REPUBLIC of Ireland footballer James McClean has scored a winner after his student girlfriend accepted his marriage proposal.
The Derry native and Sunderland winger (23) popped the question to his long-term girlfriend Erin Connor shortly before Christmas.
Nursing student Erin, also from Derry, later posted a photograph of her sparkling diamond engagement ring on Twitter with the message: "So happy!!".
It was a happy end to 2012 for the footballer, who faced death threats after he chose not to wear a Sunderland shirt embroidered with a Remembrance Day poppy at a match against Everton in November.
He was forced to apologise after he described the night as "embarrassing" and a "joke".
His drew the ire of his senior teammates and later removed the tweet before Trapattoni made him apologise in front of the rest of the squad.
McClean, who is from the Creggan area of Derry, revealed his engagement to Erin during a visit home. It is understood that the footballer chose the solitaire diamond engagement ring himself.
Erin, who is also based in Sunderland, is a nursing student at Northumbria University, where she began her course last September.