`

Billboard proposal- did she say yes?

editorial image

An Ackworth 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.

Becci's engagement ring

Becci's engagement ring

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 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.

“We’ve since had dozens of phone calls from people saying they’d seen the billboard and loved it.

“It makes for a good story to tell people rather than doing something cliché.

“She was really surprised by it, and possibly a little embarrassed.

“We love winding each other up so for me to do this out of the blue, I was hoping I’d get the reaction and the answer I wanted, and I did!”

He even added a joke at the bottom which read ‘Don’t say no, this cost a fortune’.

Gareth rented the advertising space on Pontefract Road from billboard advertising firm, Airoutdoor.

Paul Inman, director of Leeds-based Airoutdoor, said: “This is probably the most unusual use of our billboards to date. It’s great to play a small part in such a special occasion and we wish them the best of luck for the future.”