Changing room chat: The lighter side of sport

Tales from world sport that don’t always make the back pages

Cunning plan for proposal in Paradise

A Midlothian woman took advantage of the February 29, Leap Year “proposal window” to pop the question to her partner at Parkhead yesterday after a carrying out a carefully-hatched plan.

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Leah Farrer, from Penicuik, spotted a national search by publishers Mills & Boon to find the country’s most romantic woman and create her dream proposal scenario. Her idea to propose to Tommy Forbes, a Celtic season ticket holder, at the club’s home ground beat off entries from other women which included proposing at the Saharan set of Star Wars and from the top of Ben Nevis. Mills & Boon duly contacted Celtic and the premise was set up that Leah had organised a private tour of Celtic Park for the couple, with club legend George McCluskey becoming part of the ruse as their personal tour guide. As McCluskey showed them to the centre-circle, the big screen flashed up “Will you marry me, Tommy?” and he duly obliged by accepting.

Tara Benson of Mills & Boon said: “Leah’s football-inspired proposal is packed with romantic associations that are entirely focused on the man she loves.”

Guantanamo gets new football pitch

Some prisoners at Guantanamo Bay will soon have a new, larger football pitch to help keep them occupied during their indefinite detention. The US military has nearly completed a new recreation yard in Camp 6, where most of the 171 prisoners are held.

Besides a football pitch, it will have a walking trail and exercise equipment, although screened fences block the view of the nearby Caribbean Sea. The improvements cost nearly $750,000, with the new yard replacing a smaller one in a part of the prison no longer in use.

Sutton’s penalty miss riles coach

JOHN Sutton incurred the wrath of his Central Coast Mariners manager after missing a penalty in his third appearance Down Under. The on-loan Hearts player stepped up ahead of the club’s regular taker Dutchman Patrick Zwaanswijk during the A-League encounter with Melbourne Heart this week, only to see his tame effort saved as the Mariners lost 1-0. Coach Graham Arnold said: “I haven’t seen him take a penalty before, so I was surprised. I’ll ask the question behind closed doors, because Patrick is normally our penalty taker.”