‘Marry me’ plea is a billboard hit

ROMANTIC: Becci Illidge at the billboard.
ROMANTIC: Becci Illidge at the billboard.
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A West Yorkshire man surprised his girlfriend when he proposed – by advertising it on a giant billboard.

Gareth Illidge, 29, admits he is usually coy about such matters of the heart, but made a very public proposal to his girlfriend Becci Thourgood, 27, by renting the huge billboard to pop the question.

He then used his skills as a graphic designer to create the unusual proposal.

Once the ad was in place he then took Becci to the site and got down on knee to propose –much to the delight of passers-by.

Gareth, of Ackworth, said: “I wanted to do something out of the ordinary by asking the big question on a local billboard.

“I think the main reason was because I’m quite a shy person and wanted to do something a little out of character. I’m a graphic designer by trade so I would put my own spin on the proposal.

“We both took the day off and we went to Farmer Copley’s Moo Café which was right near the billboard.

“I got out of the car and asked her to come with me, which she did with suspicion.

“Then she paused and saw it and I was behind her on one knee when she turned back around.

“Thankfully she said ‘yes’ and we had builders honking their vans at us and people from The Travellers Rest pub came out to cheer us on. I’m very pleased with how it all went.”

Becci said she had “absolutely no idea” of his romantic plans.

She said: “I was very surprised.

“He is usually a very reserved person so it is out of the ordinary for him to do something like this.

“It was such a lovely surprise.”

The couple, who met in a pub 12 years ago, are hoping to marry in autumn 2019.