Darren Jolly and his partner Lucy Porter have welcomed their first child together.
The former Australian Rules footballer, 40, took to his Instagram account on Tuesday evening to announce the news alongside a gallery of intimate photos.
‘Welcome to the world beautiful Olive Rita Porter Jolly. You are such a special gift and we love you so much!! ❤️,’ he sweetly captioned the post.
Baby joy! Ex AFL star Darren Jolly and his partner Lucy Porter have welcomed their first child together, a baby girl named Olive Rita Porter Jolly
In the first image, Darren looks every inch the doting dad as he cradles his adorable bundle of joy.
In another image, Lucy is seen cradling her newborn just moments after giving birth.
In a third family portrait, Olive is seen resting on Lucy’s chest as she tenderly grips her father’s finger.
Darren’s post was quickly flooded with congratulatory messages for the happy couple.
Glorious: In the first image, Darren looks every inch the doting dad as he cradles his adorable bundle of joy
Adorable: In another image, Lucy is seen cradling her newborn just moments after giving birth
Darren went public with his girlfriend Lucy in November 2020, sharing a loved-up selfie during their holiday, which coincided with the ex-AFL star’s birthday.
One month earlier, Jolly sent shock waves through the AFL community after a concerning Instagram post in which he claimed he could not ‘go on much longer’.
As footballers and Jolly’s family swarmed to support him, also among those helping was Ms Porter – who Jolly’s own mother praised for her ‘concerted efforts’ to help.
New romance: Darren went public with his girlfriend Lucy in November 2020, sharing a loved-up selfie during their holiday, which coincided with the ex-AFL star’s birthday
Jolly experienced personal battles last month following his separation from wife Deanne, with his own mother praising Ms Porter for her ‘concerted efforts’ to help him
The former Sydney Swans and Collingwood player appeared in a good mood as he and Ms Porter took a holiday in Victoria’s south-west, which coincided with the ex-AFL star’s birthday
‘First of all we wish to thank the concerted efforts of Lucy,’ Jacinta Jolly wrote in an emotional Facebook post.
‘As his parents, this has been the most terrifying 24 hours we’ve ever had to endure.
‘He is safe and receiving the best care he needs right now.’
The ex-AFL star and Deanne separated in September 2019, bringing to an end 15 years of marriage
Jolly and his ex-wife Deanne were popular contestants on The Block, appearing twice in 2014 and 2015, and winning the latter season.
But the couple hit headlines three years ago, when they sadly announced they had ended their 15-year marriage.
After their split, Jolly claimed on Instagram in October 2020 he hadn’t been in contact with his two daughters since splitting from Deanne in September 2019.
Separated: It comes after Darren revealed that he hadn’t spent time with his daughters during Melbourne’s coronavirus lockdown or since his separation from their mother. Pictured: Darren and Deanne Jolly with their children on January 20, 2017, in Melbourne
Post: There were concerns over his wellbeing on October 26 when the father of two shared a worrying tribute to his girls and admitted he couldn’t ‘go on much longer’
In February 2020, he spoke candidly at Collingwood’s annual general meeting about his business troubles and the breakdown of his marriage.
‘Spending three weeks in a mental facility to deal with depression. Leaving my 15-year marriage because I fell out of love and wanted a happier life,’ he said.
He told his former teammates his mental health became so bad around that time that he ‘almost did something stupid and ended [his] life’.
‘Everything was too much to handle and I lost control. I lost my drive to keep going, I lost my purpose in life, I lost my direction and I lost my path. I thought it was easier just to go,’ he confessed.
At the depths of his struggle, Darren admitted himself to hospital and described it as the ‘best thing [he] could have done’.
Footy star: Jolly played for the Sydney Swans and Collingwood Magpies during his AFL career