ROMANTIC soccer stars Marcus Bent and Alan Mahon today handed budding Romeos their tips on how to score on Valentine's Day.

The Blackburn Rovers players, both 22, reckon they are true romantics who only ever send one Valentine card -- to their nearest and dearest.

But they both confessed to getting plenty of love letters every February 14 and Alan admitted he expected at least 25 cards from love-lorn fans.

The boys spoke when they went to Blackburn Rovers' sponsors Time computers and Time talk superstore, off Bolton Road, Blackburn, to hand out red roses to customers and fans.

So what's the attraction? To find out, AMY BINNS put them through a soul-searching interview about the most romantic day of the year. QHave you ever said "I love you" without meaning it?

AMarcus: "Never, not even once."

Alan: "Yes, loads of times, but I'm not saying when or why."

QWhat's the most romantic gesture you've ever made?

AMarcus: "I'm not saying. I've sent plenty of flowers but that's just standard stuff."

Alan: "Two years ago on Valentine's Day I arranged to go out for a meal at a Dublin hotel with my mum and dad and my girlfriend on a double date. My parents weren't expecting it at all. They were really surprised."

QWho would you most like to get a Valentine's card from?

AMarcus: "Davina McCall (raunchy presenter of Streetmate and Big Brother)"

Alan: "My mum. When I was little she used to send me one every year, but now I'm a big boy she doesn't bother any more."

QIf you arranged your wedding, and then found out it was the FA Cup Final on the same day, what would you do?

AMarcus and Alan agreed on this one. They both said: "If I wasn't playing, I'd get married. But if I was playing, I'd play."

QWhat are your top tips for scoring off the pitch?

AMarcus: "I'd take her away for a weekend to Paris then take her out for a meal at a revolving rooftop restaurant there."

Alan: "I'd take her away to Milan, then take her out, or I might cook her a meal. I can cook anything with pasta. And I'd give her plenty of loving!"

But were the girls impressed?

Time manager Juliet Reed couldn't choose between them.

She said: "I like them both. I wouldn't say no to either of them."

Sharon Clarke, who popped in while working at the nearby Jaguar showrooms, said she preferred Marcus, but Sannah Shah, 20, who was visiting the store, wasn't impressed with either of them.

She said: "I'm not bothered about footballers. I've got my fella and I don't want any others." OUTPLAYED: Time customer Sharon Clarke (above) reckons she could fancy Marcus Bent (right) more than Alan Mahon