a mother. Finding an intelligent chap from the other side of the tracks must have appealed to mum’s rebellious streak and at the time her strong socialist leanings. Philip had had to leave school at 14 and could only continue his education at night school.
His life was also changed by WW2 as he volunteered for the Navy and was trained as a radar mechanic and the war having ended in Europe sailed to Japan just in time to miss the end of hostilities with the dropping of the two bombs. His ship docked in Nagasaki Harbour and he witness the effects of the new kind of warfare at first hand. His melted Japanese coins were the last in his collection from very country he docked. Thus began a long love affair with Japan – dad visited Japan two more times and was instrumental in the development of paraquat for Teijin Chemicals, ICI’s joint venture partner.
When he was demobbed he was able to go to University through an accelerated scheme for ex-servicemen and he read Chemistry and met Mum when he was doing his PHD.
She would have been a very liberated ‘Posh’ girl when she met his family and made the ‘faux pas’ of ordering crisps in the pub. However, Yorkshire women are very tough and more than a match for any man who would object.
Mum worked a social worker in the Black Country after University and was shocked at the levels of ignorance and deprivation in the bomb scared midlands cities.
They got married in Golcar Parish church on December 11the 1954, and Mum wore ivory, which apparently has some kind of significance."

 Bryan Montgomery (1955) and Trudy Sanderson (1954)

Bryan: "I started at Leeds in 1950, living in Ridgeway House, part of Devonshire Hall. During my first week there, a fellow student told me had been invited to a party at Ellerslie Hall, a small hostel of about a dozen female students, and he suggested I might like to go with him. I did, and there met a young lady called Trudy Sanderson. I invited her out shortly afterwards, and five years later, after various liaisons with others on both sides, we became engaged. In 1956, while I was doing National Service in the RAF, we married. I stayed in the RAF for 16 years as a navigator, which took us to Cyprus and various bases in England. I then went into teaching, retiring in 1966. Trudy, meanwhile, between raising our children, did various jobs, finishing up as Superintendent Registrar for Sleaford District in Lincolnshire, which entailed carrying out all civil weddings,  marrying about 1700 couples, including our three daughters! We had four children, and now are grand- and great-grandparents. I am still reasonably well, but unfortunately about four years ago Trudy was found to be suffering from dementia, and is now being cared for in a local nursing home. Seventy years of togetherness, and sixty-three years of marriage!"

Eileen Watkins (1959)

"We met in dissection over a leg in 1954. Formalin is not alluring but we are still together."

Elizabeth and Kenneth Burke (1961)

Kenneth: "I met my wife, Elizabeth, on Feb 8th, 1959 in Leeds University men's approved lodgings. I came back to my lodgings in Leeds from a trip home and there was this gorgeous girl sitting on the settee. She had come to do an EEG training course at the Medical School and the landlady had made an exception, because, of course, we did not have co-ed dwellings in those days. Elizabeth moved out after a week to share a flat in Headingley with another girl, but we kept dating and even when Elizabeth returned to her hospital in Liverpool we spent weekends together and Elizabeth came to Leeds to attend events like the 1960 Mining Ball (see photo 1). Well we were married in 1961 and have enjoyed our married life together and still do, as photo 2 shows us enjoying attending a regatta where our daughter was rowing on the Saint John River in Fredericton, New Brunswick in an event to commemorate the success of a New Brunswick rowing crew back in the 1800s. I am still going strong at the age of 84, doing seismological research and writing papers, and a lot of my good fortune is due to the support of my wife.& What better result could a Valentine week Romance bring?"

1960 - 1979

John (1960) and Janet Tozer (1964)

John: “We became close at Grantley Hall, an economics study venue, married in Headingly in 1961, had our first child in 1962 , left for Bristol uni in 1964. Our flat in Lyddon Terrace ravaged by high winds in 1962 was pulled down. We are still married, 58 years. Sweaty Bettys, the Mouat-Jones, the Miami (near St James hospital), Roundhay Park and Woodhouse Moor, Cottage Road and the Hyde Park cinemas, Indian and Chinese restaurants . Leeds was a good city in which to be relatively poorly-off students."

Michael Fletcher (1964)

"I had offered to act as chauffeur to one of my friends who had tickets for the Engineer's Ball in January and this service included collecting his girlfriend from her digs in Headingley. As was her style she was not quite ready so we were invited inside and introduced to her friends who were all watching TV. One of them was sitting with curlers in her hair and wearing a dressing gown. She looked quite divine. I was without a partner to the February Houldsworth Ball, by co-incidence scheduled for the 14th, and nervously asked her to join me. She accepted graciously and we got along very well indeed. That was in 1961. We are still married having enjoyed almost 58 happy and wonderful years together."

