ROMANTIC Matt Lockley and Rebecca Hodcroft got engaged in York today - after Matt popped the question on the front page of The Press.

Matt, 23, paid for an advert which ran across the bottom of the page, saying: "Rebecca Hodcroft..There's so many reasons I could give to make me want to spend the rest of my life with you, too many to list. I'll put it simply - WILL YOU MARRY ME?"

Rebecca, 24, had no idea what Matt was plotting as the couple were driving over from their home near Manchester to York, where they are staying to mark the anniversary of first starting to go out. "He did seem a bit nervous but I had no idea why!"

On arriving at the Best Western Dean Court Hotel.hotel near York Minster, they went up to their bedroom where a copy of the newspaper had been left on the bed by staff..

Rebecca, a nursery nurse, said: "He said: 'Have you seen the newspaper on the bed?' So I went over and read it and then I turned round and just saw him on one knee."

She said her first reaction was to cry and ask him if he was being serious..

Matt, who works in social media for a life assurance company, said: "Luckily she said yes.

"She thinks its a fake and thinks there's only one of them but there's thousands of them!"

He said he had got the idea of paying for a front page advert in the local newspaper when he went on the Internet and searched for unusual ways of getting engaged, and it had taken months of planning.

He said Sadie Pattison in The Press' advertising department had been extremely helpful in helping him to set up the ad.

The couple said it was the the third year running that they had been to York to mark the anniversary of going out, and it had become a tradition they would probably maintain in the future..

They always stayed at the Dean Court because of its fantastic views of the Minster and staff had upgraded their accommodation when they heard what Matt was planning.

Matt said they loved the historic city, particularly the Shambles, and felt safe going out at night, particularly when they compared it with a night out in Manchester.

The couple said they planned to visit the Castle Museum and Betty's tearooms during this visit to the city.