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AFL legend Dani Laidley addresses rumours of an engagement with childhood sweetheart Donna Leckie

Dani Laidley has addressed engagement rumours with childhood sweetheart Donna Leckie after the AFL legend set tongues wagging in January with a diamond ring.

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia in Sydney on Friday for the Virgin Australia Pride Flight, Dani, 54, dismissed the speculation saying, ‘We aren’t getting married and we aren’t engaged’.  

The couple, who had been childhood partners both at primary and high school, reconnected in 2017, and rekindled their romance about eight months ago. 

‘We have known each other our whole lives’: Inside Dani Laidley’s love story with childhood sweetheart Donna Leckie as the former AFL star addresses rumours they are engaged. Dani (left) and Donna (right) are pictured in Sydney on Friday for the Virgin Australia Pride Flight

Donna flew to Melbourne from Perth for a two-week holiday and has been staying with Dani for seven months.  

‘We have had the best time in lockdown, playing UNO and being silly, we have known each other our whole lives so it was just fun,’ Donna gushed to Daily Mail Australia.

Dani said when Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan announced the borders were opening, they both squealed with excitement. 

No marriage: Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Dani, 54, dismissed the speculation saying, 'We aren't getting married and we aren't engaged'

No marriage: Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Dani, 54, dismissed the speculation saying, ‘We aren’t getting married and we aren’t engaged’

Going strong: The couple, who had been childhood partners both at primary and high school, reconnected in 2017, and rekindled their romance about eight months ago

Going strong: The couple, who had been childhood partners both at primary and high school, reconnected in 2017, and rekindled their romance about eight months ago 

Smitten: Donna flew to Melbourne from Perth for a two-week holiday and has been staying with Dani for seven months

Smitten: Donna flew to Melbourne from Perth for a two-week holiday and has been staying with Dani for seven months 

‘We hugged each other so hard we fell into the couch. We are so happy that it’s finally open. I can’t wait to see my children and grandchildren,’ Donna added.

The couple appeared more loved up than ever as they arrived in Sydney on Friday to board the Virgin Australia Pride Flight for their first-ever Mardi Gras celebration.  

‘Donna was so excited she replied yes before we even got the email invite,’ Dani revealed, while Donna added, ‘I replied without even asking Danielle, but that’s how we are. We just roll with things.’  

Friends first: 'We have had the best time in lockdown, playing UNO and being silly, we have known each other our whole lives so it was just fun,' Donna gushed to Daily Mail Australia

Friends first: 'We have had the best time in lockdown, playing UNO and being silly, we have known each other our whole lives so it was just fun,' Donna gushed to Daily Mail Australia

Friends first: ‘We have had the best time in lockdown, playing UNO and being silly, we have known each other our whole lives so it was just fun,’ Donna gushed to Daily Mail Australia 

Celebrations: The couple appeared more loved up than ever as they arrived in Sydney on Friday to board the Virgin Australia Pride Flight for their first-ever Mardi Gras celebration

Celebrations: The couple appeared more loved up than ever as they arrived in Sydney on Friday to board the Virgin Australia Pride Flight for their first-ever Mardi Gras celebration 

Vibrant: Dani donned a glamorous red frock and white heels, while Donna opted for a vibrant pink and white thigh-skimming dress with white strappy heels

Vibrant: Dani donned a glamorous red frock and white heels, while Donna opted for a vibrant pink and white thigh-skimming dress with white strappy heels 

The pair will head to separate Mardi Gras events this weekend before returning home on Sunday.    

They also revealed that Donna is the morning person, whereas Dani takes time to wake up.

‘It doesn’t matter if it is four am or six am, I wake up and I’m like, “Hello, hey, [I’m] just excited to be with her,’ Donna gushed.

Sweet: They also revealed to Daily Mail Australia that Donna is the morning person, whereas Dani takes time to wake up

Sweet: 'It doesn't matter if it is four am or six am, I wake up and I'm like, "Hello, hey, [I'm] just excited to be with her,' Donna gushed

Sweet: They also revealed to Daily Mail Australia that Donna is the morning person, whereas Dani takes time to wake up. ‘It doesn’t matter if it is four am or six am, I wake up and I’m like, “Hello, hey, [I’m] just excited to be with her,’ Donna gushed

Ring ring: In January, Dani set tongues wagging about a possible engagement when she showed off a giant diamond ring on social media

Ring ring: In January, Dani set tongues wagging about a possible engagement when she showed off a giant diamond ring on social media

The couple also revealed that Dani has the more impressive wardrobe with the majority of their huge walk-in dedicated to her clothes.

‘We are thinking about knocking down a wall to fit them all in. There’s always more coming,’ Dani said.

The happy couple will be followed by a film crew for the Mardi Gras weekend, but won’t let it get in the way of their escape.

‘He won’t be following us everywhere,’ Dani laughed. 

Cryptic: Adding to the mystery, the video was captioned: 'What has just happened? Oh my god.' Fans flooded the comments section with offers of congratulations

Cryptic: Adding to the mystery, the video was captioned: ‘What has just happened? Oh my god.’ Fans flooded the comments section with offers of congratulations

In January, Dani set tongues wagging about a possible engagement when she showed off a giant diamond ring on social media.  

