Collingwood head coach Nathan Buckley and wife Tania have split after 18 years of marriage.
The couple issued a statement via Tania's Instagram page on Friday, publicly announcing they split 11 months ago in January.
They have since been co-parenting their two sons Ayce, 12, and Jett, 14, but managed to keep the surprise separation under wraps until today.
Collingwood head coach Nathan Buckley (left) and his wife Tania Buckley (right). The couple announced they split after 18 years of marriage on Friday
The AFL couple issued a statement via Tania's Instagram page on Friday, publicly announcing they had actually split 11 months ago in January
'It has been a tough and challenging year for every family and for ours included,' the statement read.
'It is with the utmost of love and respect for each other and a true commitment to our sons, that we made a decision to separate in January.
'We remain dedicated parents and in the interests of our boys, we ask for our family to be given the privacy that is needed.
'We thank everyone in advance for understanding our request and for the unconditional love and support we have received throughout our marriage.'
Buckley and Tania cuddle at the Brownlow Medal in 2001 - one year before they married
Buckley and his two sons Jett, 14, and Ayce, 12, at the MCG in Melbourne in 2017. Nathan and Tania have been co-parenting the boys since they split in January
Nathan and Tania dote over their son Jett ahead of announcing his retirement from AFL in 2007
After the Magpies lost the AFL Grand Final in Queensland, Buckley moved out of the family home when he returned to Melbourne.
Buckley is reportedly now staying at an apartment in South Yarra, which is owned by his friend Paul Roberts - a TLA sports executive.
Geelong great Billy Brownless reportedly stayed at the same apartment amid his separation from ex-wife Nicky, also after 18 years of marriage, in 2015.
Nathan and Tania Buckley married in 2002.
Buckley with the Collingwood squad in a fixture against Essendon in August. After the Magpies lost the AFL Grand Final in Queensland, Buckley moved out of the family home when he returned to Melbourne
Buckley played 20 games for the Brisbane Bears before joining Collingwood in 1994.
He played 260 games for the Magpies and scored 263 goals in the process, becoming one of the club's most decorated player.
By 1999, he was captain of the team - a position he held until he retired in 2007.
In 2002, Buckley married Tania and won the Norm Smith Medal in the same year.
The next year, he won the Brownlow Medal, a ceremony the glamorous players and partners often turn heads at.
Buckley (left) and his wife Tania (right) attend the Brownlow Medal in Melbourne in 2018