"I just had to man up and marry my bride," were the words of Stoke City football star, Stephen Ireland when asked if his recent leg injury didn't stir up mixed feeling for his wedding.

The former Irish International broke his left tibula and fibula on the training ground two weeks ago before he was due to marry his girlfriend of nine years, Jessica Lawlor.

The Premiership footballer tells Hello magazine that he refused to let a broken leg stop him from walking down the aisle and couldn’t delay their nuptials because of his injury.

"We had been waiting to get married for so long and I was getting better each day, so I thought, 'I can pull this off,'… I just had to man up," Stephen told the mag.

He however admitted that seeing his bride looking beautiful in her Suzanne Neville gown made it all worth it. "I was absolutely gobsmacked at how beautiful she looked. To see her in her wedding dress, with our families there and the choir, was really emotional."

Lawlor added: "When I saw Stephen I was really happy, emotional and excited to be getting married. No matter how much you see a person day to day there is something different on your wedding day - you see them in a different light."

The 29-year-old sportsman tied the knot with Lawlor in the Church of St. Mary Magdalene inside Stapleford Park country house hotel in Leicestershire early June. They share an eight year old son, Jacob and are looking forward to having more children.

Guests included Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany, former England player Emile Heskey, retired England striker Darius Vassell and Aston Villa stars Joleon Lescott and Micah Richards.