South East Wales

Marriage proposal on Millennium Stadium stone for pair

Mark Roberts and Abbie Cockerill
Image caption The granite slab within the stadium grounds reads: "Marry Me Abbie, Love Mark"

A student's love for his girlfriend has been set in stone - after he proposed marriage on a personalised paver at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

Lifelong rugby fan Mark Roberts bought the engraved granite slab from the Welsh Rugby Union a year ago to surprise Abbie Cockerill.

It is on a wall within the stadium grounds and reads: "Marry Me Abbie, Love Mark".

The Cardiff University students plan to marry in a couple of years.

Mr Roberts, 21, from Portfield, near Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire had intended to pop the question at Wales' match against the Barbarians earlier this month.

But he said a steward prevented him entering the area where the new pavers were.

It was another week before his partner eventually saw the proposal, and he could get down on one knee.

Mr Roberts said: "I told her it was for her birthday. She wasn't expecting the proposal at all and just expected it to say 'happy birthday'.

"(When she saw it) there were a lot of: 'Oh my gods' and 'is this happening?'

"For the briefest of moments I wondered if I'd done the right thing and pushed it a bit far with the rugby theme, but when she started smiling I knew I was in the clear."

Image caption Abbie Cockerill described the proposal as "really romantic"

Mr Roberts said Ms Cockerill, 19, from Haverfordwest, accepted his proposal moments later.

"I've always loved rugby, but until we met Abbie had never seen a game," he added.

"The first game she watched was Wales v England in 2008. Since then she has become a regular at the Millennium Stadium for Wales matches and we are season ticket holders at the (Cardiff) Blues."

Mr Roberts, who is reading a degree in exploration geology at Cardiff University and Ms Cockerill, who is studying pharmacy, intend to marry when they complete their studies in two years' time.

Ms Cockerill said: "I knew Mark had bought a brick but he told me it said happy birthday and I believed him.

"When we got there, he told me to close my eyes and when I opened them he was on one knee and proposed. That's when I read the engraving. It was really romantic. I'm really happy but I still can't believe it all."

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