Five years after their friendship was torn apart, AFL legends Billy Brownless and Garry Lyon are finally in a good place again.
The long-time feud between AFL greats Billy Brownless and Garry Lyon appears to be well and truly over after the pair spent Christmas together for the second straight year.
The AFL legends turned Footy Show co-hosts were great mates until 2016 when Lyon began dating Brownless’ ex-wife of 18 years, Nicky.
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The former friends had a bitter falling out but it appears the pair and their partners have let bygones be bygones and rekindled their friendship.
Brownless, a 198-game Geelong star, and ex-Demons skipper Lyon spent part of the festive season together alongside their families at Lyon’s Red Hill property on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.
Brownless’ daughter Lucy wrote on social media that the Christmas gathering was “a special day with very special people”.
The pair also spent Christmas together in 2020, despite Brownless declaring on Sam Newman’s You Cannot Be Serious podcast in September 2020 that “there’s no Christmas cards yet but we have spoken a couple of times”.
The podcast illuminated Brownless and Lyon’s relationship and how far it had come from the depths of their fallout.
“At the time you go through all different emotions of course,” Brownless told Newman at the time. “‘Why me?’ and a bit of hatred of course.
“But now mate, it’s been four or five years, I’ve come around and everyone is in a good spot to be honest. Garry and Nicky are — that’s fine — and the kids are (too).
“That was the other big problem (at the time). Young Maxy was about 10, Oscar was about 14, the girls (Lucy and Ruby) were 16, 17.
“It was so public that was the biggest problem. It was so public. On TV, in the papers, front page of the Geelong Addy.
“It was hard at the time because it was so public. I’d walk into a coffee shop and I’d swear everyone was looking at me and talking about it and they weren’t.”
Brownless said he’d been told early on it would take two years for him to get over the betrayal but “two wasn’t right”.
“People have got to take sides, your friends, the in-laws, your really close friends,” he said. “Which side do they go with and your kids. It’s interesting times.”
Brownless and Nicky were married for more than 18 years but were reportedly estranged when Lyon’s relationship with her developed.
“She just fell out of love, which happens,” Brownless said when he appeared on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.
“I didn’t expect it. You think she’ll come back and all that, but she didn’t. So that was a real kick in the guts.”
In late 2021 Brownless retired from TV after 27 years on screen. But he also landed an expanded radio gig just two weeks later, being announced as the new Drive host alongside James Brayshaw. The pair previously combined for Triple M’s one-hour long The Rush Hour show for the past 11 years but will now have double the time to fill.
Lyon had the pleasure of handing the Demons the premiership trophy for the first time in 57 years when they beat the Western Bulldogs in last year’s grand final.