When Olympic torch runner David State suddenly dropped to one knee during his relay in Yorkshire yesterday, some in the crowd thought he might have popped a tendon.

Far from it. The canny Red Cross volunteer had deliberately stopped right in front of his pregnant girlfriend. And rather than a tendon, he instead produced an engagement ring and popped the question.

Speaking after the proposal, Christine Langham – who is expecting the couple’s first baby in July – told the Daily Mail: “I’m surprised I didn’t give birth there and then.”

“It was obviously emotional anyway watching him run with the torch, but then he just palmed it off with somebody and got down on one knee. At first I was in a fit of sobs, then I said yes.”

The couple are both event first aid volunteers for the Red Cross, and David was chosen to carry the torch in recognition of his charity and fundraising work.

He said: “I had this idea back in March and have been planning it ever since. I carried the ring with me during the run and when I got down on one knee, Christine was totally shocked. She had no idea – and it was such an amazing moment when she said ‘yes’. “

David added: “I’ve been volunteering for the Red Cross for five years and really enjoy it – I do as much as I can. Both my parents have worked in healthcare – my dad was a paramedic and my mum was a nurse – so I really wanted to carry on the tradition.”