AFL great Billy Brownless’ model daughter has revealed what went on at Christmas dinner with her dad’s estranged best mate Garry Lyon and ex-wife Nicky as they finally heal the deep wounds of a cheating scandal.
Five years after the marriage break-up that shocked the AFL world and caused a seemingly-irreparable rift between the pair, they were able to break bread together.
The former close mates and Footy Show co-hosts went from friends to foes in 2016 when Lyon left his wife and started a relationship with Brownless’ wife of 18 years, Nicky.
Both men’s marriages had ended before Nicky and Lyon announced they were dating, but Brownless still felt betrayed because they’d told him they were ‘just good friends’.
Billy Brownless spent Christmas Day with his children, ex wife and her new partner – his former best mate Garry Lyon – five years after the relationship destroyed the duo’s friendship (Pictured clockwise around the table from bottom left, Max, Lucy, Nicky, Garry, Jan Smith, Ruby, Billy, Oscar)
After five years of bad blood, Brownless and Lyon (pictured, second from left and third from right) seemed to have reconciled earlier in 2020, with Brownless saying they were in a ‘good spot’
Brownless posed with his four children Ruby, Lucy, Max and Oscar in Geelong on Christmas Day (pictured, the four kids with their dad, centre)
After five years of bad blood, Brownless and Lyon began steps toward reconciliation earlier this year when Brownless said they were in a ‘good spot’, before spending Christmas Day together.
Brownless’ daughter Lucy described the lunch between the blended families as ‘really special’.
‘It worked really well and that was all very positive. I think we’re all happy and happy to be all together. It was a great day. We were all really excited about that,’ she told the Herald Sun.
Also at the Christmas Day celebration was Lucy’s siblings Ruby, Oscar and Max, who she spent lockdown with last year.
‘We really enjoyed it and made the most of it. My grandma was with us, Oscar was in Queensland with Geelong for the footy and Ruby and Max and I got that time together which was really nice,’ Lucy said.
Brownless’ daughter Lucy described Christmas Day lunch between the blended families as ‘really special’
Lyon was also featured in some of the happy snaps from the lunch in Geelong, illustrating that the men really have seemed to bury the hatchet – years after he quit the Footy Show when the scandal erupted.
Brownless, 53, addressed the issue with fellow AFL greats Sam Newman and Don Scott on an episode of the pair’s You Cannot Be Serious podcast back in September.
‘You know I’m going to ask you this – people want to know how you and Garry Lyon are going on,’ Newman said at the tail end of the podcast.
‘At the time you go through all different emotions of course,’ Brownless responded. ”Why me?’ and a bit of hatred.
‘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.
‘That was the other big problem. Young Maxy was about 10, Oscar was about 14, the girls [Lucy and Ruby] were 16, 17.’
Billy Brownless and Nicky Brownless (left) with Garry Lyon and Melissa Lyon (right) in 2012. Lyon famously started a relationship with Nicky – Billy Brownless’ wife of 18 years
Brownless with his daughters Lucy and Ruby at Flemington Racecourse in 2017. Brownless said in a podcast the break-up had been more difficult by the young age of his children. ‘Young Maxy was about 10, Oscar was about 14, the girls were 16, 17,’ he said
Brownless conceded though he had not fully regained the friendship with Lyon they once had – saying the pair ‘might be’ able to be mates like before at some point.
‘There’s no Christmas cards yet but we have spoken a couple of times,’ he said.
‘The kids live with Garry and Nicky and things like that.’
When probed on how long it had taken for him to move on from the split, Brownless said two years was too short, but five years may be more accurate.
‘There’s no problems, we’re in a good space, he’s in a good space, Nicky is, the kids are and so am I. But that has taken time. It has,’ Brownless said.
Garry Lyon and Nicky Brownless at a memorial for Danny Frawley in September 2019. Mr Brownless said he was now in a ‘good spot’ with both his ex-wife and Lyon