WHEN Mary Blake won a chance to have her portrait sketched by a professional artist, she asked if someone else could be in the picture too.

She used the opportunity to commemorated her late husband in a loving portrait.

Mrs Blake, 79, from Wheatley, won a raffle at Templar’s Square shopping centre, Cowley, in December to have her portrait sketched by tattooist and artist Mick Addinall.

Instead, she asked Mr Addinall if he could draw a picture of her and late husband Percy Blake, who died in October from a kidney infection aged 82.

She said the photograph from which the drawing was made was one she was particularly fond of.

“The drawing was made from a photograph of Percy and I taken not that long ago,” she said.

“It was one that I was always fond of.”

Mr and Mrs Blake met in Oxford in 1947, when they were teenagers.

Mrs Blake, now a grandmother, remembered: “He was playing football with some boys, and I was chatting with my girlfriends.

“I always wore golden earrings, and he sent me a note through one of his friends which started ‘Dear golden earrings...’ “I just looked across and said, ‘I don’t think so’, and tore up the note.

“But my friends said he was really nice, and it turned out they were right; he was the most lovely man.”

The couple were married in Oxford two years later.

Together they bought and ran Blake’s grocers and later Gosticks Stores in Wheatley, before buying EP Messenger estate agents, which they changed to Wheatley estate agents, and which Mrs Blake still helps to run from home.

Mr Blake was a well-known local sportsman, playing for Headington United, Abingdon Town and Witney Town. He also played cricket for Headington.

He was still helping to run the family estate agent business at the time of his death.

Mrs Blake added: “My daughter and I go to Cowley centre quite often.

“We saw Mick there in December and he talked me into having some raffle tickets, so I said I’d have £5 worth.

“I think he was quite shocked, but I was quite shocked when I found out I had won.”

Mrs Blake’s daughter, Sam, said: “The picture of them is really lovely.”