THE WIFE of a pop heartthrob from 1960s sensations Love Affair has lifted the lid on their own Everlasting Love and the secrets behind their 50-year marriage.

Patricia Speight was just 14 when she met Mick Jackson, who went on to become a pop idol when, in 1968, he was part of the group which became the youngest to have a UK number one.

Everlasting Love by Love Affair sent The Beatles’ number one Hello Goodbye tumbling down the charts.

The song features in Kenneth Branagh’s new film Belfast, starring Jamie Dornan and Dame Judi Dench and to date more than 13 million copies have been bought around the world. It has almost twenty million views on YouTube.

The autobiographical book, Everlasting Love & Love Affair, details the trials and tribulations of being a pop idol’s girlfriend, their secret romance in the swinging 60s and the profound love that has spanned seven decades.

Now 70, it is Patricia's first book.

Patricia met bass guitarist Mick on a blind date set up by one of Mick’s friends. The pair met after school in May 1966 at The Continental coffee bar, Bradford.

She recalls: “I got home one Friday evening after seeing Mick and he rang to say he’d been asked to go to Butlin’s the next morning to play professionally.

“There was no time to say goodbye. I cried throughout the night and couldn’t go to my Saturday job selling books in Kirkgate Market as my eyes were too puffy and I would have scared the customers.

“I then spent a week on holiday at Butlin’s with my friend but was not able to see much of Mick as he played in the Sportsman’s bar, and we were underage and not allowed in unaccompanied.

“At the end of the week we were separated once more and I had to go through all the trauma again, every mile travelling back home was teenage agony as it was a mile further away from him.”

But despite the difficulties and the countless obstacles, there were also plenty of signs that the couple were destined to be together.

Patricia said: “On the evening that we first met Mick told his mum he had met the girl he was going to marry, and at the same time I wrote in my diary ‘met? he’s gorgeous, I’d really like to get to know him better’.

“It wasn’t until the next day when I found out that his name really was Mick that I rubbed out the question mark and wrote it in.

“In the first few weeks after we met we spent many days walking on the moors and a nearby beauty spot, Shipley Glen, or chatting whilst strolling through cobbled streets, imagining our future together. We often should have been at school and these places were deserted.

“I also remember sitting beneath Scarborough Castle when Mick handed me a note and, contrary to what I thought it might have said, which was that he wanted to finish with me, he said he wanted to stay with me forever.

“We walked down to the beach and found a plastic ‘engagement’ ring someone had probably won in the amusement arcades, and he jokingly put it on my finger, but it proved to be prophetic.”

At the height of the band’s popularity Patricia had to live in the shadows of Mick’s success as the group’s management didn’t want their millions of female fans to know any of them had girlfriends.

Patricia reveals: “Whenever Mick had to return back to London after visiting Bradford, I had to stand forlorn on an empty platform in Bradford Exchange Station to wave goodbye as his train pulled away, not knowing if it would be weeks or months before I would see him again.”

Tests of their relationship included Mick living in a flat with a group of girls when he first moved to London in search of fame, leaving Patricia back home in Bradford.

Patricia eventually moved to London too and spent Boxing Day 1968 in a freezing flat when the electricity meter broke after Mick had dashed off to play a gig in Weston-super-Mare.

The previous day, Christmas dinner consisted of Heinz tomato soup, brown bread and honey as the couple struggled for cash. “I couldn’t ring anyone as in those days no one worked on Boxing Day and I didn’t want to inform my parents as there was nothing they could do," says Patricia.

“There was no point in upsetting them, so I let them be, probably imagining I was partying the day and night away in my ‘exciting’ new life.”

She adds: “I also remember sitting in front of the fire until the embers went down in the early morning, in our first cottage, the day we got married. It was the conclusion of five long years of waiting for that moment.”

There have also been many benefits to being in a relationship with a pop star.

Patricia became homesick while Mick was away touring and returned to her family in Shipley where she worked as a journalist for the Shipley Times & Express

Patricia said: “Not many young couples could have found the substantial deposit for their first dream home, but Mick could.

“Also, the confidence that Mick had gained as a pop star made him believe in himself and with his natural determination to succeed, it stood us in really good stead throughout our married life.

“Even 50 years later people are still interested in Mick’s former life, listening to him reminiscing and I’ve always loved the fact that it makes people smile and brings them pleasure.

“It gave me, as someone who was always told to put others before myself - not good for self-belief and confidence - the ability to realise I was as worthy as the next person.

“It’s also lovely to still hear Mick playing, singing and composing. He wrote and recorded a song dedicated to me to mark our 50th anniversary - how many people get a present as wonderful as that?”

The couple got married at St Margaret’s Church, Frizinghall, in 1971, and have a son, a daughter and three grandchildren.

After Leaving Love Affair Mick, 73, turned his back on fame, quit the music business, moved back to Bradford with Patricia and started a new life in the motor industry.

He also had successful careers running his own training and marketing company and as a sports car racing driver. Patricia has been a hypnotherapist for 20 years and is author and narrator of ‘SOS Sleep Well 4 Your Child’ and 20 other hypnotherapy bedtime story apps for children and adults.

*Everlasting Love & Love Affair is published by Fonthill.