A ROMANTIC dad thought of a novel way to pop the question to his sweetheart – by getting his children involved.

Angelo Compagnone of Melrose Close, St John’s, Worcester, secretly persuaded his young children to wear specially printed T-shirts saying “mummy, will you marry daddy?” and surprise their mum on Wednesday while she cooked the family lasagne.

The 48-year-old thought proposing to partner Emma Montgomery on holiday or at a meal would be too predictable and got his “beautiful children” Lucio, three, and Sofia, two, to act “as leverage” so she could not possibly say no.

Miss Montgomery, aged 35, said: “They burst into the kitchen wearing the T-shirts and said “ta dah!” I was completely shocked and started crying.” Both knew they were going to tie the knot which meant Mr Compagnone, a warehouse operative, had the challenge of making it a surprise. Once the initial shock was over he came into the kitchen, got down on one knee and proposed, giving her a three-stone diamond white gold engagement ring.

They plan to get married and hold the reception at the Holt Fleet near Worcester on October 4 next year. The couple first met in the Crown Inn, St John’s, Worcester through mutual friends and finally got together in 2008. Miss Montgomery said: “He just took a shine to me.”

Miss Montgomery did not want the engagement to become official until he had put a ring on her finger.

He said: “She wanted it done properly. I waited for the reaction then I went down on one knee – and then she burst into tears and I produced the ring. “I thought I was destined to be a single man – I didn’t think this would happen.” He said their children were both now excited as they knew there was going to be a big party. He said the ring had been the one she had chosen herself and “fitted her like it was made for her”.

He said: “I didn’t want to be predictable. I wanted it to be a surprise. I thought this was a bit different.”