Knocked off her feet! Boxer Barker proposes via Wembley scoreboard… but did he get the answer he was looking for
00:57 GMT, 14 February 2013
01:32 GMT, 14 February 2013
Roses Check. Chocolates Check. Dinner at a fancy restaurant Check.
As Valentine's Day dawns, men up and down the country will be hoping they’ve finally got it right.
But they will have to go some to beat the efforts of boxer Darren Barker who proposed to his girlfriend Gemma at Wembley Stadium.
The big question: Darren Barker proposed to girlfriend Gemma at Wembley Stadium
The middleweight, who was at the ground
to promote his next fight at Wembley Arena on March 9, used the giant scoreboard to ask the all-important question – and the answer was a
'It was short notice; I knew someone at Wembley and they said I could do it on the scoreboard,' Barker told Sportsmail. 'I’ve wanted to do it for a while, I’ve been with Gemma for 12 years so it was overdue; she’s been long suffering but she's over the moon.
'She didn’t think I had it in me; she’s a happy woman thankfully.'
Having pulled out all the stops for his proposal, Barker expects to get off lightly today.
'She’ll get a nice card from Hallmark and that will be her lot,' he joked. 'It’s what she’ll do for me, that’s the question!'
Sealed with a kiss: Barker got the answer he was looking for when he proposed at Wembley
With his next fight on the horizon, Barker has put the engagement party on hold.
'We went out for a bit of lunch, she had a glass of wine but I was on the mineral water! We’ll wait until after the fight.'
Gemma later tweeted: 'I was at
Wembley Stadium earlier where Darren was having a photo shoot and doing a
bit for the press…..I said yes!
over the moon to be engaged was so lovely and we were lucky to have
some amazing photos taken on the pitch under the sign xxx'
The 30-year-old Chelsea fan, who expects to tie the knot next year, also got his hands on the FA Cup ahead of the Blue's replay against Brentford on Sunday.
Up for the cup: Chelsea fan Barker
'It was good getting hold of the FA
Cup,' he said. 'Brentford had their bit of glory getting a replay at
Stamford Bridge but I think you’ll see the true professionalism come
Chelsea have struggled this season and the FA Cup is their only realistic chance of domestic silverware.
'In some respects I would rather have
gone right out of Europe,' Barker admitted.
'The Europa League is a bit
of a nightmare with the added fixtures and travelling. It’s second best
to the Champions League and we only want the best at Chelsea. I’d
rather win the FA Cup.'
After a long lay-off with injury, Barker returned to the ring in December when he stopped Kerry Hope inside four rounds.
With just over three weeks to go until the first bell, Barker's opponent has yet to be confirmed but he revealed to Sportsmail that a deal is close.
'It looks like being Simone Rotolo who I
was supposed to fight in September when I pulled out injured so I
suppose there’s a bit of unfinished business there,' he said.
'We won’t take him lightly as he’s a good
fighter and an experienced opponent. We were looking for a top 10
opponent but everyone’s either busy or holding out for a world title
'The next fight after this will be huge, either a big domestic dust-up or a world title shot.'
And when his big moment arrives, Barker would love nothing more than to fight at Stamford Bridge.
'It would be a real honour to fight at the Bridge,' he said. 'I’ve been going there for years and years as a kid and to fight there, I’d really have to pinch myself.
'It would have to be a big world title fight to fill a stadium like that.'