Seriously injured Newcastle Knights back rower Alex McKinnon has announced he is engaged to his girlfriend and pledged to walk her down the aisle.
McKinnon’s neck was broken last month during a three-man tackle involving Melbourne Storm prop Jordan McLean and brothers Jess and Kenny Bromwich.
The 22-year-old remains in Melbourne’s Alfred hospital in a serious but stable condition with a fractured dislocation of the C4 and C5 vertebrae and faces the possibility of never being able to walk again.
In a post on Instagram, that was later shared by the Newcastle Knights on Twitter, McKinnon announced the news of his engagement.
“This girl is my soldier,” the message said.
“I am truly overwhelmed with support and wishes from everybody in the Rugby League society and the community at large. Your ongoing support will never be forgotten.”
PS. When life throws you struggles respond with a smile. So happy to announce Teigan and my engagement. #throughthickandthin #iwillwalkherdowntheisle.
McKinnon and Teigan are high school sweethearts – having been together since he was 16.
Teigan has kept a bedside vigil since McKinnon’s accident.
The Newcastle Knights Twitter page last night spread the good news of his engagement: “Congratulations to Alex and Teigan on their engagement #RiseForAlex.”
His Knights mates were told of the news as they arrived in Townsville for a game against the Cowboys.
Knights fans and the NRL supporters have made a huge show of public support at Newcastle games since his injury.
The Daily Telegraph reported McKinnon texted his coach Wayne Bennett with news of his engagement two days ago but asked him to keep it secret.
Bennett told the Daily Telegraph that McKinnon has vowed to walk again for his wedding.