THEY were college sweethearts, who went their separate ways around the world.

But now Chris and Cathy Kearney are back together, married and expecting their first child - thanks to a hugely successful website.

The pair, who have taken over The Dartmouth Arms at Flockton, got back in touch through Friends Reunited.

And, following their wedding in January, they are expecting their first child in November.

"Ironically, when we split up after a three-year relationship we joked that if neither of us had married by the time we reached 40, we'd get back together," said Chris, 43.

"I never thought it would happen. It was just one of those things you say."

Cathy, now 42, said: "I come from South Shields and I was at South Tyneside College on a secretarial course when I met Chris.

"He was in the Merchant Navy and was doing Marine Studies."

The pair went out for almost three years but then split up, with Cathy setting off to tour Europe and Chris ending his career at sea by becoming an accountant, based in Brighton.

He said: "I did try to get in touch again with Cathy but her mum had moved away from South Shields and I had no idea where she was working.

"I registered with Friends Reunited and found out last summer that she was actually working at Guys Hospital in London - only 50 miles from my home.

"We swapped emails, met up and it went from there."

The couple married in January in Durham, where Cathy's family live, and then set about the next part of their dream - to own a restaurant.

They bought the Dartmouth Arms in May and are now establishing a name for good food.

Both work in the bar.

Chris said: "It is something we've always wanted.

"And it's such a change; as an accountant, I could sit alone in my office for six hours without seeing a soul."

* Friends Reunited was set up in July 1999

* It was founded in the front room of a London semi by Steve and Julie Pankhurst

* Within 13 months one million people had become members - now there are more than 11m

* The website reunites people from schools, colleges, workplaces and communities

* icHuddersfield's ExPats section also allows old friends to make contact -