Soccer Star Quits To Take Care Of Boyfriend Who Has Brain Cancer

By kncipat on March 29, 2021
Photo by Federico Guerra Moran/NurPhoto via Getty Images

If you’ve ever had a son or daughter in youth sports, especially a travel team, you well know the sacrifices that go with it. Such was the life of Rhali Dobson and her family. And Rhali is one of the rare cases that ended up in a pro career. She’s one of the stars for Melbourne City’s Football Club (that’s the proper name…I’ll go with soccer). Last week Rhali played her last game. She’s quitting her career with still a lot left in the tank in order to take care of her boyfriend who has brain cancer. “This is bigger than the sport. He is my absolute world,” said Rhali of the man she calls the love of her life, Matt Stonham. Matt had a pretty good soccer career of his own going until he collapsed on the field a few years ago. He underwent brain surgery and everything was going well until his last checkup. More cancer was spotted. Another surgery removed what doctors hope is the last of it. But Matt still has very aggressive chemotherapy in front of him for the next year. Given that news Rhali made what she calls an easy decision to end her soccer career. Caring for Matt was the only thing she could think of.

Twice in the past month Rhali’s asked Matt to marry her. He laughed if off both times. Maybe it was because he had a bigger plan. When Rhali’s last game ended (where she scored the winning goal), she ran over to the sidelines to hug a friend. Standing a few feet away was Matt. She hugged him and when she let go Matt reached into his pocket, pulled out a ring and dropped to one knee. Surrounded by her teammates Rhali tearfully said yes, yes, yes. 

The game ended in a retirement, a group hug, and a marriage proposal. Love wins! (oh, and so did Melbourne City and Rhali in her career ending game). 

Check out the awesome proposal pictures here