'Very sad': NRL great Matt Cooper in reported split from wife

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Matt Cooper and wife Dallas, pictured here before their split.
Matt Cooper and wife Dallas have reportedly split. Image: Instagram/Getty

NRL great Matt Cooper has reportedly split with wife Dallas after more than 20 years together.

According to The Daily Telegraph, Cooper and Dallas have separated amicably and put their $2 million home on the market.

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The couple have two daughters together - Indie, 12, and Starr, 9.

“It is very sad, particularly given they spent 10 months last year driving around Australia together as a family,” the Telegraph quoted a close friend as saying.

Cooper previously opened up about how his wife helped him through a stint in rehab for an addiction to pain killers as a result of a neck injury suffered while helping his father-in-law with a jackhammer.

“Speaking to my wife was really hard to do because I had been lying to her for months," Cooper said at the time.

"That was one of the hardest things to do, to tell my wife the truth - that was harder than actually coming off the drug.

"I just kept taking more and more. It got to the point where the medication I was taking wasn’t working anymore. My body built up a ­resistance to it and I just knew it was time so I confessed.”

Dallas said at the time: “I was kidding myself a lot of the time. I kind of knew he was taking something but he always had a reason for what he was taking.”

Matt Cooper's foray into TV after retirement

Cooper played 244 games for the St George Illawarra Dragons, helping the club win the NRL premiership in 2010.

He also played 13 State of Origin games for NSW and seven Tests for Australia before retiring at the end of the 2013 season.

Since retirement he has appeared on reality TV shows Dancing With The Stars, Celebrity Apprentice and The Full Monty, and recently finished filming the next season of Celebrity Big Brother.

The prolific try-scorer also launched his own sports clothing business recently.

Matt Cooper, pictured here in action for the St George Illawarra Dragons in 2011.
Matt Cooper in action for the St George Illawarra Dragons in 2011. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

In addition, Cooper has dipped his toe into the world of Mixed Martial Arts and has a personal friendship with UFC boss Dana White.

He has flagged his interest in fighting fellow NRL great Paul Gallen in the Octagon.

"I don't want to box him,'" he said recently. 

"I have been training in mixed martial arts for years and my strength is in my kicking. That's where I would have Gal's measure and really, I have no interest in boxing. I just love MMA.

"To be honest, footballers fighting footballers in the boxing ring is old news, and so is boxing. 

"The younger generation isn't interest in boxing, they want MMA. That's why UFC is one of the biggest sporting organisations in the world."

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