Birthday surprises don't come much more precious than the one Arsenal and England footballer Theo Walcott received from his wife Melanie this year. The winger's childhood sweetheart chose 16 March, her husband's 27th birthday, to break the news that she was expecting their second child.
In an exclusive interview with HELLO! magazine Melanie, who has a two-year-old son Finley with her husband, relived the moment.
"The timing was so special, the fact that it was his birthday," said Mel, 26. "I knew it was the best present he could have wished for. Theo's a real family man and an amazing dad. He and Finley have so much fun together and he can't wait for their new little playmate to arrive now so they can join in the mischief, too."
Theo and Melanie Walcott are keeping the sex of their baby a surprise
Recalling the moment he was told he was going to be a dad-of-two, Theo said: "Arsenal were playing Barcelona away in the Champions League and I'd said to Mel, 'You really don't have to come.' But she's always so supportive.
"We were in a communal area with the other players when Mel took me aside and told me, very quietly, that she had some news.
"I don't mind admitting I got emotional when she said she was pregnant, but as it was still very early days, I managed to keep it low-key until I got back to my room. Then I just started jumping around."
Read the full interview in this week's copy of HELLO!
With the baby due in mid-November, Theo and Mel are looking forward to meeting their son or daughter. The physiotherapist has been craving sugar – a sign that she's having a girl, perhaps?
"We honestly don't have a preference," said Mel. "I see myself with a girl but at the same time I can picture Finley with a little brother because he's such a boy."
"I don't think you can really call it," she added. "But I do feel my bump is a lot heavier and lower this time."
Read the full interview in this week's issue of HELLO! out now.