Edward Thomas Michael Cooke (1965)

"Love of one person alone does not stop on Valentines day. My love of Leeds started in 1961 when I first met my medical school classmates.
This love only slowly became apparent during our years of qualification, then it matured , now for nearly 60yrs. when we meet still a decreasing band of brothers and sisters, at our reunions.
I hope the enclosed poem written after our last meeting, encompasses all that..."

The Class of '61

We met in '61
Us individuals tall, divided by the pheromones of youth.
We had not assimilated all.
We were not one.
But we soon learned,

 We soon awared.
The cataclysmic dawning. The volume of knowledge, required to achieve.
It was not to be easy.
But we graduated to relieve,

We exploded in an orgasm of joy.
To disperse then bright, like petals from a flower, like the stars at night.
All over the world.
We had joined together.
Experience shared,
women and men.

So now we meet.
Ten years, five. It matters not. We are alive.
Needs just a room, a smile, a glance. We need not speak.
Us happy band of numbers less. Sisters and brothers ever.
We are as one,

And so,
when parting with such sweet sorrow, for today, and for tomorrow.
I send a love to you all, for ever.
Till we meet, and soon.
Together, always.

Val Ellis (Fenn) (1965) and Norman Ellis (1966)

"June 1963 in the Mouat Jones Lounge. He had been given some unwanted minced meat and she offered to cook a spaghetti bolognese. We are still together after 56 years."

Robin and Margaret Cramp (1966)

"October 13th 1962 and my friend, Geoff Green and I were surveying the girls at the Saturday hop in the Riley Smith. Geoff knew one of them was called Margaret, so he asked my opinion and I told him to have first crack, and if Margaret said no, I would try. Well, Margaret said no to him and yes to me, and 52 married years later she is still saying yes to me, occasionally!"

Salim and Elizabeth Hameer (1967)

“We first met in London in August 1965, at Hammersmith Palais, a great pick up spot, according to the Playboy Magazine. We kept in touch, and I invited her in February 1967 to the Engineers Ball, with Eric Burden and the Animals as top billing. It was then, as they played The House of Rising Sun, that I realized that Liz was the girl for me. I moved to London in 1967 to do my Masters and we got married in April 1970. This year, we will be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary.”

 Roy Goodman (1968) and Pauline Brown (1969)

Roy: “I saw her sitting all alone in the soup and salad bar at lunchtime. I was bowled over! We met later by chance at a Fencing club party, and we have just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. Now have 4 grandchildren. Thanks Leeds! We’ve been back to Leeds several times to relive the happy days of our studies.”

Karen Baker (1968) 

"He was my first boyfriend, my first week at Leeds. We were on different courses but had some lectures in common in the mighty Parkinson and tutorials in that tiny Victorian terrace. We both joined Theatre Group in the glory days just after Ronald Pickup.
Four years later, we were married. We weren't together long but have remained friends for 50 years.
I remember our campus romance with great affection: those times you couldn't wait to see each other, whatever the purpose. I could not have asked for any happier memories: waiting for each other under the blossom outside the Union, hand-in hand passing the 'in' crowd posing in the MJ, negotiating the threadbare staircarpet down to the bar, queueing for cream cheese and pineapple baps in Refec, staggering back to the Henry Price for late-night coffee after a party. And, oh, walking together to Hyde Park by those glorious daffodils lining Woodhouse Moor. Our Leeds."

John Belstead (1968) and Susan Belstead (Goord) (1969)

"Met at the Christian Union 1964. Started courting over the bodies in the dissecting room in the Medical School. Married 1969 and still going strong."

Jackie Savage (Foster) and David Savage (1969)

"We met at Leeds in 1967 and married in 1970 after we graduated. Been in love ever since."

Vivien and Robert Hindle (1969)

"My wife, Vivien & I met at a Saturday night hop at the Students Union back on 25th. November 1967. John Mayall's Blues Breakers were the featured act. To show what a romantic start we had, my friend Dave and I emerged from the bar towards closing time, to see what 'talent' was still available! Dave spotted Sue and her friend Viv , so we approached and they agreed to dance with us. The rest, as they say, is history. We celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in September this year."

Barry Redfern (1970)

"In 1967, Rag Week was in October, and as a Fresher I got involved in the box office for the Rag production. At one evening performance at the Varieties Theatre, one of the ice cream sellers struggling with the heavy wooden tray round her neck caught my eye and I managed to meet up with her again in the queue for lunch in the Refectory balcony. We've been married 50 years this year."

Jini Rawlings (1969) and Edward Rosen (1971)

Edward: "October 4th 1968, a cold dark night. My friend Jeremy and I are huddled in the coffee machine room in the dank dark basement of the students union. I am feeling like a Leonard Cohen song.
And in she comes, like a dazzling version of Joni Mitchell along with Max and Pete( her then boyfriend). Hi's and quick coffees drunk as we sit talking about the revolution.Then she's gone.
I see her on campus from time to time and we say hi.
We celebrate our 46th anniversary this April. And that's how Dr Jini Rawlings and Edward Rosen fell in Love in Leeds."

