DISGUISED in a wig as a security guard Jay Timms stepped out on Saturday to join a flash mob at Runcorn Shopping Centre.

Dancers posing as cleaners and staff suddenly sprang to life in a synchronised routine to Marry Me by Bruno Mars.

The 44-year-old went down on one knee to pop the question as 300 shoppers cheered.

Girlfriend Sarah Cronin, 39, lured to a nearby coffee bar by her friend, was totally oblivious to the surprise.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

A live video on the Runcorn Shopping Centre Facebook page capturing the proposal has already been watched by more than 30,000 people.

“I’m still in shock,” said Sarah, from Castlefields.

“I kept looking round seeing all these faces of people I knew wondering what they are all doing here. I even saw by best friend from school who I’ve known since I was eight.”

As the music started she was astonished to be surrounded by dancers. “The girl cleaning my table started dancing,” said Sarah.

“Then I saw Jay in a daft, stupid wig and he gestured to me to come over.

“I was crying.”

Jay, from Windmill Hill, had been planning the proposal for three months and learnt the routine with dancers two hours before performing.

He has been playing the dame in amateur panto for 17 years.

“I saw an American version on YouTube,” he said. “A friend choreographed it for me and has been secretly sending me videos,” he said.

“It was bizarre.

“I couldn’t stop crying and neither could Sarah.

“She is incredible. She has been through so much. We are so happy together.”

Sarah had to give up the job she loves working with children after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia two years ago.

This rheumatic condition causes pain, muscle and joint weakness and loss of memory.

“It’s horrible,” said Sarah. “All of a sudden I hit a brick wall and have to rest.

“Jay does all he can to help. He is just amazing. He makes me laugh and is my best friend.”

The couple, who started dating three years ago, will celebrate their engagement at a party on Saturday with Sarah’s children Jack, 20, Alex, 17, Sophie, 13, and Luke, nine, and Jay’s children Nathan, 19, Brad, 16, Isaac, eight, and Oliver, seven.

Runcorn Shopping Centre manager Karl Clawley said: “It was fantastic. “There was a lot of genuine love for the couple from the community.”

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Coincidentally, it wasn't the only shopping centre proposal at the weekend. 

A dancing flashmob also helped a man in Warrington pop the question.