Match of the day

PUBLISHED: 11:57 29 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:43 06 May 2010

The happy couple after the proposal

The happy couple after the proposal

A FOOTBALL fan has made history by being the first person to propose to his girlfriend at the new Wembley Stadium. Stevenage Borough supporter John Leishman from Hastings Close, Stevenage, popped the question to his girlfriend of four years, Catherine Cha

How John popped the question

A FOOTBALL fan has made history by being the first person to propose to his girlfriend at the new Wembley Stadium.

Stevenage Borough supporter John Leishman from Hastings Close, Stevenage, popped the question to his girlfriend of four years, Catherine Chapman, after the England Under-21s match against Italy at the new stadium on Saturday.

John, 39, an HGV driver, had painted the words 'Catherine will you marry me?' on a St George's flag.

After the match he asked Catherine to take a picture of him with the flag near one of the exits.

Catherine, 29, who supports Tottenham, duly agreed and got in position to take the snap, only to get a shock when John unfurled the flag.

"She was looking through the camera and she just didn't know what to say at first, she just had a big grin on her face. Then she walked up the stairs and said 'yes'," John said.

John had come up with the idea when they booked tickets for the match a couple of weeks ago.

"I'd been thinking of different ways for ages. I wanted to do something different," he said.

And he said Catherine was very impressed with his imaginative proposal.

"She said it was very different and she loved it. All her friends think I must be great for thinking of doing something like that."

John even kept the surprise going when he and Catherine told their parents.

Instead of making an announcement, he simply took a set of photos from the stadium to show his mum, and let her flick through until she saw a shot of the flag.

"She sort of read it, looked away and then read it again. Our parents were nearly as shocked as Catherine," he said.

The couple have yet to set a date for the wedding but in the meantime are hoping to make a return to trip to Wembley when Stevenage Borough play there on May 12 in the final of the FA Carlsberg Trophy.


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