SUNDERLAND footballer James McClean ended a mixed 2012 on a high after his girlfriend accepted his marriage proposal.
The 23-year-old popped the question to Erin Connor, a nursing student, just before Christmas.
Delighted Erin posted an image of her engagement ring on Twitter and said: “So happy!! Love u #jamesmcclean.”
Erin’s sister, Kerri-lee also took to the social networking site to express her happiness, tweeting: “Congrats to my wee sissy, ‘Erineyy’ and James McClean on their engagement! The secret is finally out.”
McClean caused a stir last November when he chose not to wear a Remembrance Day poppy on his shirt for Sunderland’s trip to Everton – a decision which divided many Black Cats fans and left him receiving death threats.
The Derry-born Republic of Ireland star also made the headlines after a foul-mouthed Twitter outburst which criticised international manager Giovanni Trapattoni’s decision not to play him in a World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan.
But now the winger is looking to the future and could potentially compete with Chelsea’s Frank Lampard and Northern Irish television presenter, Christine Bleakley, for Ulster wedding of 2013.
McClean was signed by Steve Bruce during the summer of 2011 for a fee of £350,000, but it was under current boss Martin O’Neill that he broke into the Black Cats side.
He ended 2012 as Sunderland’s top scorer for the calendar year, with 10 goals in all competitions.
Fiancee Erin plans to complete her nursing studies at Northumbria University, which she began in September 2012.