Nathan Cleary has spent the better part of six months trying to keep a lid on his relationship with Matildas star Mary Fowler.
Professional sport’s newest power couple has rarely been seen in photographs together and typically made blushing denials when asked about the budding romance.
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But it seems the Panthers halfback has caved in and is finally prepared to make clear what most have known for some time now – he is happily in a relationship with the 20-year-old striker.
And Cleary has done it in hilarious fashion.
One of the earliest situations that publicly linked the two stars was a supposed date sharing ice cream.
So Cleary’s post featured only two words, “That’s life”, along with an ice cream emoji.
Among the six-photo post that features shots of him in his Penrith training gear, hanging with mates and a sunset, 26-year-old Cleary also added a shot of himself lying on Fowler at the beach, with the latter beaming a huge smile.
The post quickly took off, with over 32,000 likes within 45 minutes of being published and almost 300 comments.
The first to comment was teammate Brian To’o, who has been adding cheeky comments about the couple for months, who wrote “Mr and Mrs Cleary” with a diamond ring emoji.
There were also a number of gifs of Fowler playing for the Matildas.
Another Panther, Daine Laurie, added: “Love always wins my brother.”
Last month, the pair were getting in some bonding time during the festive season and became the talk of the sporting world with their unexpected romance.
They were snapped sharing a kiss at Sydney Airport for an Aussie couple that hasn’t had this level of fanfare since Lleyton Hewitt and Bec Hewitt in the early 2000s.
The star striker and Panther’s player had been tight-lipped about their new relationship and hadn’t been up for answering questions about it prior to Cleary’s post.
Cleary fronted up at the GQ awards, looking suave in a black suit, and snagged the Sportsman of the Year award in December.
Confidential’s Jonathon Moran inquired if the sporting star had brought a date, but Cleary informed him he had attended the event alone.
When pressed about Fowler’s whereabouts, Cleary looked flustered but stuck to his guns … well, kind of.
“I knew this was coming,” he said with a grin.
Cleary added he was very “grateful” to be invited to the event but admitted it wasn’t his usual thing.
“No sneakers. It’s a bit different for me, but I don’t mind dressing up every now and then,” he quipped.
The pair melted hearts with their airport reunion after Fowler returned home in time for Christmas.
Cleary was seen with a huge smile as he picked the Matildas star up at the arrivals gate after she touched down on an Emirates flight from Dubai.
It was the first time the pair had seen each other since November 2 when Cleary farewelled Fowler at Perth Airport after watching her score a goal in Australia’s 3-0 win over Taiwan the previous night.
Their relationship was confirmed just one day earlier when they were pictured cuddling together in a Perth park.
The loved up couple made the most of their time together as they were spotted mucking around at an oval near Cleary’s Penrith home.
The two spent an hour getting hands on learning the crafts of each others respective codes as Fowler showed off her NRL passing skills while Cleary displayed his soccer skills.
Rumours of a relationship between the pair first kicked off in July, when Fowler was spotted out and about enjoying an ice cream with Cleary in Penrith.
The pair are believed to have met at a promotional event for Adidas, which sponsors both athletes.
Cleary expressed his annoyance at the heavy interest into his personal life last year.
“It is what is, it’s a little bit annoying to not have a private life but I like to not talk about it too much and keep anything I can private,” he said in September.
“Things take off pretty quick with social media but I’ll try to keep a private life if I can.”
It seems Cleary is finally happy to soften that stance.
Source website: www.foxsports.com.au