Sue (Jeffcoatt) Welch (1971) and Mel Welch

"Met Mel Welch, a graduate from Sussex University in the Uni Sports Hall – the matchbox – in January 1970. Mel was working for the EBBA, organising an international basketball match. I was captain of the Uni Women’s Basketball Team, and helping to sell programmes.
We were introduced with the words; "This is Mr Welch. He’ll tell you what to do!"
Once we got together he then coached the Uni team, and we both played in other teams after my degree finished.
We have now been married for nearly 49 years, with 2 children and 5 grandchildren. He’s still trying to tell me what to do – though he would say it is impossible.
We live in the Yorkshire Dales and still love Yorkshire."

Hazel and Mike Vanderhoeven (1972)

"I met my wife Hazel at Leeds in 1969. She was studying English and I was studying Political Science but we had friends in common. During out second year we started throughout seriously and married in our third year (1971). We will celebrate our 49th wedding anniversary this year and have been back to Leeds several times to remember where we first met."

Linda McDonald and Steve McAdam (1975)

"I went to Cardiff University and my girlfriend Linda McDonald went to Leeds in Oct 1971. On the first weekend in October and many subsequent weekends, I visited Leeds and always remember going to the Hyde Park pub and hearing Rod Stewart’s Maggie May which is still my favourite pop song. The following summer, I left Cardiff and enrolled at Leeds Uni where I graduated in Classics in 1975. Lin and I went our separate ways but great memories and I still attend an annual reunion."

Kris Davidson (Sellars) (1976) and John Davidson (1975)

"Kristine Sellars and I met in the Autumn Term of 1973 and, although we had been to a concert and cinema together as friends, our first kiss was shared at the Bodington Hall Valentine Ball of 1974. She became Kristine Davidson in 1976 and two children, one grandchild and another on the way, later, we both look back at our choice of Leeds as the best decision we ever made. And we still live here."

Deborah Russell (Suddaby) (1977) and Mike Russell (1975)

"My husband, Mike Russell (BSc (Hons) Earth Science 1975) and I met on the Geology Society Freshers field trip in Autumn 1973. For the first few months we were just friends, meeting regularly in the department coffee bar on Red Route.
Our first romantic date was at the Union's Valentine's disco in February 1974, so on Valentine's Day this year we have been a couple for 46 years, married for 41 years, and are the parents of three sons, two of whom are also Leeds graduates (William Russell, BA (Hons) Philosophy-Sociology 2009 and Alexander Russell, BA (Hons) Philosophy 2012). Mike and both sons were in Devonshire Hall.
The photo shows us outside 10 Springfield Mount, where I lived in my first year, in summer 1974.
Thank you, Leeds Uni, for playing such a pivotal role in our family!"

Janet Humphreys (1983) and Jon Owen (1977)

Jon: "Janet Humphreys and I met in 1979 along Red Route whilst we were both undertaking PhDs. We were married in 1986, at Emmanuel Church, by the University Chaplain Alan Overell. Photographs were outside the Great Hall and Baines Wing, and our reception was in University House - our families were quite impressed by the silverware in the cabinets and the portraits on the wall - served by the university caterers. Our wedding cake was made by Ainsleys (which was opposite to the Parkinson Building). So, yes, Leeds and the campus played quite a role in the wedding, and a good proportion of those attending were Leeds staff and/or alumni."

Mary Kay Buike (1977)

"Not exactly at Leeds, but during my year at Leeds:
Toward the end of my Rotary Fellowship year at Leeds in 1978, I took a short break and went to Edinburgh. While waiting to check in at the Eglington Crescent Youth Hostel, I struck up a conversation with a young man who turned out to be an American serving with the US Army in Nuremberg, Germany. Even after going out separate ways, we kept in touch, reunited and married."

Sue and Richard Coleman (1978)

Richard: "In 1975 I was a first year student studying Social and Public Administration. Long haired and bearded, living in Henry Price and surviving on beer and tins of Irish stew.
In October I saw Dr Feelgood raise the roof at the Uni. The following week I went to a party in North Grange Road and met Sue Coleman a first year English student. With long thick black hair, soft brown eyes and a beaming smile we hit it off at once.
She told me she owned two Dr Feelgood albums. The next week we met up, played the albums accompanied by a bottle of wine. We fell in love over drinks in the Union bar, long walks to town to buy food in Leeds market and late night strolls across Woodhouse Moor.
We moved into a flat on Headingly Lane by the start of the second year. We graduated in 1978, got married in London in 1980 and had our boys soon after.
We stayed in love up to Sue’s death in 2015. When I think of her now, as I do every day, I can still see her in short jacket, tartan scarf and tight narrow jeans buying us pints in the Pack Horse.
On our first Valentine’s Day together In 1976 I made her a heart shaped fruit pie and she bought me the Joni Mitchell album “Blue”. I’ve still got the album but her and her mates ate all the pie!"

