IT was a "beautiful" yet bittersweet day for a Stourbridge couple as they wed in an emotional ceremony in the shadow of a devastating cancer diagnosis.

Robbie Eves married his childhood sweetheart Gemma at St Thomas’ Church on Saturday with the message ‘Love casts out fear’ at the heart of the occasion.

The couple, from Eveson Road, Norton, had planned to marry in September but brought the wedding forward after Robbie, aged 34, was told he had type four liver and bowel cancer.

His brother, Alex Eves, said: “It was a beautiful day - a beautiful service - the church was full of laughter and a few tears.

"Nobody knew about the illness until just after Christmas, Robbie had kept things quiet - it was such a shock.

“Once Robbie was diagnosed with cancer, they didn't want to keep it on hold and the wedding was a wonderful affair."

Robbie, a software engineer, and Gemma have been together for 16 years and have two children aged four and 21 months.

Aside from his family, Robbie’s other great lifelong passion has been rugby. He played at Stourbridge Rugby Football Club from the age of six and worked his way through the ranks to first-team level.

Alex said: "Rugby was a huge part of Robbie's life, he was never happier than when he was on the rugby pitch."

Since hearing news of his illness, Robbie's pals at the club have rallied to support the former player and have organised a benefit game to raise cash to help the family in their hour of need.

The game, which will see Stourbridge Lions Legends take on Old Swinford Hospital School Old Boys, will take place at Stourton Park on Friday July 22, starting at 7pm.

One of the organisers, past president John Slim, said: "We have been simply staggered by the number of people who have got in touch asking to play. We have well over 80 players wanting to take part. It just shows Robbie's popularity."

The club is also arranging a raffle with prizes, including laptops, up for grabs.

Donations have also been made by both Stourbridge RFC and Dudley Kingswinford RFC after money was raised at their respective club dinners.

Alex added: "The rugby club have been absolutely amazing - we've all been quite humbled by their response. The club is at its best when it does things like this."

To make a donation to Robbie's fund visit