A video, taken in Moonee Ponds, Victoria and shared to Instagram at the time, saw Dani holding her hand to her face in shock as the ring caught the light. 

Dani appeared to be out at a restaurant, and glanced at the ring in shock multiple times in the clip.

Adding to the mystery, the video was captioned: ‘What has just happened? Oh my god.’ 

Show of force: Dani stepped out with Donna (left), her childhood sweetheart who she sat next to in grade one, in Melbourne in November last year

Show of force: Dani stepped out with Donna (left), her childhood sweetheart who she sat next to in grade one, in Melbourne in November last year 

However, she also appeared to be wearing the same ring in a social media post made several weeks prior. 

Dani stepped out with Donna, her childhood sweetheart who she sat next to in grade one, in Melbourne in November last year. 

Donna’s appearance on the arm of Dani set tongues wagging, with news outlets only referring to her by her first name.

Dani had paid tribute to her new partner by sporting earrings of the letter ‘D’ in her honour during the visit.  

Close: Dani had paid tribute to her new partner by sporting earrings of the letter 'D' in her honour during the visit

Close: Dani had paid tribute to her new partner by sporting earrings of the letter ‘D’ in her honour during the visit

Work: Donna is a highly regarded aged care specialist, with more than two decades of experience. She had first met Dani in grade one in Western Australia

Work: Donna is a highly regarded aged care specialist, with more than two decades of experience. She had first met Dani in grade one in Western Australia

Dani was a 1996 premiership player for the Kangaroos when she was known as Dean Laidley and then coached the AFL club between 2003 and 2009. 

Donna meanwhile is a highly regarded aged care specialist, with more than two decades of experience. 

She had first met Dani in grade one in Western Australia.

Both had grown up in the working class town of Balga – 13 kilometres north of Perth city’s central business district.  

Romance: The pair reconnected in 2017, with Donna rekindling her romance with the troubled ex-footballer about eight months ago

Romance: The pair reconnected in 2017, with Donna rekindling her romance with the troubled ex-footballer about eight months ago 

Both left handed, the pair had been forced to sit together at school.

Donna Leckie – who was simply referred to as Donna during a recent interview with Melbourne’s Herald Sun – said she still remembered Dean’s long blonde hair.

They had been childhood partners both at primary and high school. 

The pair reconnected in 2017, with Donna rekindling her romance with the troubled ex-footballer about eight months ago. 

Career: Dani was a 1996 premiership player for the Kangaroos when she was known as Dean Laidley and then coached the AFL club between 2003 and 2009

Career: Dani was a 1996 premiership player for the Kangaroos when she was known as Dean Laidley and then coached the AFL club between 2003 and 2009 

Dani had been at her lowest point after being outed by cruel Victoria Police officers after her arrest on stalking and drug charges. 

The fallen star was ‘broken’ in the months leading up to her arrest in May last year.

When police arrested her, she allegedly had a quantity of methamphetamine stashed in her bra in a prison cell.

Photos taken of the father-of-three wearing a dress, blonde wig and makeup during her police interview were later leaked on social media, prompting a public outcry.  

Dani would later sue Victoria Police and several officers were charged. 

Close: The pair had been childhood partners both at primary and high school

Close: The pair had been childhood partners both at primary and high school

Donna has stood by Dani as she has fought to get her life back on track. 

She appeared by her side in a recent court hearing, which resulted in the ex-footballer receiving a criminal conviction. 

Daily Mail Australia is unable to reveal that offence due to legal reasons.  

Donna had provided a character reference to the magistrates’ court on her partner’s behalf – sitting alongside Dani as she appeared in court from her car, which appeared to be parked in a shopping centre car park. 

Since rekindling their relationship, Dani has become more confident in her new skin. 

The pair were photographed together at Geelong Racecourse late last year, prompting Dani to hit back at Victoria Police yet again after their image was circulated via text message with transphobic comments by several members.

Memories: Donna Leckie - who was simply referred to as Donna during a recent interview with Melbourne's Herald Sun - said she still remembered Dani's long blonde hair

Memories: Donna Leckie – who was simply referred to as Donna during a recent interview with Melbourne’s Herald Sun – said she still remembered Dani’s long blonde hair 

Known as ‘The Junkyard Dog’ during her playing career, Dani is beginning to again resemble the confident footballer that launched her to stardom in the 90s. 

‘It’s great being back at the North Melbourne Football Club for this important announcement of being debt-free, also on the back of Transgender awareness week, as I am proud of both of my tribes,’ she said on return to her club at that time.   

Dani would seem to have found the perfect companion in Donna, who has dedicated her life to helping others. 

The bubbly mum and grandmother appears to be the Belle of the Ball, with social media photos capturing her enjoying a tipple among friends and at the races. 

Acting as chief operations officer at Compatible Care, Donna has been a passionate advocate for older people. 

Past: Known as 'The Junkyard Dog' during her playing career, Dani is beginning to again resemble the confident footballer that launched her to stardom in the 90s. Pictured in 1998

Past: Known as ‘The Junkyard Dog’ during her playing career, Dani is beginning to again resemble the confident footballer that launched her to stardom in the 90s. Pictured in 1998 

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