Mankini post goes global
Romantic Martin sets his sights on dream wedding
A Cambuslang man has become an internet sensation after posing in a mankini to try and win his fiancée’s dream wedding.
Martin McKenna, who grew up in Halfway entered a competition to win a £25,000 wedding at St Andrew’s Old Course Hotel, as well as a honeymoon in Morocco, for him and fiancée Tina Gibson (35).
After being told to have a social media presence for the competition, a friend challenged Martin to wear a mankini for a full day last Sunday ( July 5).
He duly obliged and shared the hilarious picture on his Facebook, along with the message “Martin & Tina to win #ochwedding”.
The 32-year-old expected to gain a few a “likes” from his friends, but the picture has gone global, with people in places such as Australia, the USA, Indonesia and even Angola supporting him on Facebook and Twitter with the same message.
His story has even been taken up on national radio, and Martin, who works as a web designer, is delighted with the reaction, especially as he feels his fiancée deserves to win.
He told the Reformer: “I really want to win this for Tina. She’s had a tough time recently and she really deserves this.
“The competition is about spreading the love, and it’s made us appreciate the lengths some people have gone to help.
“It’s been totally mental, but it shows people care.
“These people don’t know me, but we’ve managed to spread our love around the world. No matter what happens I am getting to marry the woman of my dreams, but these people want to give us our dream wedding.
“Whether we win or not, it’s been amazing, there are times I’ve been lost for words, it’s been a real emotional rollercoaster.
“I’ve been close to tears and other times, I’ve just been laughing.”
Martin, who attended St Cadoc’s Primary and Trinity High, met Tina on St Patrick’s Day in 2013.
After they were both separated from their friends, they met at the bar in a Govan pub and started talking.
Their first date was in Martin’s mum’s house on Overton Road, where he accidentally blew paprika in his eyes, much to the amusement of his date.
The couple, who currently stay in Tina’s home in Easterhouse, were engaged just six months later.
Messages of support have come in from all over the world, including famous landmarks like Sydney Harbour, the Vatican and Times Square, where two New York cops even got involved in the fun.
But the most amazing moment came when a picture of Angolan oil workers holding up the message was posted on Twitter.
Martin laughs: “The whole thing has been surreal.
“You think it can’t get any better than Times Square but then you get a picture from Indonesia, and then you think ‘that’s it’, then one comes in from Angola, it’s just crazy.”
Martin’s mankini pic isn’t the end of his challenges. This weekend he’ll take to the field at St Anthony’s junior football club as a cheerleader at halftime after being challenged by the assistant manager at Cumnock as part of the contest, which closes on July 21.
The couple won’t find out if they’ve won until August 25, but in the meantime, Martin may need to invest in a new phone charger: “I don’t know how often it’s been shared, but I had to turn my phone on to silent because I was getting notifications every two or three minutes.
“I run out of battery three or four times a day right now.”
And romantic Martin was keen to remind people why he was doing it: “It’s been a quality two years with Tina. I don’t want to go into sob stories, but she’s had a really tough time, so if I can give her a day she’s always dreamed off then at least this has done something.”
Holy smoke Someone in the Vatican lends their support (above) Fashion sense Martin and the picture that has gone viral. The Reformer is a family paper, so we’ve used a wedding emoji to cover Martin’s...ahem...modesty
Oil be fine These Angolan oil workers were the most surreal Tweet for Martin.
Love story Martin with fiancée Tina
Fair cop The long arm of the law took time off in New York to help Martin out
T party Music fans at TITP lend their support