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The Block: Darren Jolly shares touching tribute to newborn daughter Olive

A bitter custody battle with his ex-wife almost drove him to an early grave.

But things are looking up for The Block star Darren Jolly, who was all smiles on Sunday as he shared a heartwarming tribute to his newborn daughter Olive.

The former AFL player, 40, shared a series of photos to Instagram of his baby girl as he and girlfriend Lucy Porter spent quality time with her. 

After a brutal custody battle, things are looking up for The Block star Darren Jolly, who was all smiles on Sunday as he shared a heartwarming tribute to his newborn daughter Olive 

In the caption, he expressed how much joy and love Olive had brought him, and said the child ‘melts my heart’. 

‘There’s something about your daughter looking at you with so much love that it melts your heart,’ he wrote.

‘As a father, you want to wrap your arms around your daughter and protect them, look after them, make them laugh, guide them through life and smother them with so much love that they will never forget. 

‘A father’s love is just as important as a mother’s love, and little Olive is definitely receiving that from Lucy and I.’ 

The former AFL player, 40, shared a series of photos to Instagram of his baby girl as he and girlfriend Lucy Porter spent quality time with her

The former AFL player, 40, shared a series of photos to Instagram of his baby girl as he and girlfriend Lucy Porter spent quality time with her 

In the caption, he expressed how much joy and love Olive had brought him, and said the child 'melts my heart'

In the caption, he expressed how much joy and love Olive had brought him, and said the child ‘melts my heart’ 

He went on to reveal how he and Lucy love Olive ‘to the moon and back’. 

Several photos showed a smiling Darren lying on the floor with Olive as he smothered her with kisses. 

Other pictures were taken at various stages throughout the last month and showed the child, who looks just like her father, in different onesies.

Several photos showed a smiling Darren lying on the floor with Olive as he smothered her with kisses

Several photos showed a smiling Darren lying on the floor with Olive as he smothered her with kisses 

Other pictures were taken at various stages throughout the last month

They showed the child, who looks just like her father, in different onesies

Other pictures were taken at various stages throughout the last month and showed the child, who looks just like her father, in different onesies 

In the final photo, Lucy had her daughter in a baby sling across the front of her body as they strolled through Bunnings Warehouse.  

Olive’s birth marks a happy ending for the two-time premiership star, whose life spiralled out of control after he separated from his ex-wife Deanne Jolly in 2019.

Following their break-up, the exes were locked in a bitter custody battle and Darren even contemplated suicide – but things finally seem to be looking up for him.

In the final photo, Lucy had her daughter in a baby sling across the front of her body as they strolled through Bunnings Warehouse

In the final photo, Lucy had her daughter in a baby sling across the front of her body as they strolled through Bunnings Warehouse 

Darren, who played for Collingwood and the Sydney Swans, announced Olive’s birth in late May, posting a gallery of photos to Instagram of himself and Lucy cuddling their bundle of joy in the hospital.

‘Welcome to the world beautiful Olive Rita Porter Jolly. You are such a special gift and we love you so much!’ he wrote.

Darren looked every inch the doting dad as he cradled the infant. 

Olive's birth marks a happy ending for the two-time premiership star whose life spiralled out of control after he separated from his wife-of-15-years, Deanne Jolly, in 2019. (Pictured with his girlfriend Lucy Porter and their daughter Olive in late May)

Olive’s birth marks a happy ending for the two-time premiership star whose life spiralled out of control after he separated from his wife-of-15-years, Deanne Jolly, in 2019. (Pictured with his girlfriend Lucy Porter and their daughter Olive in late May)

In another image, Lucy held the child close to her chest moments after giving birth. 

Darren’s relationship with Lucy came after his life fell apart when he separated from ex-wife Deanne in September 2019, bringing an end to 15 years of marriage.

He went public with his new girlfriend in November 2020 when he posted a loved-up selfie on Instagram of the pair on holiday, which coincided with his birthday. 

Following their break-up, the exes were locked in a bitter custody battle and Darren even contemplated suicide - but things finally seem to be looking up for him. (Pictured with Olive)

Following their break-up, the exes were locked in a bitter custody battle and Darren even contemplated suicide – but things finally seem to be looking up for him. (Pictured with Olive)

A month earlier, Darren had sent shockwaves through the AFL community when he shared a worrying Instagram post in which he said he could not ‘go on much longer’.

