While most Tigers fans left Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday elated by their team’s big win, Ruse resident Tara Calrow had a completely different reason to be excited.
At half-time, in front of cameras and thousands of excited fans, Ms Calrow got the shock of her life — long-time partner Clayton Fielding, 29, popped the big question.
‘‘I had no idea whatsover that he was going to propose,’’ the passionate Tigers fan said.
‘‘It was a complete shock.
Mr Fielding had been secretly planning the public proposal for more than two weeks with representatives of the Wests Tigers.
His now-fiancee was of the belief that her beau had won an ‘ultimate fan experience’ from the club, and she should expect some questions on camera during half-time about her experience.
The Tigers even sent a fake congratulatory letter on the pair’s ‘prize-win’ to sell the story.
‘‘I was so nervous waiting for half time,’’ Mr Fielding said.
‘‘My palms were sweaty and I was watching the clock tick down.’’
Mr Fielding proposed after 12 years, but despite the long wait said he always knew she was the one.
‘‘From the moment I saw Tara I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her,’’ he told the Advertiser.
‘‘I wanted to do something really different when proposing, not the usual dinner or hot air balloon, so I thought: ‘why not try the football and see’ — Tara is an avid Wests Tigers fan so I thought, ‘what better place to do it’?’’
And according to his bride-to-be, the decision was a winner.
‘‘I’m over-the-moon, I couldn’t be prouder and I couldn’t be happier,’’ Ms Calrow said.
‘‘He’s usually really shocking at keeping secrets, but he didn’t let anything slip this time.’’
In addition to a sparkling new ring — placed on the wrong hand to begin with — and a fiance, Ms Calrow, 28, has also come out of her spectacular proposal with a customised Wests Tigers jersey reading ‘‘Mrs Fielding’’.
‘‘I’ve wanted a jersey for a really long time, and was almost going to get one on the way in but Clay said, ‘no, wait, you never know what will happen, please don’t buy it yet’,’’ she said.
‘‘I’m a huge Wests Tigers fan and I have been since I moved to Campbelltown when I was nine years old, and I will be forever.’’
Mr Fielding’s advice for would-be football proposers?
‘‘I would highly recommend anyone to take the leap and do it like I did — it sure was memorable.’’