TWO soulmates from Port Glasgow say it’s a dream come true to win the Tele’s £5,000 wedding competition — just months after a near death experience.

Rebecca Bell, 22, and her fiance Connor MacKay from Dougliehill Road were ecstatic after they clinched a plush package at the lovely Lynnhurst Hotel courtesy of award-winning owners Manorview Hotels.

Their good news comes just months after Rebecca saved Connor’s life after he was suddenly struck down by a potentially life-threatening medical condition.
Connor said: “Rebecca saved my life.

“One night back in February, I suddenly started getting a sore stomach.

“I thought it might be food poisoning.

“I phoned NHS 24 and they just told me to leave it.

“But Rebecca forced me to go to hospital to get it checked out.

“When I got there the doctors told me my appendix was very close to bursting. It was a big shock.

“I had to undergo emergency surgery.

“They told me that if it had been left any longer then I would’ve been seriously ill.”

Rebecca added: “It was the worst night of my life.

“I was so worried about him — it was terrifying.”

Thankfully Connor made a full recovery and the couple are now looking forward to walking up the aisle after winning our fantastic wedding competition.

Rebecca said: “I saw the Tele wedding competition and we decided to apply for it.

“When I got the phone call to say we’d won I screamed down the phone.

“I phoned Connor at his work and he started beeping the horn of his van.

“We’ve never won anything before in our lives so it’s amazing.

“There were tears of emotion and we also enjoyed a wee glass of champagne that night to celebrate.”

Rebecca, who works as a bar tender at the 68 Club in Port Glasgow and as a cleaner in the town’s TK Maxx store, said it was love at first sight when she met Connor last year.

She said: “We met in the James Watt Bar in Greenock in March last year, just before my 21st birthday.

“It was love at first sight.

“After we started dating we went away to Helensburgh for a night away and we just sat talking about having babies and getting married.

“It was amazing.”

There was a touch of fate when the couple started dating as their paths had crossed when they were growing up.

Rebecca said: “I was in the army cadets from when I was about 13 and Connor used to go to the boat club at the Murdieston Dam.

“We used to do events at the boat club so our paths had crossed.

“I also remember going ice skating when I was younger and Connor fell over and I stood there laughing at him!”

After their chance meeting in March last year, love soon blossomed and Connor proposed on Christmas Day.

Connor said: “I hid the engagement ring amongst her presents.

“I had bought her Pandora jewellery charms which I’d wrapped in different boxes and I had another box with the ring in it.”

Rebecca added: “It was the biggest shock of my life — I was delighted.

“We organised an engagement party the week before my birthday and over 100 people were there.”

The couple are now looking forward to their big day.
Rebecca said: “We are hoping to get married on February 14 — Valentine’s Day.

“We’re so excited.”

The couple say they are indebted to everyone who voted for them during the competition.

Rebecca said: “The 68 Club were a huge support as not only the members were voting but the people who go to club for meetings were too.

“We have a band night on every Saturday so everyone who goes to that was voting too. 

“My auntie, who works in the EE call centre, was also telling people to vote for us.

“My mum Michelle is a warden at the Elliot Court sheltered housing complex in Greenock and she had all her tenants voting.”

The couple were also keen to thank Connor’s mum Una who cast many votes for them.

Rebecca added: “We also want to thank everyone at St Andrew’s Church, my gran and granddad’s church and Connor’s mum’s friend Louise Snodgrass who works at Inverclyde Royal Hospital and had all the nurses and doctors voting for us.

“My auntie Jackie works at Blair and Bryden and she helped too.

“We just want to thank everyone who voted for us.”

Rebecca’s grandparents Kathleen and Joe, who live in the Port’s Glenhuntly Terrace, say they are thrilled for the young couple, as are Connor’s sisters Tanya and Megan as well as Rebecca’s brother David, five, who will give her away on the day, and her brother Dylan, 18.