STARS of soap land and sport were among the celebrity congregation to attend a footballing legend’s wedding on Mersea Island.

Former England footballer Peter Shilton OBE, 67, and fiancée Stephanie Hayward opted for an “intimate” wedding at St Peter and St Paul Church in West Mersea on Saturday, turning down offers of coverage from glossy magazines.

Steph, 48, who grew up in the area, said: “It was such a wonderful day.”

The mum-of-one added: “We wanted a really intimate, personal day and we love West Mersea. We always wanted to involve all the locals and local businesses. We just wanted to make it our day, we didn’t want to do anything too cosmopolitan.”

About 70 guests attended the church service, including Coronation Street veteran William Roache, who plays Ken Barlow, Masterchef star Greg Wallace and former England goalkeeper Lloyd Scott, who was best man.


Former professional boxer John H Stracey, retired sprint athlete Derek Redmond, jockey Bob Champion and actor Jess Conrad also attended.

Among the service highlights was a reading by William Roache and a Welsh tenor performance.

Another 50 guests joined the afternoon and evening reception at Hintlesham Hall, Suffolk.

Guests were banned from taking photographs of the big day, but that didn’t stop excited islanders crowding outside the church to snap some of the action and post it on social media.

The couple met five years ago at the Stoke-By-Nayland golf club hotel with Steph having no idea of the achievements of her future husband who is England’s most capped player.

Jazz singer Steph said: “I walked into a lift and Peter was in there.

“He said he was a speaker talking about football, which I thought was a bit strange. We had a drink later on and hit it off straight away. He kept his background really low key.”

They got engaged two years later on the steps of Colchester Town Hall.