25 JUNE 2007

Not many people would think muscley Manchester United star striker Wayne Rooney could be easily scared. But the 21-year-old footballer admitted the tension got to him as he carried British boxer Ricky Hatton's title belt into the ring in Las Vegas in front of an audience of thousands. "I was terribly nervous - more than when I pull on an England shirt," he revealed afterwards. "I was in awe of it all."

Accompanied by his stylish fiancée Coleen McLoughlin, Wayne shouted encouragement to his sporting pal throughout the match - along with 10,000 other Brits, including his team-mate Rio Ferdinand, LA-based Robbie Williams and British TV actor Max Beesley. Screen tough guys Vinnie Jones and Jason Statham, who appeared together in Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, also took up their places ringside.

For Wayne, a former amateur boxer, it was his and Coleen's first visit to Las Vegas. And the memories will clearly stay with him for a long time to come. "I'm incredibly proud of what Ricky Hatton has done, and the fact he has asked me to carry his belt into the ring. I know it will be one of the most fabulous experiences of my life," he said.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
The footballing ace held his pal's light-welterweight title belt aloft as he entered the Vegas boxing ring. He says the moment will go down as one of the highlights of his sporting lifePhoto: © ReutersClick on photos for gallery
Photo: © Alphapress.com
His proud fiancée Coleen, who was on her first ever trip to the city, also seemed to be enjoying the excitement Photo: © Getty Images
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