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Sealed with a lock: football fans show their love on bridge
FOOTBALL fans are not often thought of as hopeless romantics making declarations of eternal love for anyone other then their chosen team.
But three West Bromwich Albion fans proved all the stereotypes wrong after it emerged they were behind the love locks currently adorning Worcester’s Sabrina Bridge, near Pitchcroft.
Baggies fans Craig Finn, Richard Morse and Steve Mcdornell made a pact to bring the tradition to the city following a European trip to watch their team play a pre-season friendly in July.
They visited the main bridge in Graz, Austria, and another site in Slovenia, which have hundreds of padlocks left by amorous couples as a symbol of their eternal love.
Mr Finn and Mr Morse had already locked theirs to the bridge while Mr Mcdornell placed his on the railings last night.
Mr Finn, from Falcon Close, St Peter’s, said: “It might sound a bit out of character because we watch football and drink beer but we all love our partners and still have romantic bones in our bodies.
“I travel to Germany a lot with work and was originally inspired by hundreds of locks lining a lake in Hannover, but while we were away watching West Brom play, we saw the same tradition observed in Austria and Slovenia.
“The three of us made a pact to try and bring the tradition back to Worcester but we were quite surprised to find there were already two other locks on the bridge before we added ours.”
The 43-year-old E.ON project manager gave the padlock as a birthday gift to his wife, Vicky.
It features their names, as well as details of their wedding at Caesar’s Palace on June 21, 2007. “She loved the idea but initially she liked the lock so much she didn’t want to put it on the bridge because she was concerned that she wouldn’t be able to see it or someone might take it,” he said.
“She loves it now and we are planning to ride down on Sunday to have a look at it.”
Mr Morris placed a lock engraved with his family’s name on his wedding anniversary and Mr Mcdornell did the same to mark the date when he and his partner, Cheryl Grinnell, met six years ago.
The 45-year-old from Debdale Avenue, Warndon Villages, said: “It was the first time I had seen them (on the football trip). “They’re amazing. Really nice gestures to symbolise two people being together forever and the bridges were absolutely chocker with them.
“I showed Cheryl a picture but didn’t mention I was going to order it.
“When I gave her the padlock she absolutely loved it.”
The couple took a romantic walk along the river last night to place the lock, featuring the words ‘Macker and Chezza together forever’ on the footbridge.
Mr Finn and Mr Morse have known each other since their school days at Stanley Road Primary School and they met Mr Mcdornell through their shared passion for West Brom. And the trio are now hoping the craze will take off in Worcester.
Mr Mcdornell said: “It would be great if we could be a catalyst to get others leaving padlocks on the bridge.
“A lot of people have different ways of expressing love to their partner but the symbolism of the love locks is being together forever.”
'IT WAS VERY ROMANTIC - I LOVED IT'
A WIFE presented with one of the first love locks on Sabrina Bridge said her husband has always been a romantic at home, showering her with cards and gifts.
But when Richard Morse is away watching his beloved West Bromwich Albion play his wife Tammy thought romance would be the last thing on his mind.
She said: “They are not hooligans or anything like that but they are very much into the banter and having a laugh with the lads.
“He’s very, very romantic and often gives me cards and tells me he loves me, but is also very macho too.”
The couple were celebrating their eighth wedding anniversary on Wednesday, August 21, when she found cards, flowers, the lock – and a note asking her to meet him at Bolero at 2pm.
“I didn’t know anything about love locks and was thinking he had bought me a car or caravan or something you needed to lock up,” she said.
“As we began walking toward the bridge, I began to worry he had bought a barge and was panicking about what he had wasted our money on.
“When we got there, he explained that we had to lock it on to the bridge, kiss the keys and throw them away.
“It was very romantic. I really loved it”
The padlock was engraved with their names and their children’s names; Tiegan, 12, Alfie, nine and 14-month-old Martha, as well as ‘Established 1999’, the year they met.
Mrs Morse, of Mersey Road, Ronkswood, said she was not surprised her husband had presented her with the love lock but was surprised that the three men had hatched the plan together.
“They were planning on us all doing it together but Richard wanted to do it for our anniversary and Craig and Stephen’s padlocks hadn’t arrived,” she added.
“It’s an absolutely lovely idea though and it is somewhere nice for us to visit with our children.”
FACTFILE THE company which created the love locks for Richard, Craig and Steve have already had extra orders from Worcester.
The day after our story about the love locks ran on Wednesday, Adam Wilson, operations manager at Bournemouth-based locks-of-love.com, said there had been several online orders from the city. “One of them specifically cited the Worcester News article in the ‘How did you hear about us?’ field,” he said.