Melbourne City’s Rhali Dobson gets engaged on the pitch after retiring to support ill partner

Melbourne City’s Rhali Dobson announced this week she is retiring from football to help support her partner, Matt, who has brain cancer.

In her final game she scored the opening goal in her side’s 2-1 victory over Perth Glory on Thursday, but the story doesn’t end there.

As the 28-year-old ran to celebrate with her family pitch-side at full-time her partner got down on one knee.

For ‘partner’ now read ‘fiance’.

Dobson was visibly stunned and broke down in tears before the pair were mobbed by her Melbourne team-mates.

She had proposed to Matt twice in recent weeks only for him to laugh off the suggestions.

In an interview moments earlier Dobson had revealed she only told her team-mates about her plans to retire on Wednesday.

“They’ve been phenomenal,” she said.

“I’d kept things pretty quiet because I wanted them to stay focused on making sure we had a strong finish to the end of the season. As we know, it’s been very up and down.

“They knew Matt had surgery and everything so they’ve been amazing in terms of messaging us both and making sure that we knew that they are here for us. They’ve been perfect.”

Dobson’s fiance was diagnosed with cancer six years ago, after having a seizure while playing football.

He had surgery for a second time earlier this month and will have aggressive radiotherapy, before 12 months of chemotherapy.

“Five days after his brain surgery he kicked my backside back down here to Melbourne, told me that I had to finish out the season, that I’ve got unfinished business and it was still normal as always,” Dobson said earlier this week.

“Then we got the news two days after I got back down here to Melbourne that the part that they took out – which they got all of, which is fantastic – had transitioned to a grade three brain tumour.

“This is bigger than the sport. He is my absolute world.”