Libby and Brian Fairhurst (1978)

"As residents of Charles Morris Hall, I met Libby on October 14, 1975. Libby was an exchange student from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN and my relocation to Leeds from home was just a hop over the Pennines.
We had fun at the Charles Morris Hall Ball in June 1976 - with an appropriate theme of "America" in honor of the U.S. Bicentennial.
Subsequently, long-distance dating wasn't going to work out and I moved to Nashville, TN in November, 1979. We were married in Nashville in May 1981.
Our story wouldn't be complete without a return to Charles Morris Hall in August 2011, including a photo outside my room - 36 years after we met!
We lived in Nashville for 19 years and have lived in Tallahassee, FL since 1998.
After being very happily married for almost 39 years, it appears that this college romance may work out!
Happy Valentines Day!"



Sarah Marshall (Minney) and Phil Marshall (1980)

"My husband and I met in our PHGE tutor group in 1980. We married in 1984 and have 2 sons. Phil went on to be a Headteacher of large comprehensive in Rotherham, and I was an Assistant Head responsible for Inclusion and Special Needs in Doncaster, where we live. We are extremely proud of our sons and their partners. Our first date was a Woody Allen film at the Hyde Park cinema, which we left half way through as it was terrible. Happy days! Xxxx"

Benjamin Obafemi (1981)

"Leeds witnessed the consumation of my love life. I actually got married in Leeds in 1980."

Janet Roberts (1981) and Peter Roberts (1981)

"We met in the Hyde Park pub and ended up going to the cinema where I fell asleep! 3 months later we were engaged and were married at the end of the second year. We celebrate our Ruby wedding anniversary in August this year!"

Mandy Young (1982) and Ian Whitehouse (1981)

"At a Steel Pulse concert in the Refectory."

Sharon and Mark Chaldecott (1983)

"In 1982 I was at the Christian Union meeting when someone called Sharon tried to move some chairs to come and meet me, the whole row fell over but I didn't even notice a thing!
However - later we did get together & went for a curry at Naffie's. In 1984 we got married in Leeds and are still together and madly in love!"

Wendy Sellers (McCanna) and Dale Sellers (1984)

Wendy: "I met my husband at Leeds in 1982. My uncle had met my aunt at Leeds and my dad’s cousin also met his wife at Leeds (both in the 1960s). My daughter and her husband met (surprise) at Leeds too. Best dating agency ever. The surprising thing is my family is from Portsmouth and we were the only ones in our generations who went to university at all."

Sarah Daniel (1985)

"She was one of 17 studying IHP. I got to know some great people on that course through a friend at Bodington. Always admired her from a distance and determined to stay in touch when we left in 1985. Got together a year later, wed in 94 and still in love now."

Michelle Mabley (Groom) (1986) and Dean Mabley (1986)

Michelle: "My husband Dean and I met in 1983 when Weetwood and Sadler Halls had a joint social in our first few weeks at University. After a formal meal where half of the girls went to Sadler and half of the boys came to Weetwood, we met at the joint disco. We have been together ever since. He proposed on my 21st birthday and we got married the year afterwards. Nearly 32 years later, with two wonderful children we will be meeting up with our ‘Leeds Crew’ this weekend."

Peter Hill (1987) and Hope Barmat Hill (1987)

Peter: "Hope and I were both spending a year abroad at Leeds - coming from different universities in the States. We met on the first day of term in line at the photo booth in the student union. Married in 1989, we spent our 30th anniversary on campus! To me Leeds was and is a magical place. I found the love of my life there and together we have fashioned an incredible life. Returning 30 years later, having a beer in the Uni, walking the campus was a wonderful way to celebrate our love!"

Julie Curran (Hall) 1987

"36.5 years after that Charlie Mo disco, 😘"

Richard Rock and Cynthia Kickham

Richard: "Cynthia & I both stayed at Clapham House, Bodington Hall, during the 1987-88 academic year. She from Vanderbilt, I from U of Illinois, both on junior year abroad programs. Two Americans finding their way in a foreign land..... married 1991."

Helen Gourley (1989) and John Matthews (1989)

"Across Cromer Terrace Gym waiting for our vaccinations."

Justine Watkinson (Walsh) (1992) 

"My husband and I met in the Old Bar in October 1990 and fell in love❤️❤️ we have been married for 24 blissful years and have 2 beautiful daughters, Leeds holds very happy and special memories for us both!!"

