For Jackie Hughes, a self-proclaimed tennis addict and daughter of Mt. Lebanon’s own tennis pro Hank Hughes, going to Wimbledon to watch the best players in the world was “a hope and a dream.”
Jackie’s opportunity finally came on July 1 and the day turned out to be memorable for more than one reason: Her boyfriend Scott Hurley proposed to her at Wimbledon in front of a huge crowd watching the action on the courts. And she said yes!
Hurley was already thinking about a proposal before he and Jackie began planning their European trip, including a visit to Wimbledon. As soon as the trip was finalized, Hurley thought, “Yep, that’s exactly where I’m doing it.” He was not into tennis before meeting Jackie, but says he has since “caught the bug.”
Jackie and Hurley, both from McKeesport, spent most of their day at Wimbledon hopping from court to court to watch that day’s matches. Even though Hurley knew Jackie would say yes, his time at the tournament was spent trying to calm his pre-proposal nerves. He says he was shaking and “freaking out” while he and Jackie toured Wimbledon, but tried to hide his nerves. Jackie asked him twice if he was OK, but he said he had a stomachache.
Hurley says he didn’t know exactly where he would propose in the tennis club. As soon as he saw Murray Mound, where thousands of spectators watch matches outside the courts, he thought, “Why not go for it?”
Jackie says that during the day Hurley insisted on visiting the Jumbotron in front of Murray Mound. She didn’t understand why the screen was so important saying, “we have them in the states.” Nevertheless, the couple headed to Murray Mound.
Jackie and Hurley watched a little of the action on the Jumbotron and then waited for an opportunity to get their picture in front of the screen. They stopped a woman who agreed to take the photo and Jackie gave her the camera; Hurley whispered to the lady, “I’m about to propose. Take as many pictures as you can.”
Hurley walked over to Jackie like he was posing for the picture and then got down on one knee. The woman with Jackie’s camera took 35 pictures of the proposal.
Jackie was surprised and says, “It was something out of a movie.” She says, “the entire crowd collectively gasped” when Hurley proposed and everyone cheered when he slid the ring on her finger.
The British media surrounded the couple after the proposal. Word of the engagement reached the U.S. before the couple did. The couple’s phones were shut off in Europe and went crazy as soon as Jackie and Hurley got back to the states. Hurley says, “I thought Jackie’s phone was going to melt.”
Jackie hopes to attend all four Majors: the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. She can check the latter two off her list, but she says Wimbledon will always be “a special place” for her and Hurley.
To hear the BBC radio coverage click here!