Jonathan Brown (Australian rules footballer)

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Jonathan Brown
Jonathan Brown at 2 September 2012 game.jpg
Brown at a game in September 2012.
Personal information
Full name Jonathan Brown
Date of birth (1981-10-29) 29 October 1981 (age 33)
Place of birth Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia
Original team Geelong Falcons (TAC Cup)
Draft No. 30 (F/S), 1999 National Draft, Brisbane Lions
Height/Weight 195cm / 103kg
Position(s) Forward
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2000–2014 Brisbane Lions 256 (594)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
2008 Victoria 1 (3)
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 2014 season.
Career highlights

Jonathan Brown (born 29 October 1981) is a former professional Australian rules footballer and a former captain of the Brisbane Lions in the Australian Football League. Brown stepped down from the co-captaincy on 23 January 2014.[2]

Previously widely regarded as one of the premier players in the competition, Brown is a three-time club best and fairest winner, two time All Australian (2007 and 2009), one time Coleman Medallist and three time AFL premiership player.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Brown was born in Warrnambool in Victoria in Victoria's south west, to mother Mary[5] and father Brian (former Fitzroy and Essendon player) and the eldest of three brothers.[5]

Brown grew up on the family property and attended school at Emmanuel College Warrnambool.[6] He grew up a Fitzroy fan and began playing Australian rules at an early age, playing school football with the Emmanuel College Hawks[7] and also cricket. Brown began his senior football with South Warrnambool Football Club at the age of 15. He began senior cricket at about the same time and was a stand-out left-arm fast bowler. He played A-Grade cricket with Wesley CBC where he was a Cricketer of the Year two years in a row and played in a senior premiership and was invited to play in the Victorian under 17 squad. However, he focused on Australian rules, pursuing a dream of following Ted Whitten to represent Victoria in State of Origin.[8] Brown drew the attention of AFL recruiters while playing under 18 representative football for the Geelong Falcons in 1999 at the national carnival in Brisbane when he was named All-Australian.

AFL career[edit]

Brown was selected by the Brisbane Lions in the 1999 AFL Draft under the Father-Son Rule and subsequently made the move to Brisbane and was immediately groomed as the club's centre half forward. The next year he played his first senior game for the Lions as an 18-year-old, against the Adelaide Crows, in Round 5 of 2000. Brown failed to register a statistic in that game and his best game in his opening year came against Fremantle in the final round of the season when he had 23 disposals and two goals.

Triple premiership era[edit]

Playing in a team that included three Brownlow Medalists; (Michael Voss, Jason Akermanis and Simon Black), Brown participated in four consecutive AFL Grand Finals and was a part of three consecutive premierships in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

Touted as the next Wayne Carey early in his career, Brown was an unspectacular but consistent contributor during his first few seasons and, at 195 cm and 105 kg, was an imposing target across half forward. In Round 6 of 2001, Brown kicked 7 goals to go with 9 marks and 19 disposals in his first dominant performance in front of goals. For the season he averaged 6 marks, 14 disposals and 1.5 goals per game. His season tally of 157 marks was a team high and his 38 goals was third best of Brisbane players.

Plagued by injury and regular meetings with the AFL Tribunal during the next three seasons, Brown's development was hampered until 2004, when he had his best season to date, averaging an impressive 8 marks, 16 disposals and 2.3 goals per game. Despite missing 8 games through injury and suspension, Brown kicked a career high 39 goals and again led the Lions in marks, with 140. His progress was punctuated in the Qualifying Final against St Kilda when he turned on a best afield 6 goal performance. The season ended very unfortunately for Brown as he was reported for striking Port Adelaide's Josh Carr during the Lions 40-point Grand Final loss. The report saw Brown suspended for the first five games of the 2005 season.

Reaching peak form: 2005-2006[edit]

Brown made his return from suspension in Round 6 of 2005 against Essendon and immediately had a big impact, taking 14 marks and kicking 8 goals on then-Essendon defender and future Sydney Swans premiership player Ted Richards, in what was the best game of his career and an ominous sign for the rest of the competition.,[9] The following week, Brown kicked another five goals, and in round 10 against the Kangaroos Brown had 12 marks, 27 disposals and 5 goals, followed by a career high 29 disposals in round 11. Injury again cut his season short, but, 2005 was clearly Brown's best individual season as he averaged 8 marks, 18 disposals and 2.8 goals per game during the 12 games he played prior to round 17, before a severe bout of osteitis pubis prevented him from having any influence in his last two games.

In May 2005, Brown was targeted by Collingwood in a deal reportedly worth $6 million over the next four seasons, but he was quick to announce that he had no plans to leave Brisbane. Two months later he officially signed a contract committing himself to the Brisbane Lions until the end of the 2008 season in a deal reportedly worth $2 million over three years.

