July 23, 1983
Anfield’s best kept secret is out … goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar has married following a whirlwind African romance. The Kop favourite took his vows with blonde air hostess Debbie Sweetland more than two weeks ago in his homeland of Zimbabwe.
The wedding comes only months after Bruce broke up with local girl Janet Holt, ending their year-long engagement.
Speaking at his West Derby home last night, Bruce said: “Debbie and I decided to get married. It was a joint agreement so we just did the very next day.”
Bruce met his wife some months ago in Britain while she was flying. They met up again while the team was in Hong Kong and later in London.
She contracted bronchitis while working in America and flew to the Zimbabwe sunshine to recuperate.
While the couple were there they were married in the town of Mutari and held the reception in a local hotel for only £7,50.
The rest of Bruce’s football coaching holiday turned into a honeymoon, but it was curt short when Debbie, of Sunbury-on-Thames, returned to England last week. Bruce flew in a week later to report for training with Liverpool F.C.
His former fiancee Janet is on holiday in Spain, and last night her mother said she would be upset over the news because she thought they might get together again.
“Janet thought if they parted things might improve,” said Mrs. Holt.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: July 23, 1983; via http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) © 2018 Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited