A-League Men player Josh Cavallo has thanked Adelaide United after getting engaged to his partner on the pitch at the club’s Hindmarsh Stadium home.

Cavallo came out as the world’s only top-flight openly gay male professional footballer at the time in October 2021 and has since become a vocal advocate for LGBTQI+ rights.

The 24-year-old, who posted photographs of his proposal to his partner Leighton Morrell on social media, said he wanted to “share the ‘special moment” at his home ground”.

“Starting this year with my fiance. Mr & Mr Coming soon,” Cavallo wrote in a post on Instagram, accompanied by a photo of him getting down on one knee to propose to his partner.

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

“You’re (sic) 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 everyday of my life authentically.

“It felt right to share this special moment on the pitch, where it all started.”

Cavallo’s announcement has been widely celebrated on Instagram.

In February 2023, Czech Republic international Jakub Jankto — who now plays for Serie A side Cagliari — became the highest-profile current male footballer to announce he is gay.