Out soccer star Josh Cavallo gets engaged with on-pitch proposal to boyfriend

Out, Australian soccer star Josh Cavallo has proposed to his boyfriend by getting down on one knee on the pitch of his soccer club.

Cavallo, 24, is the first professional soccer player to come out in Australia while still an active player. He plays for Adelaide United.

In postings on social media on Wednesday, Cavallo thanked his club for helping him plan the surprise.

“Starting this year with my fiancée 💍❤️,” he wrote. “Thank you @adelaideunited for helping set up this surprise.

“You’re endless support has meant so much to me. You have provided a safe space in football, one that I never in my dreams thought could ever be possible, and encouraged me to live every day of my life authentically. It felt right to share this special moment on the pitch, where it all started ⚽️”

Who is Josh Cavallo’s boyfriend?

Cavallo’s partner is Leighton Morrell. His Instagram bio says he’s an offshore electrician. He’s posted numerous photos of himself and Cavallo on his timeline.

Adelaide United coach Carl Veart said: “Josh has had some tough times so it’s good to see that he’s got some joy in his life, especially now that he’s got a long-term injury.

“We always wish him the best and it’s good to see that he’s happy.

“It’s a big thing for me as a coach that all my players enjoy their football. That’s the number one thing. Josh, since he’s come here, has really enjoyed his football, which has allowed him to be himself.”

Cavallo has missed a number of matches recently following an Achilles tendon injury. He has found the recovery process physically and mentally challenging.

Coming out

Cavallo came out as gay in October 2021. In a video posted to social media, he said, “There’s something personal that I need to share with everyone: I’m a footballer, and I am gay.”

He went on to say, “I was ashamed I’d never be able to do what I love, and be gay … All I want to do is play football and be treated equally. I’m tired of trying to perform at the best of your ability and to live this double life. It’s exhausting. It’s something that I don’t want anyone to experience.”

Cavallo has gone on to be a vocal advocate for queer rights and LGBTQ+ representation in sports. He is one of only four out gay active male soccer players, along with Collin Martin, Jakub Jankto and teenager Jake Daniels (Zander Murray retired last year).

Main photo: Courtney Pedlar

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