THERE was no danger of two supermarket colleagues being left on the shelf after their paths crossed on the shop floor some 40 years ago.

Husband and wife Derek and Sylvia Johnson fell for each other while working at Asda’s store, in Astley Bridge during the late 1970s - and remain happily married to this day.

And to celebrate four decades of romance, the store’s current staff presented the couple with a haul Valentine’s Day gifts.

Colleagues at the Blackburn Road store gave the pair, both aged 54, a bumper bouquet of flowers, a selection of chocolates and bottles of champagne to toast the occasion with.

Derek said: “We’ve been so happy ever since meeting at Asda back in the 1970s and our weekly big shop is always a lovely reminder of how we met.

“We don’t have any set plans for Valentine’s Day, but I expect we’ll be spending it enjoying the lovely bottle of wine we received from Asda.

“I’d like to thank the colleagues at Asda Bolton for making us so welcome and for our lovely Valentine’s Day pressies.”

The couple first crossed paths in 1978 when Derek was working as a warehouse operator and Sylvia was working on the shop floor restocking the baby product aisles.

One of Derek’s main jobs was to climb the rigging in the warehouse to retrieve the stock Sylvia needed. And it was while undertaking this task that the two first got talking.

Derek plucked up the courage to ask Sylvia out and their first date was at Bolton’s Octagon Theatre a few weeks after meeting.

The pair continued to work alongside one another at the store for another year.

But Derek then joined the army and was posted to The Falklands Islands, although Sylvia stayed on at Asda.

Wedding bells chimed for the pair in 1985, when they married while Derek was on leave.

However he was immediately posted to Germany, so the couple had to cancel their honeymoon and spend their wedding night at the Swan Hotel in Bolton.

Sadia Ashiq, general store manager at Asda Bolton, said: “It’s so lovely to be able to make Valentine’s Day extra special here at Asda Bolton by being able to welcome two former colleagues who are now valued customers as competition winners.

“Mr and Mrs Johnson are regular shoppers and it’s great to think that they can make a weekly visit to the spot where they first fell in love

“All of the colleagues at the store would like to wish them both – and all of our other customers – a very happy Valentine’s Day.”