Louise Holman (1995) and Alex Jameson (1992)

We met in the cello section of the LUUMS (Leeds University Union Music Society) Symphony Orchestra in October 1990. We have been together since 1991, got married in 2000 and our music-loving daughter Lucy was born in 2009.


I met my now husband back in 1994 in Leeds while he was over from Italy on a six-month Erasmus programme. And here we are 26 years later...
I will never forget our first Valentine’s Day. We went out for dinner at The Italian Job in town, only to notice that the entire Italian Department were having a faculty evening out. We had to creep by their table sheepishly on our way out...
Thank you for the memories!

Carry Boss (England) (1996) and Matt Boss (1997)

Carry: "My husband and I met a few days into the start of our first term in October 1993, in Burton Lea, one of the houses that made up Tetley Hall. We've been together since the 'Halloween Bop' (a vicars and tarts themed night!) despite his year in France during his course, and when I travelled South America shortly after graduating. He proposed to me very publicly on the London Eye in summer 2001 (with a huge banner on the embankment held up by many friends made at Leeds University!) We were married in London in 2002, have a son, 14 and a daughter 11, and have had a very happy life together, living abroad for a time and currently in Buckinghamshire.
Thank you Leeds (and the late, lovely, Gordon the Warden) for bringing us together!

'Thank you for our happy marriage Matt, you're a wonderful man. Love you always, (although god knows how we got together dressed like that on halloween... there must have been some blastaways involved!) xxx' "

Will (1998) and Sally (1998)

Will: "Sally and I met within hours of my arrival at Leeds. We played the quiz machine in the Old Bar. When I protested at the quality of her answers, she said 'You'd have loved me if I'd got it right.' She was right, of course."

Bethan Dartnail (Taylor) (1999) and Danny Dartnail (1997)

Bethan: "I met Danny at Christmas time 1996 whilst I was studying (German and Italian, 1999) at the University of Leeds. He was on the same course (Physics with Astrophysics, 1997) as one of my housemates. We first kissed at a house party in Clarendon Place, and our first date was to the Old Bar. We married seven years later and have four children together. We're still in touch with quite a few of our friends from University. We have very fond memories of our time in Leeds although we've never been back to visit... perhaps it is time to make the trip this year."


Sally Magrath (Mason) and Owen Magrath (2000)

Sally: "I studied physics at leeds from 1997-2000. I had a part-time job in the union newsagents for much of that time, and one day a guy I recognised from my physics course came to my till. I didn’t know him at all, but couldn’t get him out of my head so decided to ask him out (by email, very modern). He said yes, and our first date was at the Royal Park pub, with my housemates on standby to make an emergency appearance in case he turned out to be a weirdo. Luckily he wasn’t....... I stayed on for a Masters at Leeds and Owen started work, and then we both managed to get jobs in the same part of the country. After various shared houses we finally got our own place in 2004, married in 2009 and have a 7 year old daughter Chloe.
We’ll be celebrating the 20th anniversary of our first date in May. Owen’s parents are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary later this year.... they met at Leeds too....."

Gareth (2002) and Anna (2000)

I met my wife Anna the moment I arrived at Tetley Hall. She was staying there for a term of her second year before going abroad as part of her French and Spanish degree and I was about to start my first year of Dentistry. 5 years later, we bumped into each other when I was reliving the Otley Run and we were then together for ever. From that very first day at Tetley it was always meant to be. We have been married 14 wonderful years with 2 amazing children. #LeedsAlumniLove x

Ali Hodrien (nee Colclough) (2001, 2006) and John Hodrien (2000)

As a 4th year undergraduate physicist, I was allowed to take a 1st year computer programming module in C++. Easy marks! John had graduated, and was employed by the School of Computing as a TA on my module. In October 2000, our eyes met across DEC-10 lab.

Shona and Tom (2002) 

Tom: "Shona and I met as freshers in Lupton Halls in Headingley back in September 2002 and first got together in the Hifi Club the following year. We've been together ever since. We've now been married for over 5 years, have one lovely son who is two-and-a-half years old and are expecting a daughter very soon. This year will be our eighteenth Valentine's Day together and we remain very much in love! Although we don't get to go back to Leeds very often these days, it will always have a very special place in our lives and hearts. Thank you Leeds!"

Caroline Razazan (2007) and Tom Razazan (2006)

We met at a house party of a friend in Hyde Park in May 2006. I still remember those warm light evenings and student barbecues! Fourteen years on we have been married 6 1/2 years and have two beautiful sons.

Michael Wilbur (2007)

"I met my wife after coming to the University of Leeds to study for my Masters Degree in Democratic studies in 2006. I was an international student from the USA. My wife was studying music at LCM and we were both situated in a shared apartment in the city center at the Plaza- which had just been newly constructed. We married in 2009 and relocated together to the USA the same year. We celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary last year and have two children, Esme 8, and Teddy, 6."