2006 was the year that Brown first stamped his authority on the AFL competition. Mid-way through the season, Brown seemed certain to claim almost every individual award on offer at the end of the year, as he dominated in the air and in front of goals on a weekly basis. Brown's form hit a peak between rounds 7 and 10, when over four games he averaged 11 marks, 20 disposals and 6.5 goals per game, including performances of seven or more goals in three successive games. Tragically injury yet again proved the spoiler as round 10 ended up being Brown's last of the season. In the 2006 Brownlow Medal count, Brown polled 13 votes, enough to secure a top 10 finish despite only playing 10 games out of a possible 22. He was leading the count easily before he became injured.


Brown was promoted to the Lions' leadership group in 2005. Following the retirement of longtime captain Michael Voss in 2006, Brown was strongly favoured to replace Voss as captain. Nevertheless, when the captaincy was announced on 20 March 2007, Brown was named as co-captain alongside Simon Black, Chris Johnson, Nigel Lappin, and Luke Power.[10] Brown had previously acted as co-captain for the Lions in the 2007 NAB Cup Grand Final, alongside Black, Johnson, and Power, with Lappin out injured. On 23 January 2014, it was announced that Brown was stepping down from the captaincy in favour of Jed Adcock, formerly his co-captain.[2]

Vintage form: 2007-2009[edit]

Desperate for an injury free season, 2007 delivered just that for Brown, and what resulted was the uninhibited Brown that fans had been waiting to see for six long years. Brown had his best ever year, averaging 9 marks and 16 disposals, and kicked 77 goals at 3.5 per game in 2007. In round 16 against Carlton, he became the first Brisbane player to kick 10 goals in a game, and he finished the year with 7 goals against Geelong to secure the Coleman Medal as the season's leading goal kicker. That year Brown took the most contested marks in the competition to go with his first Coleman Medal. He also won his first club best and fairest award, the AFLPA Best Captain Award, the Robert Rose Award for Most Courageous Player, was runner up in the Leigh Matthews Trophy as League MVP and was named vice captain of the All Australian team. At season's end Brown was regarded by many, including AFL guru Mike Sheahan as the number one player in the competition.[11]

Brown captaining Victoria in the 2008 Hall of Fame game

Brown started the 2008 season slowly by his lofty standards, and was rested for one game in round seven due to some minor injury concerns. He then returned to his best with three consecutive six goal performances and combined with Daniel Bradshaw to be one of the most formidable forward duos in the league in the second half of the season. In the 15 games after his week off, Brown averaged 9 marks, 16 disposals and 3.7 goals per game, although his season stats we down on the previous year. Brown captained Victoria in the AFL Hall of Fame Tribute Match against the Dream Team, and a mark taken over Matthew Richardson in that game is captured in Jamie Cooper's painting the Game That Made Australia, commissioned by the AFL in 2008 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the sport.[12] He was named the AFLPA Most courageous player at the end of the 2008 season by his fellow peers, for the second year in a row, however he missed out on a second All-Australian selection. Brown's 2008 season was capped off by winning his second club best & fairest award in a row.

Brown at a training session in December 2008

At the completion of round 22 of the 2008 season, Brown announced he had signed a 4-year contract that would see him remain a Lion until he is at least 31.[13] On 27 October 2008, Lions coach Michael Voss announced Brown's appointment as sole-captain of the club.

Brown in 2009 against Essendon.

Named as sole captain of the Lions prior to the season, 2009 was Brown's most consistent year to date, being kept goaless just once and kicking two or more goals in a club record 17 consecutive games. In round 6, Brown had 13 marks, 24 disposals and five goals against Essendon, and in round 17, he kicked 8 goals against North Melbourne, including his 400th career goal, he also had 21 disposals and 12 marks. He placed second in the Coleman Medal at season's end, 8 goals behind winner Brendan Fevola, and took the most contested marks in the league. He finished the year with a career high, and Brisbane Lions record, 85 goals and averaged 8.5 marks and 16 disposals per game. His 19 Brownlow Medal votes placed him fourth overall and he concluded the year with his third consecutive best and fairest medal, second All Australian selection and the AFLPA Best Captain Award.

Battling injuries and retirement: 2010-2014[edit]

Brown was hampered by injury throughout the 2010 season, causing him to miss six games for the Lions. After a promising start to 2010, Brown and other key players for Brisbane were struck by injury and the team finished the season in 13th position on the ladder. Despite missing six games and the introduction of controversial Coleman Medallist Brendan Fevola to the team, Brown was again the Lions leading goalkicker, with 53 for the season, and he came third in Brisbane's Best and Fairest, behind Michael Rischitelli and Simon Black.[14] Brown was named the Members' Player of the Year[14] and polled almost have of his Best an Fairest votes in the first four rounds, showing that if he had not been struck down by injury he would have been likely to win his fourth Merrett-Murray Medal.[15]

Brown suffered a horrific facial injury in the first game of the 2011 season against Fremantle after he was kneed in the head by defender Luke Mcpharlin in a marking attempt.

Brown suffered a second horrific facial injury in round 17 of the 2011 season.

Brown tying his shoelaces in a match in 2012

Brown suffered a third facial injury in a 2012 intra club match after teammate Matt McGuire knees him in the head in a marking contest. Doubts stated to surface over his career after these consistent breaks to his skull.

