AFL Richmond star Jayden Short gets engaged to childhood sweetheart Maddy Bekiaris

AFL star Jayden Short has got engaged to his childhood sweetheart, sharing the exciting news in a sweet post.

The Richmond midfielder, 27, popped the question to his long-term girlfriend, Maddy Bekiaris, this week. The couple were a few stops into a picturesque European holiday when they broke the news from Cinque Terre in northern Italy.

They shared a joint Instagram post in which they posed at one of the region’s stunning beaches. Maddy’s arm was draped around her beau’s shoulders as she showed off her gorgeous, six-diamond wraparound ring.

A separate video showed a close-up of the engagement ring glistening in the sun above the crystal-clear water.

“CIAO FIANCEE!!” they captioned the sweet snaps.

The couple has known each other for more than a decade, with their first public photo together dating to way back in March 2012. They began appearing on each others’ social media accounts in earnest in 2015.

“Happy birthday to this chicky babe, bit of a throwback to your 14th bday,” Jayden captured a photo of himself and Maddy in August 2015, when he was just 19.

It was the same year he made the AFL rookie draft and a year before his professional debut at Richmond v Collingwood.

Maddy, for her part, shared a photo of herself and Jayden smiling and fooling around in March, 2012, captioning it: “Big bully”.

Jayden broke down during a heart-wrenching speech in 2020, making a brief and touching tribute to Maddy as he accepted Richmond’s Best and Fairest award.

“Obviously 2020 started pretty s**t for me. I lost my old man,” he said.

“I didn’t know what was going to happen this year.

“To win this, it’s an amazing feeling and it’s a little bit of recognition for a little bit of hard work that I’ve had to put in along the way …

“I just want to say thanks to my mum, my sister, my girlfriend. They’re doing it tough in Melbourne. Left my mum and my sister at home, lost my old man so that’s pretty challenging in itself.

“But I’m proud of you guys and I love you to bits.

“Thanks to my girlfriend for all the support, all my mates back home, all you players, coaches and the staff for making this such an enjoyable place.”

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