Several people called Victoria Police to ask them to perform a welfare check.

After spending hours trying to get in touch with him, his manager Paul Connors said the former Collingwood premiership player had been found safe and well at about 8.30pm that night – almost two hours after the concerning post. 

Darren announced the birth of his daughter Olive on Instagram in May, posting a gallery of photos of himself and Lucy cuddling their bundle of joy in the hospital

Darren announced the birth of his daughter Olive on Instagram in May, posting a gallery of photos of himself and Lucy cuddling their bundle of joy in the hospital

He thanked everyone who shared calls for help to find him.

Footballers and Darren’s family swarmed to support him, also among those helping was Lucy, who Darren’s mother praised for her ‘concerted efforts’ to help. 

‘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.’

He went public with Lucy in November 2020 when he posted this loved-up selfie on Instagram of the pair on holiday, which coincided with his birthday

He went public with Lucy in November 2020 when he posted this loved-up selfie on Instagram of the pair on holiday, which coincided with his birthday 

Darren and his ex-wife Deanne were popular contestants on The Block, appearing twice in 2014 and 2015, and winning the latter season. 

In a statement to the Herald Sun in 2019, Deanne confirmed the pair’s acrimonious split and said Darren was the one who instigated it.

‘This is a very difficult time for me and my girls. We have been blindsided and left devastated by Darren’s action,’ she said at the time.

‘But I’m focusing on my two daughters, who are my number one priority.’

A month earlier, Darren had sent shockwaves through the AFL community when he shared a worrying Instagram post in which he said he could not 'go on much longer'. (Pictured: Darren with ex-wife Deanne Jolly)

A month earlier, Darren had sent shockwaves through the AFL community when he shared a worrying Instagram post in which he said he could not ‘go on much longer’. (Pictured: Darren with ex-wife Deanne Jolly) 

Darren claimed on Instagram in October 2020 he hadn’t been in contact with his two daughters, Scarlett and Lily, since splitting from Deanne. 

‘I’m done, the unbearable pain of not seeing my beautiful girls… is too much to cope with,’ he wrote.

‘Looking back through these photos broke what little I have left of my heart as it showed how much my girls loved me.

‘To my parents, my family, my friends, Lucy, I love you. To my girls, I’m sorry. My love will always be in your heart. Love Dad xx.’

After spending hours trying to get in touch with him, Darren's manager Paul Connors said the former Collingwood premiership player had been found safe and well at about 8.30pm that night - almost two hours after the concerning post. (Pictured with Deanne on The Block)

After spending hours trying to get in touch with him, Darren’s manager Paul Connors said the former Collingwood premiership player had been found safe and well at about 8.30pm that night – almost two hours after the concerning post. (Pictured with Deanne on The Block)

Things were looking up two weeks later when Darren publicly credited Lucy with helping him get out of his depression.

‘Camping on the sand with not a soul in sight,’ he wrote on Instagram.

‘I’ve wanted to do this for such a long time and I couldn’t have picked a better weekend and better company to do it with.

‘There was something spectacular about our surroundings as the rugged coastline and the aggressiveness of the surf made where we were and who I was sharing it with memorable.’

Darren and Deanne were popular contestants on The Block, appearing twice in 2014 and 2015, and winning the latter season. (Pictured: Darren and Deanne with daughters Scarlett and Lily)

Darren and Deanne were popular contestants on The Block, appearing twice in 2014 and 2015, and winning the latter season. (Pictured: Darren and Deanne with daughters Scarlett and Lily) 

In February 2020, Darren 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 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’.

For confidential support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636

Darren claimed on Instagram in October 2020 he hadn't been in contact with his two daughters, Scarlett and Lily, since splitting from Deanne. (Pictured playing for the Swans on June 4, 2005)

Darren claimed on Instagram in October 2020 he hadn’t been in contact with his two daughters, Scarlett and Lily, since splitting from Deanne. (Pictured playing for the Swans on June 4, 2005)

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