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Thursday 18th July 2019

First Dates viewers fall in love with 97-year-old 'cradle-snatcher' diner

Richard is Channel 4 show's oldest ever dater

Viewers have fallen in love with the oldest person ever to enter the First Dates restaurant — at the grand old age of 97.

Ex-footballer and World War II veteran Richard was on the Channel 4 show last night looking for love again.

His second wife died five years ago from pneumonia and he lost his first after an eight-month battle with cancer.

Richard is the oldest ever First Dates suitor (Credit: Channel 4)

Richard was matched with Ruth, a baby by comparison, aged 79, and the pair hit it off with a shared love of soaps and Tottenham Hotspur.

He said before the date: "Personally I can't believe anybody would look at me twice.

"Luckily enough I've still got my marbles. I don't think I manage too bad considering the fact I'm nearly 100. My brain is as though I'm still about 30.

"It gets a bit lonely on your own when you're a bit old. Ideally I would like someone who's quite clever, pretty good looking, well dressed, well spoken. It's nice to have a little cuddle every now and again."

Ruth and Richard agree to a second date (Credit: Channel 4)

He told Ruth during their date that he played for Spurs football club as a junior, adding: "But then the blasted war started."

Richard, who was called up to the special forces, said: "To be frank, we were trained as killers which was not nice, but there was a war on."

I don't think I manage too bad considering the fact I'm nearly 100.

Read more: Channel 4 confirm RETURN of First Dates favourite

He fought at the Battle of Arnhem where thousands of Allied soldiers were massacred.

Richard shows his special forces photo (Credit: Channel 4)

"We didn't stand a chance," he said. "I was quite lucky because all those boys got killed, and back in England all those people got bombed.

"It was horrible. I used to have nightmares. I was 27 when I came out and I'd lost most of my youth.

"I still think I'm a young man. My body isn't but my brain is."

The pair over dinner (Credit: Channel 4)

Ruth told him: "If I had a hat, I would take my hat off to you because I think you're amazing."

Afterwards she said: "He's what I would call old-school, a real nice gentleman and he had a nice manner about him."

And despite Richard concluding: "I enjoyed it but I might be a bit too old for her," viewers were thrilled when they agreed to a second date.

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* First Dates continues on Channel 4 at 10pm next Wednesday.

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