Ice hockey player proposes to figure skater on ice as rinks reopen

An ice hockey player proposed to his figure skater girlfriend on the ice of the rink where they first met, on the day leisure venues reopened in England.

Tony Shard, a gas engineer, had been planning to propose to his girlfriend Nadine Fontaine-Palmer at the Streatham Ice and Leisure Centre in south London, where they first met.

His plans were delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which closed businesses across the country.

However, ice rinks were one of the leisure venues allowed to reopen for the first time in months on Saturday, alongside casinos and bowling alleys.

Mr Shard took the opportunity to propose to Miss Fontaine-Palmer, a legal adviser.

He told the PA news agency: “We originally met here over a year and a half ago and I had it in my mind that I would propose in the place where we met.

“So I had it arranged and then obviously Covid happened and I was a little bit disheartened.

“Then I got an email a couple of days ago which said the rink is back…I had to just get a few people in line and give me a heads up on when it was actually opening up.

“I just got it done ad hoc when I got here.”

Skaters returned to the ice
Skaters returned to the ice

Mr Shard skated up to his partner and slid on to one knee while still moving towards her with a ring box in hand.

Miss Fontaine-Palmer said yes, prompting cheers and celebration from the other skaters.

She told PA: “It was very overwhelming, all of our friends, our communities, our families, it was nice to have everybody here.

“This is where we fell in love, where we met, so it’s the perfect place really.”