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Surprise proposal: Sydney couple gets engaged during Eagles, Mooseheads game on Friday

Lee Crawley, left, and Tamara Alleyne hold hands as the Cape Breton Eagles and Halifax Mooseheads play in the background. Crawley proposed to Alleyne during a stoppage in play in the first period of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game at Centre 200 on Friday. Alleyne said yes.
Lee Crawley, left, and Tamara Alleyne hold hands as the Cape Breton Eagles and Halifax Mooseheads play in the background. Crawley proposed to Alleyne during a stoppage in play in the first period of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game at Centre 200 on Friday. Alleyne said yes. - Jeremy Fraser
SYDNEY, N.S. —

It was a typical Friday night for Lee Crawley and Tamara Alleyne.

As season ticket holders for the Cape Breton Eagles, the two planned to go to the local Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team’s game against the Halifax Mooseheads at Centre 200 in Sydney like they would normally do.

What Alleyne didn’t know, she would get the surprise of her life.

During a television timeout in the first period and in-house cameras on them, Crawley went down on one knee in section 18 and asked Alleyne to marry him, a moment shown on the arena’s big screen for the crowd of 3,357 to witness.

Alleyne, not expecting such a moment, hesitated for a minute, and said yes, much to the pleasure of Crawley and the fans, all of whom cheered.

“I didn’t know what was going on,” laughed Alleyne. “I was actually trying to get him out of the way, so everybody could get up the stairs, and then he dropped to one knee and I was in complete shock.”

Crawley, 34, and Alleyne, 35, have been together for the past six years. The two met while playing mixed league baseball for the same team and later started dating. The couple have two children.

“I’ve always dreamed of the day when this would happen, but I wasn’t expecting it to happen here,” said Alleyne. “I’m happy it did happy here because we’re both huge Eagles fans and we come to just about every game, so it’s pretty exciting.”

Crawley, known as one of the four fans who dressed up as referees during the Eagles’ playoff run last season, had originally planned to propose to Alleyne during an upcoming vacation, but that changed.

“I had a couple of connections with the Eagles and I thought it would be a great time to propose in front of a good crowd on a Friday night against the Halifax Mooseheads,” said Crawley. “She didn’t have a clue – it was great.”

Although he knew the proposal would happen during the first period, Crawley said the moment felt like it would never come.

“It was supposed to happen during the second television timeout at the nine-minute mark, but it never happened as planned,” laughed Crawley. “It was the five-minute mark, the Eagles had scored – I never thought it was going to happen, it was a really long first period.”

Lee Crawley, middle right, is shown putting a ring on the finger on Tamara Alleyne after asking her to marry him during the Cape Breton Eagles, Halifax Mooseheads game at Centre 200 in Sydney on Friday. JEREMY FRASER/CAPE BRETON POST
Lee Crawley, middle right, is shown putting a ring on the finger on Tamara Alleyne after asking her to marry him during the Cape Breton Eagles, Halifax Mooseheads game at Centre 200 in Sydney on Friday. JEREMY FRASER/CAPE BRETON POST


Alleyne admits she’s seen marriage proposals during sporting events on television, but never thought she’d one day be in that position.

“It was a little nerve-racking,” laughed Alleyne, who played five seasons with the Cape Breton Capers women’s basketball team from 2003 to 2008, winning two Atlantic University Sport titles and one national silver medal with CBU.

“People have been coming up to us all night congratulating us, even people we don’t know – it’s a good feeling and we appreciate it.”

Crawley, who works for Lynk Electric Ltd., credits Alleyne’s friends for helping make the surprise proposal a success.

“Tamara’s friends were everything, her friends made this whole thing happen,” said Crawley. “At one point, I told them they had to stop texting me because I didn’t want Tamara to see and the surprise be ruined.”

“I’ve been with her six years and we have two children together, I don’t need much more than that – she’s the one for me.”

When asked if there was a back-up plan in case Alleyne would have said no, Crawley laughed and said, “I had my running shoes on.”

Meanwhile, on the ice, the Eagles defeated the Mooseheads 5-3, making the night even more special for the couple.

Crawley and Alleyne have not yet set a date, but the couple expects the wedding to take place in about two years.

Twitter: @CBPost_Jeremy

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