A TERMINALLY ill man realised it’s ‘never too late’ after a last-minute wedding ceremony was organised at his house, two weeks before he passed away.

Retired darts player Tony King, 75, was told he only had three months to live in February after 18 months of ‘always being unwell’.

Long-time friend Valerie Tapsell had become his full-time carer, and a while later, he received his aggressive terminal leukaemia diagnosis from doctors at Musgrove Park Hospital.

Val only left his side once a week to go home to her flat.

After the ceremony, Mr King said: “We should have got married sooner, but I thought it was too late.”

But with the help of family members, Somerset Registrars and local support company Need Some Help, the pair were wed at a ceremony in Tony’s Dorchester Road home on March 12, giving him two weeks of married life before he passed away yesterday (March 27).

Tony and Val had been friends for ‘donkeys years’, seeing each other through marriages to other people, and Val lived for a while in Greece.

Both have been widowed and Tony was also divorced from a second marriage, so when Val came back to her home in Somerset after her husband’s death more than ten years ago, it was a great help both of them because they had known each other for so long.

Tony and Val began keeping each others company as ‘great friends’ after Tony’s 70th birthday party at Wellington Football Club, until the last 18 months when Val dedicated her time to being Tony’s full-time carer.

Mr King, who was with Val when he passed away, told the County Gazette the day before his death: “We may not get 50-off years together, but it takes me dying to realise how much I really do love this woman.”

His friends and family said they were ‘shocked and heart broken’ by his short life expectancy, but were glad to help them declare their love before Tony passed away.

Val said: “I would have dearly loved more time as a married couple, but I am grateful for the many years I have had with Tony as friends.

“I’m glad I was there for him, by his side, holding his hands when he slipped away.”