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Woman's Fiancé Plays Football Manager For 18-Hours During Gruelling Child Birth

The wonder of child birth is an incredible thing, but as many parents know, it's not always the magical experience that some people might imagine. In fact, sometimes it's a grueling 38-long slog as Grace Pardew and her fiancé Matt Penrose know all too well.

Matt was all the way in London watching a football match when 23-year-old Grace started to go into labour at their home in Brighton, so she decided to drive herself to Haywards Heath Hospital. The mum-to-be text her fiancé telling him she was on her way to hospital, but he didn't pick up the message until half time.

"I was super poorly the whole way through my pregnancy and then that night I felt so weird," Grace told Pretty52. "Doctors said I was in slow labour but the baby wasn't moving so I had to be monitored and have my waters broken."


Matt, Grace and baby Hugo. Credit: Supplied
Matt, Grace and baby Hugo. Credit: Supplied

Matt, 24, hopped on a train down to Brighton to be with his baby mama, except when he learned it was going to be a slow labour, the dad-to-be decided to call at home to pick up some 'essentials.'

One might assume he meant some comfortable next-day pyjamas for Grace, or some other home comforts. But, for Matt, essentials consisted of his laptop, so he could stay up-to-date with his Football Manager team, Lazio.

"I got the train to Brighton to see her, and once they said he wasn't going to be born that evening, I headed home to get some essentials, including my laptop," he told SPORTbible.

"Once I'd got back to the hospital and opened up the laptop she said 'typical Matt!' and just rolled her eyes."


For most women waiting to give birth, the mere thought of your partner arriving on the scene with a laptop in their hand to play Football Manager would certainly cause at least an argument or two.

But that didn't happen when the father-to-be walked in the room, although Grace did admit feeling a tad embarrassed when the midwives and other nurses caught with his face in his laptop at her bedside.

"I wasn't annoyed that he was playing it, it was a long and stressful labour as was the pregnancy, and I'm sure that's what got him through it," Grace explained.

"He stopped when I needed him to, but he continued to keep me updated on how his team is doing, regardless of how many times I tell him I don't care.

"When he opened his laptop and said that he was going to play Football Manager, I wasn't even surprised. It's the story of my life.

"It was embarrassing when nurses and the other mums-to-be spotted that he was playing it though."

For anyone who's familiar with Football Manager, Matt actually managed to get through an impressive season and a half during Grace's long, drawn-out labour.

Grace, Matt and Hugo on their first family holiday. Credit: Supplied
Grace, Matt and Hugo on their first family holiday. Credit: Supplied

The 24-year-old decided to post a picture of his set up on Twitter and it soon went viral.

What's more, Football Manager spotted the tweet and sent him a free copy of the game on the day of its release to celebrate the birth of their son, Hugo.

But how does Grace feel about it all? "My thoughts on Football Manager are genuinely that I hate it," she said.

"It is constantly on, as well as Football being on the TV too. It causes so much emotion from Matt. He'll just celebrate out of nowhere and wake the baby up, or he'll be in such a foul mood that I can't even talk to him.

"But I love him more than I hate the game and I can't wait to marry him, with our slightly football themed wedding!"

She added: "To be honest, I just ignore it for an easy life. Football Manager was part of his life before I was."

Grace, you have the patience of an absolute saint.

Featured Image Credit: Supplied

Topics: Life, Life News, Real, Sex & Relationships, Parenting

Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Junior Journalist at PRETTY52. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the team in 2017. Contact her on

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