Couple with 19-year-age gap find they'd met years earlier

Married man, 48, whose wife is 19 years younger than him discovers he met her when she was just a baby – but the couple, who are expecting their own child together, say ‘age is just a number’

  • Rich Foetu Tomkinson, 48, from Staffordshire married Evie, 29, last month
  • Even though Rich and Evie’s mum worked together when Evie was a baby
  • Despite the 19-year-age gap the two are madly in love and are now having a baby

A newly married husband, 19 years older than his wife, was shocked to find out he had actually met her years earlier when she was a baby – and now the couple are expecting their own baby together.

Rich Foetu Tomkinson, 48, married Evie Foetu Tomkinson, 29, last month after meeting in a bar four years ago.

Despite the age gap, the two fell madly in love but when it was time for Rich to meet Evie’s parents, they realised they’d met years earlier – and that he had most probably met his new wife when she was a baby.

Rich, a surveyor, from Stafford, Staffordshire, said: ‘It was a bit freaky when I realised I’d met Evie as a baby, but we just laughed about it. Age is just a number to us, and you can’t help who you fall in love with. 

Rich Foetu Tomkinson, 48, married Evie Foetu Tomkinson, 29, last month after meeting in a bar four years ago

The couple had tried to marry earlier, but Covid restrictions had made them postpone and then they each lost a parent in sudden devastating circumstances

‘I’ve been mistaken for Evie’s dad before, but most people can see how well we click. The 19 year age gap doesn’t bother us at all. Marrying Evie was the best day of my life and I’m so excited to have a baby with her.’ 

Rich and Evie hit it off as soon as they got chatting at a bar in July 2018. ‘He’s such a warm person,’ Evie said. ‘I was just drawn to him from our first conversation.’

‘We really hit it off,’ Rich said. ‘I invited her to get involved with a big charity event I was doing so we could keep in touch.’

The pair carried on chatting whenever they met up at the pub. And Rich finally realised he had fallen for Evie when she went away on holiday.

‘I realised I really missed her and was worried about her when she was away,’ he said. ‘I told her when she came back, and she said she felt the same.’

Rich often gets mistaken for Evie’s dad and the two expect people to assume he’s the baby’s granddad in the future, but they insist they’ll just laugh it off

But then Rich’s dad got diagnosed with cancer in October 2018 and passed away just a couple of months later at Christmas and Rich thanks Evie for sticking by hit side.

The couple decided to move in together in February 2019 and then Rich proposed in September 2019 in front of 1,000 people at their local theatre, during a showing of a documentary on the charity event he had produced. 

But when Rich was introduced to Evie’s mum, Sarah Owen, 53, a councillor, he realised they had in fact met before while working on the same street as each other in the 90s – meaning he would have seen Evie as a baby.

Evie, a social worker, said: ‘It was a bit odd when we worked out Rich had met me when I was a baby but we soon moved on. He’s so fun and has the biggest heart. 

The newlyweds are now looking forward to starting a family together and even doing a bit of travelling in their converted van, once the baby arrives

‘When we’re together you can’t really tell we’ve got a big age gap – apart from Rich’s grey beard.’

The couple have always had the support of their families but they’re often mistaken for father and daughter.

‘A woman asked if he was my dad once,’ Evie said. ‘But it wasn’t malicious and I think she was mortified when I told her he was my boyfriend.’

The pair had planned to initially get married in June 2021, but due to Covid restrictions they postponed. 

And then the two experienced deep personal loss, when Evie suddenly lost her dad, Martyn Locke, 60, in July, and Rich lost his mum, Nicole Tomkinson, 76, in October. 

A photo of Evie when she was a baby, and possibly a time Rich (not pictured) would have met her, while mum Sarah was working as a councillor

Evie added: ‘I couldn’t bear the thought of not having my dad there to walk me down the aisle.’ 

Eventually, the couple rearranged their wedding opting for an intimate ceremony followed by a big party in a friend’s field with over 200 guests last month within weeks of finding out they were expecting their first baby together.

Rich said: ‘We had a wedding dance off and so much fun. It was the best day. Our family and friends have always been supportive, and they can see how happy we are.

‘At the beginning I don’t think anyone expected we would last – even us – but now we’re happily married and expecting a little one.’

A photo of Rich when he was younger, while he was working on a street project with Evie’s mum Sarah 

‘My parents have always been supportive of Rich as they could see he made me happy,’ Evie said. ‘I’d been in turbulent relationships before so they could see that he was a genuinely good person who had a lot of love for me.’

Now the newlyweds are looking forward to starting a family together and even doing a bit of travelling in their converted van. 

‘We’d been trying for a (baby) for a few months,’ Rich said. 

‘I was worried it might be hard to get pregnant because of Rich’s age,’ Evie said. ‘So, we were so excited when we found out. Rich sobbed.’

‘Rich is a fit and healthy man and I know he’s going to be a hands-on dad. His age isn’t going to affect him as a father – I know he’s going to be amazing.’

‘We’ve already thought about people thinking I’m the granddad rather than the dad at sports days and things like that,’ Rich said. ‘We’ll just laugh it off.’

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