Mother-to-be says yes as soldier pops question on theatre stage

It was a case of "oh yes I will" when a soldier proposed to his girlfriend in front of a packed theatre at the end of a panto performance.

Warrant Officer Class 1 Andy Fenton dropped to one knee on stage at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford yesterday before the audience and cast of Snow White to pop the question to his girlfriend Tracey Williams.

The Yorkshire couple, who are expecting their first child in February, are now looking forward to tying the knot after Ms Williams said "yes."

Warrant Officer Fenton, who has recently returned from Afghanistan, had spent four hours the previous day running through a dress rehearsal.

Ms Williams said: "I feel blown away, I am absolutely over the moon. Our baby is due in February so it's the icing on the cake. I thought we would do it after the baby was here but I did not expect the proposal at the pantomime."

The 39-year-old mother-of-two added: "When I went up on stage people on the front rows were crying which set me off. It was wonderful. It's a lovely end to a hard year with him being in Afghanistan."

The couple had known each other when at school together in Wakefield but it was to be at least two decades before they got together.

Warrant Officer Fenton, 40, said: "We sort of liked each other at school but we were just friends. I joined the army four days after leaving school. Two days before I went, I asked her to go out with me. Unfortunately she said no but she gave me a black and white photo of herself. I kept the picture with me for years."

The pair later got in touch through Friends Reunited but it was to be a chance meeting in a Leeds shopping centre which finally brought them together two years ago.

"We really are soul mates," said Warrant Officer Fenton, who is based at Catterick.