Footballer Josh Cavallo announces engagement to fiancé Leighton Morrell


Josh Cavallo (left) playing football and with partner and fiance Leighton Morrell (right)

Footballer Josh Cavallo has announced his engagement to his fiancé Leighton Morrell after popping the question on the pitch at Adelaide United FC’s home stadium.

Cavallo, 24, blazed a trail by coming out publicly in 2021 as one of the biggest queer names in Australian sport.

Since then, Cavallo has spoken out against homophobic abuse and death threats, suffered injury and returned to the field, and even appeared on Drag Race spin-off RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under as a guest judge.

Despite the rollercoaster journey since coming out, it seems that 2024 is off to a good start for the Adelaide United FC star, as he has taken to social media to announce his engagement to his fiancé, Leighton Morrell.

“Starting this year with my fiancée [sic],” Cavallo wrote alongside a post on X (formerly Twitter) of the special moment. “Thank you Adelaide United for helping me set up this surprise.”

The set of photos underneath the tweet show Cavallo on one knee in front of husband-to-be Morrell, an Aussie electrician, on the pitch at Adelaide United’s home ground, Coopers Stadium.

“You have provided a safe space in football, one that I never in my dreams thought could ever be possible,” he continued. “To share this special moment on the pitch, where it all started.”

The post has been flooded with congratulatory messages for the pair.

Cavallo has played for Adelaide United since October 2021 – the same year he came out publicly.

When he shared his sexuality with the world – becoming one of just a handful of gay footballers to do so – the athlete said that he hoped to help other sportspeople struggling with their sexuality.

“Being a gay closeted footballer, I’ve had to learn to mask my feelings in order to fit the mould of a professional footballer. Growing up being gay and playing football were just two worlds that hadn’t crossed paths before,” he said.

“I’ve lived my life assuming that this was a topic never to be spoken about. In football, you only have a small window to achieve greatness, and coming out publicly may have a negative impact on a career.”

Cavallo’s announcement made him the world’s only currently active out gay male top-flight professional footballer at the time.


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