Rugby star Ashton becomes engaged

Preston and Leyland Citizen: Chris Ashton proposed to his girlfriend Melissa Uzelac in New York Chris Ashton proposed to his girlfriend Melissa Uzelac in New York

Rugby star Chris Ashton has become engaged, sharing his joy just days after his close pal Mike Tindall and wife Zara Phillips became parents for the first time.

Ashton, a fellow England player, popped the question to nanny Melissa Uzelac as they enjoyed a break in New York.

But the sportsman told Hello! magazine that the proposal took a toll on his joints, saying: "My knee was sore from bending down - I must be getting old."

He said he had long been planning the proposal to his girlfriend of six-and-a-half years, during the holiday.

"I'd booked the trip a while ago, and had in the back of my mind that I'd ask Melissa to marry me," he said.

"My family and friends were giving me stick about getting on with it."

Ashton said they were both happy to pitch in with their friends' new addition.

"I'll brush up on my babysitting skills, just in case," he said.

Uzelac said the proposal came as a surprise.

"I had no idea Chris was about to propose. It really was a fairy-tale in New York," he said.

:: The full interview is in the new edition of Hello! magazine, which is out now.

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