When Fernando Ferreira proposed to his boyfriend, Greg Woodford, at London Pride this year, he had help from his teammates.
The Kings Cross Steelers RFC player got down on one knee after an epic fake-out line-out to the delight of everyone within 20 feet of the pair.
Of course, the whole thing was captured on video:
As a Yank, I’m not super familiar with rugby pre-game rituals, so here’s my best play-by-play interpretation of how the proposal went down:
The team gets into their rugby squats…
…and executes a perfect pre-action take-a-knee…
…after which Ferreira sets off on a post-huddle straight-backed nervous walk to the crowd…
…only to slyly pop out a ring instead of kicking a drop goal or whatever it is rugby players do.
This part I understand:
And the crowd goes wild.
(In case it wasn’t obvious, Woodford said “yes.”)
As the first gay, inclusive rugby union club and a fixture at Pride, the Kings Cross Steelers have a leg up on delightfully merging the traditions of their sport with the institution of holy matrimony.
Same-sex marriage has only been legal in Great Britain since 2014 (the unions are still banned in Northern Ireland), and it’s only been 17 years since the Netherlands became the first country to commit to marriage equality. Which means that, as a world, we’re just scratching the surface of creative, LGBTQ sports-themed proposals and public displays of affection (the 2016 Olympics had a few pretty neat examples).
Could intra-team question-popping be the next frontier? A point guard scrawling “Will you marry me?” on a bounce pass during a pick-up game? An umpire taping a ring to a replacement baseball he sends a pitcher? A NASCAR pit crewman slipping a note to his driver during a tune-up?
The sky’s the limit.
Congratulations to the happy couple.