Sampoorna Satheesha (2008) and Alexandre Rappaz (2008)

My husband and I lived in the same student accommodation. Although we were introduced at the socials for residents, I fell in love with him the moment I saw him across the common room having a conversation about the Premier League. Adonis in adidas!

Eugenia (MA International Communications 2008) and Bruno (PhD Physics 2008)

We met at the Photosoc welcome party in September 2007, have been together since. Now with two wonderful kids and leading together probably the most innovative photography startup in the world.

Edward Oelman and Sarah Freeman (2009)

Ed: "I met Sarah Freeman on our MSc in Transport Planning (2008-2009) and we started seeing each other in December of 2008! We have been in a relationship ever since (11+ years) and having got engaged at Glastonbury Festival last summer, we are getting married in San Francisco where we have lived for 3 years, now on May 30th this year!"

Elisa (2009) and Niccolò (2009)

We met in Leeds Uni in 2008 during our Erasmus year. We were attending our Universities in Italy (Udine and Ferrara respectively) and in September 2008 we left to go to Leeds and live a life changing experience.

Ben Wood (on Twitter)

I discovered my future husband in The Terrace Bar of the Leeds Student Union in the February of 2005. We talked about anything & everything, & danced the night away like fools. Three days later, we were inseparable. The rest, as they say, is history. #LeedsAlumniLove

Nathan (2005) and Amy Shipley (2005) 

I first met @amy_shipley in the @itsLUUCU 's tent outside @LeedsUniUnion. We met in 2002, started going out in 2003, graduated in 2005 and got married in 2006! #LeedsAlumniLove


Rose Campbell (2008) and Sam Waterton (2010)

"We were both models in the Leeds RAG fashion show, March 2007, and were paired up for a runway walk. Sam had an immediate crush, but I had a bf at the time! The following year, I directed the RAG fashion show & Sam was the marketing lead. We sold out! We remained close friends for 9 years until we got together NYE 2015. Funnily enough, after uni I worked as fashion model which took me to NYC. I convinced Sam to join me there & he eventually found a job at UNICEF at the UN! We now live in Brooklyn."

 Ruth Durkin (was Kilner) (2010) and James Durkin (2010)

"We met on the MA Writing Performance and Publication course. We first saw each other outside a seminar room in the Parkinson building. After 7 months of being best friends we got together, much to the delight of our friends who said we were a great match. We got married in 2015 and now have a 2 year old son, Gabriel."

 Rebecca England and Benedict Keatinge (2010)

Rebecca: "I met my husband, Benedict Keatinge (BA English '10), when we were both on the committee for the Leeds University Ultimate Frisbee Team in 2010 (then known as Leeds Jedi). He was the President, I was the Secretary, and the rest is history... Our first date was at Cafe on Campus. When we weren't at Weetwood Fields or The Edge, we were at The Union.
This year we celebrate ten years together and three years of marriage. He wears his Leeds sports hoodie every day and we played frisbee on our wedding day surrounded by alumni pals."

Rajesh and Simone Ferrecchia (2011) 

"We met in February 2010 at the Eldon Pub, in Woodhouse. Thanks for supporting all kinds of love."

Lucy Tetley (now Lynch) (2011) and (Andrew Lynch)

"We met on the very first Sunday before our freshers week started in 2007 in Fruity and bonded over a love of Vodka and Lemonade we got together in first year and that was that! We got married in 2018 and Leeds still holds a precious place in our heart!"

Izzy (2012) and Henry (2012)

"We were flatmates in Henry Price C3.1. I was C3.14 and Henry was C3.17 so our rooms were directly opposite each other!"

 Olivia (2013) and Matt (2012)

"We first met over drinks at the Old Bar after attending Leeds LINKS weekly first aid training. Over the next few months of flirty first aid followed by Old Bar trips and Top Gun, we fell head over heels for each other. 7 years on we're still going str Thank you Leeds!"

Ellen Karran (2013) and Liam Kingston (2013)

"We met the first night of fresher's week in Old bar and bonded over a Lonely Island music video playing on the TV! We have now been together for over 9 years, lived together for 6 years and recently got engaged :)"

Kate Vaughan Williams (2013) and Laurence Jones (2013)

"We met in HiFi. He was sat on a sofa after all his mates were kicked out, and I went over and chatted him up. We graduated that summer (Zoology Bsc & Advertising & Marketing MA), moved to Berlin the following year, and are soon getting married!"

Emma Pickup (2013) 

"I met my now husband back in 2011 through my Biology coursemates who lived with him. We had one of our first outings together in the Terrace! 8 years later we married in Roundhay Park, we still live in Leeds and now expecting our first baby."

