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Wolves star Ryan Atkins welcomes new arrival
8:00am Friday 25th January 2013 in News
SWAPPING being ankle-deep in sand for elbow-deep in nappies is proud new dad Ryan Atkins.
The Warrington Wolves powerhouse welcomed baby Nala Mae to the world last week while his teammates were at a pre-season training camp in Tenerife.
Girlfriend Stevie, aged 25, gave birth to their ‘perfect’ tot at Warrington Hospital last Monday weighing 6lb 10ozs and could see her dad in action soon as the centre hopes she will be watching him play in Ben Westwood’s testimonial match on Saturday.
The 27-year-old said: “It’s brilliant being a dad.
“Stevie had no pain killers and when Nala was first born I was beefing my eye balls out when I saw her.
“She’s perfect and everything we dreamed of.”
The England international has had a number of messages from his teammates and said he was grateful to boss Tony Smith for allowing him to miss the trip to Tenerife.
He added: “The club really supported me and Tony told me there was no pressure for me to go out there when I told him Stevie’s due date.
“He said he would never want me to miss the birth of my child which put me and Stevie at ease.
“It’s a family-orientated club and they’re always absolutely brilliant with families and put them first.”
The couple also thanked the club for the ‘special touch’ of sending flowers and their midwife Mary for delivering Nala.
The name, which means beloved, came from the pair’s love of Disney film The Lion King.
Ryan added: “It’s been a tradition in the family for girls to have a name that ends in an A and I had taken Stevie to see The Lion King on the West End for her birthday and we’ve watched it a few times on DVD so it seemed like a good choice and it suits her.
“I have been night training with the under 19s while the players have been in Tenerife and with a little girl at home it’s making me feel my age now!
“But it’s a really nice feeling being a dad.”