Ex-Premier League flop proposes to childhood friend and tennis champ: 'Forever starts now'

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Ex-Sunderland and Hull City forward Jozy Altidore, 29, proposed to his girlfriend, the 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens.

The 26-year-old Stephens — currently ranked No. 8 in the world — announced the engagement on Twitter.

Sharing a picture of the beaming couple, she captioned it with a heart, writing: “Forever yes”.

Altidore also posted a cute snap of the pair on his Twitter account, writing: “Forever starts now”.

The pair were childhood friends growing up together in Florida, and reconnected in 2016.

Jozy Altidore and Sloane Stephens engaged

HITCHED: Ex-Prem star Jozy Altidore, right, and tennis champ Sloane Stephens, left, are engaged (Pic: GETTY)

Jozy Altidore and Sloane Stephens engaged

CUTE: Sloane shared a picture of the couple with her Twitter followers (Pic: TWIITTER/SLOANESTEPHENS)

Hull City striker Jozy Altidore

STRUGGLE: Altidore had a tough time adjusting to life in the Premier League (Pic: GETTY)

“Forever yes”

Sloane Stephens

Altidore scored 41 times in 110 appearances for the United States national team.

Only Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan — both with 57 goals — scored more for the national team.

He also represented the US at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, where they went out at the Round of 16 on both occasions.

Altidore had two separate spells in the Premier League, first joining Hull City in the 2009-10 season while on loan from Spanish side Villarreal.

But he struggled to make an impact for the Tigers, scoring just twice in 30 appearances.

He didn’t fare much better on his return to the North East in 2013 when he joined Sunderland.

In two seasons for the Black Cats, he netted only three goals in 52 games.

Fortunately, he has seen a return to form since leaving the Premier League, after joining the MLS side Toronto FC in 2015.

Hull City's Jozy Altidore sent off vs Sunderland

SEEING RED: He scored just twice in all competitions while on loan at Hull City (Pic: GETTY)

Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore in training

DIFFICULT: In two seasons at Sunderland he netted just 3 times (Pic: GETTY)

Sloane Stephens

STAR: Sloane Stephens, 26, is currently ranked 8th in the world (Pic: GETTY)

In five seasons, he has scored an impressive 60 goals in 114 appearances.

As well as winning a Grand Slam title two years ago, Stephens also finished runner-up in the 2018 French Open and was a member of the 2017 championship US Federation Cup team.

Her best performance at Wimbledon came in 2013 when she reached the quarter-finals.

Ex-USA and Fulham striker Brian McBride was among the wellwishers, replying to Altidore’s tweet: “Congratulations, Jozy! I wish you both lifelong love and happiness!”

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