Two months after Australian soccer star and former Olympian Tameka Butt Yallop married her former New Zealand rival Kirsty Yallop, the Matildas midfielder has changed her name on her jersey to reflect her commitment to her newlywed wife.
The native Australian player, who wears the number 13, revealed the switch to the world along with her team, hours before their Thursday night match against the U.S. Women’s National Team in Colorado, via Twitter.
“Hey Game Day game days are always special & today is going to be a little extra special for me & my wife @kirstyyallop11 ➡️ #family #ButtNowYallop #13”
“Today is an extra special occasion for @TamekaButt, with a new surname on the back of her jersey following her marriage to @kirstyyallop11. #USAvAUS #GoMatildas”
As it turned out, the Matildas could not beat the U.S. Women’s National Team. Team USA won 5-3 in a high-scoring, thrilling game that saw Alex Morgan score the 100th goal of her career, to give the Americans a 1-0 lead at Dick Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. Tobin Heath and Megan Rapinoe would also score, and Mallory Pugh scored the other two goals for the WNT. Unforunately, Tameka Butt Yallop was not one of the Australians who scored a goal in this latest international friendly FIFA match.
Although she still goes by the @TamekaButt handle, the Australian phenom changed her Twitter profile name following her down-under-summer wedding to “Tameka Yallop (Butt).”
Also, her nickname is “Meeks.”
The couple call Norway home, but they chose Kirsty Yallop’s native New Zealand for their wedding destination. The New Zealand Herald reported they tied the knot at Mangawhai Beach on February 9th.
As Outsports reported, Tameka Yallop was one of a record 171 people who came out in 2016, and one of the record 56 out Olympians in Rio.
She and Kirsty Yallop announced their engagement in 2017 after getting to know each other playing for Norwegian team Klepp IL, and that connection turned into an off-pitch romance, as the Herald reported. According to Tameka Yallop, they actually met almost a decade earlier, as rivals.
“I played against my partner, Kirsty Yallop, when I played my second game for the Matildas as a 17-year-old in 2008 and she was in the New Zealand team,” she told Players Voice in a biographical post titled “When Love and Finals Collide.”
“But we didn’t really meet until we were both playing at the 2015 World Cup in Canada. We’ve been together ever since.”
Kirsty Yallop retired from the New Zealand women’s national team, the Football Ferns, in 2017 after an international career spanning 13 years.
Three more little details about Tameka Yallop: she’s a surfer, she has an Australian firearms license, and she’s a paintball games instructor. “People think it’s painful,” she told an Australian newspaper. “But at the same time it’s also funny to hear guys who think they’re big and tough squeal or see them get shot by a girl or their girlfriend.”