LION KING CROWNED

The Courier-Mail - - FRONT PAGE - CHRIS HONNERY SHILOH PAYNE

Bris­bane star Lachie Neale (pic­tured with wife Julie) last night be­came the first Lion since 2002 to win AFL’s pres­ti­gious Brown­low Medal.

THE Lions may not have their fairy­tale grand fi­nal ap­pear­ance but they do now boast the com­pe­ti­tion’s best and fairest player.

Lachie Neale has be­come the first Bris­bane Lions player in 18 years to win AFL’s big­gest in­di­vid­ual prize, crowned as the Brown­low Medal win­ner last night, polling 31 votes.

It came just 24 hours af­ter Bris­bane’s heart­break­ing 40point loss to Gee­long in this year’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal.

The 27-year-old Bris­bane star had the cov­eted award all wrapp wrapped up p with two rounds to go and was a record 10 votes ahead of the next player, Travis Boak (21). He joins Michael Voss (1996), Ja­son Ak­er­ma­nis (2001) and Simon Black (2002) as the fourth Bris­bane Lions player to win the award.

Neale said there was “a sense of re­lief” to fi­nally achieve the hon­our.

“It’s un­be­liev­able,” he said. “I feel re­ally hum­bled to be in this po­si­tion. “I’m very proud.” But Neale said he still has un­fin­ished business at the club. “The ul­ti­mate goal is a premier­ship … and we’re not go­ing to stop un­til we get there,” he said.

It was a bit­ter­sweet win for Neale, wh who ad­mit­ted in the lead-up t to last night’s cer­e­mony tha that he was still feel­ing “pretty fla flat” af­ter the pre­lim­i­nary fina fi­nals loss to Gee­long. It wa was a his­toric event, with the hy hy­brid vir­tual awards night ta tak­ing place in six lo­ca­tions ar around the coun­try, in­clud­ing The Gabba in Bris­ban Bris­bane and Met­ri­con Sta­dium on the Gold Coast, with the even events hosted via video. Desp De­spite the unique cir­cum­stan cum­stances as a re­sult of COVIDCOVID-19 re­stric­tions, the wives an and girl­friends of play­ers still man­aged to bring a glam­oro glam­orous touch, with Neale’s wife Julie sport­ing a head-tu head-turn­ing Cho­sen by One Day gold se­quined sheer dress featu fea­tur­ing a high split.

Lachie Neale with wife Julie. Pic­ture: Getty/ Quinn Rooney

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