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Australian Story: May 31

ABC profiles the real story behind a proposal on a soccer field.

Australian Story this week profiles the real story behind a proposal on a soccer field.

When video of an on-field marriage proposal to Australian soccer player Rhali Dobson went viral around the world recently, it told only a tiny part of the love story between Dobson and her new fiancé.

Rhali Dobson, a star of Melbourne City in the women’s soccer league, had just finished her last game when partner Matt Stonham jumped the fence to embrace her on the field.

Stonham, a former goalkeeper for the Maitland Football Club, dropped to his knee and pulled an engagement ring from his pocket.

“Hey Rhali, what do you reckon?” he asked her.

Stunned, Dobson nodded her head as tearful team-mates crowded around the couple.

The magic moment was captured by television cameras and within hours was being shown on news and sport programs around the world.

But what the public didn’t know was the story of love, sport and sacrifice behind the video sensation. A curve ball had interfered with the couple’s plans and Matt’s future was uncertain.

“Matt has supported me through our entire relationship. Now it’s time for me just to support him,” says Rhali.

The couple faces a difficult challenge over the next 12 months, but plan to marry in December next year.

“It’s a love story set on a soccer field, but with a damn big twist, and we have no idea how it’s going to end,” says Matt.

Producer: Ben Cheshire

Monday 31 May at 8pm on ABC

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