Advertisement

Josh Cavallo, First Openly Gay Men's Soccer Player, Announces Engagement to Boyfriend: 'Mr .& Mr. Coming Soon'

The Australian soccer player popped the question on the field at Coopers Stadium

<p>Joshua Cavallo/Instagram</p> Josh Cavallo and Leighton Morrell

Joshua Cavallo/Instagram

Josh Cavallo and Leighton Morrell
  • First openly gay professional men's soccer player, Josh Cavallo, announced his engagement to boyfriend Leighton Morrell

  • Cavallo thanked his team, Adelaide United, for helping "set up" the romantic proposal on the field

  • The Australian soccer star said "it felt right to share this special moment on the pitch"

Congratulations are in order for Australian soccer star Josh Cavallo and his fiancé, Leighton Morrell!

On Wednesday, Cavallo, 24, announced that he'd popped the question to his partner in a post on social media captioned, "Starting this year with my fiancé."

The post shows Cavallo, who became the first openly gay professional men's soccer player when he came out in 2021, kneeling down on one knee as he proposes to Morrell on the field at Coopers Stadium, where his soccer team Adelaide United plays.

The photos in his announcement post include a second shot of Morrell looking surprised and excited when Cavallo proposed, and a black-and-white, close-up image of the fiancés holding hands with the engagement ring on Morrell's finger.

"Mr. & Mr. Coming soon 🤍," Cavallo wrote in the post's caption.

Cavallo thanked Adelaide United for "helping set up this surprise" for Morrell, an electrician, according to his Instagram bio.

Related: Former MLB Pitcher T.J. House Comes Out as Gay, Announces Engagement: 'Love Has Finally Set Me Free'

Cavallo expanded on his gratitude for Adelaide, adding that the club's "endless support has meant so much" to him. "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 everyday of my life authentically."

"It felt right to share this special moment on the pitch, where it all started," Cavallo wrote.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

In Nov. 2021, Cavallo came out as gay in a powerful video message on Instagram.

"I'm a footballer and I'm gay," Cavallo began in the video. "Growing up I always felt the need to hide myself, you know, because I was ashamed. Ashamed I would never be able to do what I love and be gay. Hiding who I truly am to pursue a dream I always wished for as a kid."

He continued, "All I want to do is play football and be treated equally. I'm tired of trying to perform at the best of [my] ability and to live this double life. It's exhausting, it's something that I don't want anyone to experience."

Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Josh Cavallo
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Josh Cavallo

Cavallo said he previously hadn't revealed his sexuality because he was worried people would "start treating me differently." Fortunately, he said, that's "not the case," and if anything he's "earned more respect" since the announcement.

"The response and support I have received have been immense" and have made him wonder "Why have I been hiding this burden for so long?"

He said he hopes that his followers understand that "It's okay to be gay and to play football."

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.