Trailblazing footballer Josh Cavallo says “it felt right to share this special moment on the pitch” after he proposed to his partner at Adelaide United’s Coopers Stadium.

Cavallo came out in 2021 and at the time was the world’s only top-flight openly gay male professional player.

The Australian midfielder, 24, thanked the A-League club for their help after getting engaged to Leighton Morrell.

He said the club had provided “a safe space in football” for him.

Cavallo posted pictures of the proposal on social media at the stadium where he has played since 2021.

He wrote: “Thank you Adelaide United for helping set up this surprise.

“Your 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.”

Cavallo posted a video on social media in October 2021 in which he said he was gay, saying he was “ready to speak about something personal that I’m finally comfortable to talk about in my life”.

His post inspired Blackpool player Jake Daniels to come out in 2022. Daniels is the UK’s only openly gay active male professional footballer.

In February 2023 Czech Republic midfielder Jakub Jankto came out. The 28-year-old currently plays in Italy for Serie A club Cagliari.

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