MIDDLESBROUGH player Tony McMahon bucked the trend of lavish footballer weddings to marry his childhood sweetheart during an intimate ceremony at their local church.

The 26-year-old defender wed his partner of 11 years, Lynsey Matthews, at St Paul’s Church, in Evenwood, County Durham, on Saturday, followed by a reception at Slaley Hall, Northumberland.

The couple, who now live in the Cockfield area with their three-year-old son Luca, met as teenagers while both were pupils at Staindrop School and their relationship blossomed as McMahon rose through Middlesbrough FC’s youth team ranks.

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They spent nearly two years planning their big day, attended by 90 of their closest family members and friends, who dined on a traditional wedding breakfast of tomato soup, roast beef, and sticky toffee pudding.

Dozens more guests joined the happy couple for their evening celebration at Slaley Hall.

The bridal party line-up included three of McMahon’s closest footballing friends - former Boro players James Morrison, Andrew Davies, and former Sunderland player Liam Lawrence - who acted as ushers.

The new Mrs McMahon said their wedding day was very different from the expensive, lavish celebrations syonymous with high profile footballers such as the Beckhams and the Rooneys.

“It was far from it,” she said. “All we wanted was to be with all our family and friends for the day and have a huge party on the night.

“It was an absolutely perfect day, we couldn’t have asked for anything else.”

McMahon signed a professional contract with Boro when he turned 17 and captained the youth team which won the 2003 to 2004 FA Youth Cup.

He also played for the England Under 16s, Under 17s and U19s.

His early career was hampered by a series of injuries and he spent loan spells at Blackpool and Sheffield Wednesday.

McMahon’s current contract with Boro has expired and he has yet to sign a new one.

Several clubs, most notably Sheffield Wednesday, have showed an interest in the player and he is expected to make a decision on his future when he returns from honeymoon.