Sheffield couple get engaged in shock graduation proposal

Sarah-Lou Rowbotham and Matt Walker get engaged at her graduation ceremony
Sarah-Lou Rowbotham and Matt Walker get engaged at her graduation ceremony
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Loved-up Matt Walker had spent weeks wondering when to pop the question to his girlfriend of four years.

The 27-year-old had planned to ask Sarah-Lou Rowbotham to be his wife at Christmas, then on their holiday to Florida next year.

But it was a midnight eureka moment which led to Matt proposing the very next day - at Sarah-Lou’s graduation ceremony from Sheffield Hallam University.

The IT worker stunned his bride-to-be by asking for her hand in marriage with a specially-made ring on the steps of Sheffield City Hall, as their friends, families and other students cheered.

Matt, who lives with Sarah-Lou in Dronfield Woodhouse, said: “To be honest it wasn’t planned at all .

“The night before the graduation I woke up in bed and thought, ‘Hang on’. Our families were going to be there, we’ll be dressed up, and it is a special day - I could do it then.

“I had to text my dad at midnight as the ring was in his safe so Sarah wouldn’t see it. On the day my legs were shaking, chancellor Lord Robert Winston was doing his speech and he is a very intelligent man worth listening to, but I was willing him to get on with it so I could go outside and ask her!”

Sarah-Lou graduated with a degree in nursing and already has a job at the Northern General Hospital.

The 24-year-old was waiting to have her photograph taken when Matt got down on one knee, and she burst into tears of happiness.

She said: “I thought he’d fallen! Then I saw the ring box and said, ‘Oh my goodness!’

“I said yes straight away.

“It was a brilliant moment and I was so glad that all my family and friends were there. I was completely oblivious.”

The happy couple celebrated with a meal and now hope to tie the knot in 2015.

A spokesman for Sheffield Hallam University said today: “This is the first wedding proposal we’ve had at our graduation ceremonies in several years.

“Believe it or not, we have had one or two before!

“Everyone at the university is absolutely over the moon for Sarah-Lou and her fiancé Matt and we wish them all the best for a very happy future together.”