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Dean's marriage proposal is music to our ears

Loved-up boyfriend pops question at garden gig

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Kilmore man Dean Campbell decided he wanted to pop the question to his girlfriend of 10 years, Laura Walters, a front-line NHS worker and enlisted the help of musician Eddie Booth to make it as special as possible.

Kilmore man Dean Campbell decided he wanted to pop the question to his girlfriend of 10 years, Laura Walters, a front-line NHS worker and enlisted the help of musician Eddie Booth to make it as special as possible.

Eddie Booth

Eddie Booth

Kilmore man Dean Campbell decided he wanted to pop the question to his girlfriend of 10 years, Laura Walters, a front-line NHS worker and enlisted the help of musician Eddie Booth to make it as special as possible.

A CO Down couple have been celebrating in lockdown following a surprise marriage proposal at a garden gig staged by a local musician last weekend.

For the past eight weeks, singer Eddie Booth has been helping to lift neighbours' spirits in the village of Kilmore with a series of shows he's nicknamed Live from the Lamplight.

The performances, which take place next to a lamppost in the corner of his garden, have become the social highlight of the community and have been attracting thousands of viewers online from around the globe.

So when Kilmore man Dean Campbell decided he wanted to pop the question to Laura Walters, his girlfriend of 10 years and a fronline NHS worker, he enlisted the help of Eddie to make it as special as possible.

Dean (28), who works for Urban Quarry Outlet, explained: "Laura and I live together and we've been attending Eddie's Saturday night gigs, from a distance of course, and really enjoying them.

"There's just so much sad news around at the moment, I thought it would be a wee morale boost for the community to pop the question last Saturday night, so I approached Eddie to ask for his help.

"My mum got involved too and I had spoken to Laura's family in Sheffield to let them know what I was planning.

"I had the ring with me, a diamond and sapphire one, and Eddie had the champagne and two glasses all ready on the table. Laura had absolutely no idea what was coming."

On the night Eddie performed the Men at Work track Down Under, a song with a personal meaning for the young couple, who'd enjoyed a trip to Australia.

He then invited them to approach a table, where he'd set up his iPad, and told Laura (28) that her family was watching the gig via Zoom.

"We made it out to Laura that she was only there so she could wave to her family, but then Eddie told me to pick up a microphone he'd set down and to take it from there," says Dean.

Eddie Booth

"I got down on one knee, produced the ring and asked her to marry me. She said yes and then burst into tears."

Eddie then performed the song Congratulations as the neighbours and the couple's family and friends watching online cheered.

"It was such a lovely thing to be part of," says Eddie, who is also doing a series of outdoor online shows from various Hastings hotels.

"I was only too delighted to help out when Dean texted me and asked if he could propose at one of my gigs. Initially, when I did the first Live at the Lamplight gig, it was just to raise my neighbours' spirits. I had no idea they would take off the way they have.

"To be honest, though, I was really nervous about the proposal because the last time a guy popped the question during one of my performances in a restaurant I used to own, the girl burst into tears, said no and ran off.

"But, thankfully, that didn't happen this time."

The couple, who plan to hold an engagement party in Belfast when lockdown restrictions on pubs are lifted, hope to tie the knot in the next two years.

"We don't know where we'll do it yet, at home or away," says Dean, "but wherever it is, we'll make sure Eddie is there. At least we have our wedding singer sorted."

Belfast Telegraph