Lauren and Joe Nahal-Macdonald (2014)

Joe and I met completely by chance when we both attended a birthday Otley run for a friend's birthday. I believe we first locked eyes in none other than the Headingley Taps. The Glamour!!! I was attending to give my housemate some moral support - Jimmy (the birthday boy) was her boyfriend and Joe was Jimmy's friend from uni. I had actually been on my way to a big Medic's fancy dress party (I used to study Medicine at one point at University)....and was dressed in a homemade space-girl outfit whilst everyone else was in normal clothing! Needless to say I stood out like a sore thumb but Joe put me at ease instantly. (This was referenced repeatedly at our wedding, as there was no way of upping the outfit in terms of provocation for future outings!! Nothing left to the imagination 🙂 what it is to be 19 and fearless I suppose!)
This was in November 2009 (16th November to be exact!) and Joe was my first ever boyfriend! I guess it was beginners luck.
We are opposites of sorts, but some how we clicked. He is 6ft3 and I'm 4ft11. He likes heavy metal music and I like Disney tunes and cheesy pop. He likes to have a drink or two (or 10!) and I am teetotal!
Seems silly to say - and I'm not sure whether I believe in reincarnation, but the moment we first met, I thought we had known each other in a previous life!
Anyhow that is our story. 🙂
And suppose I have Leeds to thank. Whilst we didn't meet as two University students, Joe had been a Leeds Met student, so was a coming together of sorts."

Arminell and Will (2014)

Arminell: "Me and my boyfriend Will met at a house party in Burley. First date at the Library pub and several more dates at famous venues including Hyde Park Picture House, the Corn Exchange and watching the Leeds Tealights in the Union. Still together 8 years later!"

Jess 2014 and Kurt 2014

Jess: "Kurt thought I was rude and I thought the same of him. But somehow we became friends and, after a Breaking Bad marathon, a bit more than that. It'll be our 6 year anniversary on the 17th.
I no longer think he's rude. In fact, he's supportive, encouraging, and the most intelligent and thoughtful person I know. Happy Valentine's Day, love."

Freya (2016) and Alex (2015)

"Performing in Devonshire Hall?s FAME. Badly."

 Raymond (2016)

"Autumn 2016, On a board game party. We miss Leeds so much!!"

Hiroki (2016) and Xiaoxuan (2016)

"At the day of starting our course MSc Management, we met each other at Western Lecture Theatre. To take a sheet, I asked one girl to confirm whether can I sit next to her. I said 'May I'. After that, we have been together, now we become wife and husband. Leeds are always nostalgic for both of us. And always throwing back those lovely memories. Love University of Leeds!"

Dovydas (2012) and Anthi (2017)

"I met Anthi back in 2012. She came from Cyprus to do her PhD in Classics, I came from Lithuania to study MA International Education Management. We met at iconic Halo during the performance of what's left from iconic S Club 7 at that time. We stayed in Leeds after graduation and are married for over 2 years now! Passing by ex Halo place always brings back crazy memories!"

Betsy Reid (2017)

"My partner and I met in Fruity during my freshers year as a first year and my partner’s masters year. Toby is from Oxford and I am from Lancashire but we both stayed in Leeds. We enjoyed a boogie on the fruity dancefloor and have been together ever since. We got engaged in the October just gone and are planning our wedding!"

Ruby and Greg (2017)

Ruby: "I met Greg in the snooker room in Devonshire halls in the summer of our first year. We saw more and more of each other through mutual friends, and on this day 7 years ago he walked me home. After waiting outside my house on Buckingham Avenue for 20 minutes, a number which becomes bigger and bigger every time he tells this story, I finally let him in and we shared our first kiss. After some to-ing and fro-ing we finally decided to give it a go and got together a few months later, and haven’t looked back since. We lived together in a flat on Norfolk House Road, and when Greg moved back to London after graduating I followed him, and now we both live and work there, and are looking to make a more permanent home together! Thank you Leeds #LeedsAlumniLove"

Daniela and Diego (2017)

"Studying at University of Leeds marked my life forever. First, I accomplished my dream of studying abroad, I made increíble friends. But most importantly I met Diego, my current husband and the Engineering cluster was part of our story.
Our countries are 6,606 km away from each other. I’m from Mexico and Diego is from Chile. Nevertheless, Leeds Uni gave us the opportunity to connect us forever. Because of that I will always be grateful to the Uni.
#proudtobeleeds #leedsalumnilove"

Holly (2017) and Joe (2017)

"I met my partner in first year, in Oxley halls, 7 years ago. He was literally the boy next door! I never would have thought that I would meet someone the first week of University, and that we would even end up graduating together on the same course. He didn't know that the 'posh' girl from the 'Midlands' (one of the many things up for debate at University - IT IS A THING) would end up being the one he would be with all these years later."

Hannah (2017) and Matt (2017)

"We first met on a Hist Soc Otley run in Freshers 2013 but it was at the Hist Soc ball in December 2016 that was the real spark. After chatting all night and all over Christmas, we were boyfriend and girlfriend by January and 3 years on we're engaged! If it weren't for History Society, we wouldn't have found each other!"

Lavinia (2017) and Perrito (2017)

Diego Ignacio Silva Lopez (2017) and Daniela Puente Mayagoitia (2017)

"We met each other at the Chemical & Engineering cluster finishing our dissertations, in August 2017. A chilean friend was our cupid, who actually met me due to I was wearing a t-shirt with a chilean flag. That t-shirt changed my life! I'm from Chile and Daniela is from Mexico. We fell in love and, after finishing our masters, we decided to live in Chile. We got married last month in Chile and in March in Mexico. Thanks Leeds for giving me the woman of my life!"

Lauren Alexander (2017) and Jessica Herrerar

"Jessica and I met while studying abroad where we lived in Devonshire Hall and became soul sisters - the moon to my sun. I love you Jessica!!! Thank you to the University of Leeds for the best experience of our lives."

Chloe Sparks (2017)

"We both studied History and worked in LUU, him in Essentials and myself in Old Bar. Our first ‘dates’ were spent in Brotherton Library or on History Society socials. We studied together, partied together, even lived together with our friends one year and eventually he was my campaign manager for the LUU elections, I wouldn’t have won without his help. Leeds wouldn’t have been the same without him!"

Katie Phillips (2017)

"I saw the email about #LeedsAlumniLove and thought it was so cute :) Me and my now fiancés love story is that we met through the the University of Leeds Boat Club in 2014, I went away for a placement year and came back to Leeds in 2016 where we met again at the pre-season rowing training, a week later we had our first date in Old Bar (I had a tuna melt sub, it’s strange what you remember!), we had our first kiss in Fruity and that was it! We got engaged in April 2019 and our wedding is planned for September 2020! I now work at LUU and it’s so lovely being able to be a part of other students journeys and experiences, hopefully they are as good as mine!"

Eva (2018) and Michael (2018)

"Met my boyfriend when we both went to Leeds to do our Masters in MSc International Marketing Management. We were in the same group of friends for the whole year and became really close, hanging out together almost every day."

Rachael Mott (2018) and Natasha Lyons (2018)

"From housemates at university to housemates for life: after two years of living together in a house share I realised that I was head over heels for Tash... Turns out the feeling was mutual, and now we're more than just roomies!"

Luca Polizzi (2018)

Luca: “I met Marysia in Beginners German class. It was our elective module in first year. We kind of friend-zoned each other right from the beginning and ended up living together in second year. We became best friends. We started doing everything together, including going to the gym, which until then was unheard of for the both of us. As the months went by, I think she started having a crush on me. She says that Polish girls liking Italian guys is actually a thing. I was clueless, but apparently everyone in the house knew about it. One day she just decided to tell me and that’s how it all started.

Almost three years have gone by. None of us speaks a word of German, but we wrote our dissertations together, we graduated together and we now live together in a small flat in Amsterdam. We love it here and I love her more every day. Thank you Leeds Uni.”

Tatyana Rutherston (2019)

"We went to Parkinson building to study as friends, then we started going out and have been together over a year!"


Cerys Hughes (2019) and William Aitken (2019)

"Who knew that being put into Oxley Halls of Residence (which I was NOT excited about at the time!) would result in one of the greatest joys of my life. As my other half always jokes - I was block A, he was block B, the rest is history!"

Ben Clare (2019) and Grace Fallon

"I moved next to my girlfriend in third year and I haven’t stopped smiling since! HAPPY VALENTINES DAY Leeds 😎"

As my other half always jokes - I was block A, he was block B, the rest is history!"

Hanna Szymborska (2014) and Diego Quiñones (2018) 

Even though we were based at the opposite sides of the University campus, we found each other at the LUU
through @LeedsDancesport. Five years later, we said “I do” and will soon celebrate our first anniversary!

hallihallå (on Twitter)

Met the husband dancing to funk in @HiFiClubLeeds back in 2008. He thought my Swedish ID was fake. First date in Old Bar @leedsuniunion, graduated, travelled, then lived in Sweden for a while and now in the UK! #LeedsAlumniLove Leeds, we love you!!

Rebecca Hubery (2017)

My boyfriend and I have been together 6 years. We met at our halls and became good friends. After 6 months, I realised I had feelings for him, so I spent a week flirting and trying to figure out if he felt the same. We got together just before his birthday. #LeedsAlumniLove

Ellie (on Twitter)

Met my boyfriend in first year when he held the door open for me on the way to a music lecture. Four years later, we live in Leeds together :) #leedsalumnilove

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