Brown was the victim of another facial injury in the Round 13, 2014 clash between the Lions and the Greater Western Sydney Giants. He collided with Tomas Bugg's knee and was taken off the ground. He suffered a concussion, which caused his retirement from football.


 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Led the league for the Season only*
Led the league after finals only*
Led the league after Season and Finals*

*10 games required to be eligible.

Season Team # Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
2000 Brisbane Lions 16 13 5 2 82 41 123 47 11 0.4 0.2 6.3 3.2 9.5 3.6 0.8
2001 Brisbane Lions 16 25 38 22 217 130 347 157 31 1.5 0.9 8.7 5.2 13.9 6.3 1.2
2002 Brisbane Lions 16 19 14 14 143 87 230 97 20 0.7 0.7 7.5 4.6 12.1 5.1 1.1
2003 Brisbane Lions 16 19 27 15 173 113 286 126 31 1.4 0.8 9.1 5.9 15.1 6.6 1.6
2004 Brisbane Lions 16 17 39 21 173 101 274 140 27 2.3 1.2 10.2 5.9 16.1 8.2 1.6
2005 Brisbane Lions 16 14 33 19 142 96 238 103 19 2.4 1.4 10.1 6.9 17.0 7.4 1.4
2006 Brisbane Lions 16 10 35 18 133 56 189 103 13 3.5 1.8 13.3 5.6 18.9 10.3 1.3
2007 Brisbane Lions 16 22 77 38 239 114 353 195 22 3.5 1.7 10.9 5.2 16.0 8.9 1.0
2008 Brisbane Lions 16 21 70 47 223 84 307 167 18 3.3 2.2 10.6 4.0 14.6 8.0 0.9
2009 Brisbane Lions 16 24 85 52 281 104 385 204 25 3.5 2.2 11.7 4.3 16.0 8.5 1.0
2010 Brisbane Lions 16 16 53 24 168 73 241 126 14 3.3 1.5 10.5 4.6 15.1 7.9 0.9
2011 Brisbane Lions 16 10 22 11 89 35 124 64 7 2.2 1.1 8.9 3.5 12.4 6.4 0.7
2012 Brisbane Lions 16 20 47 20 189 108 297 143 20 2.4 1.0 9.5 5.4 14.9 7.2 1.0
2013 Brisbane Lions 16 15 28 15 128 56 184 94 14 1.9 1.0 8.5 3.7 12.3 6.3 0.9
2014 Brisbane Lions 16 10 19 7 64 46 110 44 19 1.9 0.7 6.4 4.6 11.0 4.4 1.9
Career 255 592 325 2444 1244 3688 1810 291 2.3 1.3 9.6 4.9 14.5 7.1 1.1

Jonathan Brown (Australian rules footballer) - average goals per game 2000 to 2013.png

Jonathan Brown (Australian rules footballer) - goals per season 2000 to 2013.png

Honours and achievements[edit]

Brownlow Medal votes
Season Votes
2001 5
2003 8
2004 8
2005 11
2006 13
2007 17
2008 10
2009 19
2010 12
2011 3
2012 4
2013 2
Total 112
Green / Bold = Won

Personal life[edit]

Brown's father, Brian Brown, played football with Fitzroy and Jonathan was recruited to the Lions under the father son rule. He is also the nephew of former Fitzroy player Noel Mugavin,[17] nephew of former Collingwood player Billy Picken and cousin of Western Bulldogs player, Liam Picken.[18]

On 25 October 2008 Brown married Kylie Adams.[19] They have three children, two girls and a boy.[20][21]

Media appearances[edit]

Brown has been a regular guest panellist on The AFL Footy Show.

In 2009 he featured in the official advertisement for the AFL, playing Australian rules with opponent Chad Cornes in a boxing ring and breaking the tackles of American football players.[22]


  1. ^ AFLPA Awards#Robert Rose Award for Most Courageous Player
  2. ^ a b Stannard, Damien (23 January 2014). "Jed Adcock named sole captain at Brisbane Lions as Jonathan Brown steps aside". Herald Sun. News Ltd. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Voss on Brown the best". Brisbane Times. 9 May 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  4. ^ "Player Profile – Jonathan Brown". Brisbane Lions website. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  5. ^ a b "Jed Adcock named sole captain at Brisbane Lions as Jonathan Brown steps aside". Herald Sun. News Ltd. 23 January 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "Jonathan Brown Background". Velocity Sports. Velocity Sports. 10 April 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  7. ^ Flanagan, Martin (27 October 2012). "Legend of Jonathan Brown". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Best, Greg (2008-05-12). "Brown puts the V back in victorious". The Standard. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  9. ^ Sydney veteran Ted Richards will not underestimate Brisbane Lions champion forward Jonathon Brown at the Gabba, The Daily Telegraph, 1 May 2014
  10. ^ "Lions appoint five skippers". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 20 March 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-03-23. Retrieved 2007-03-20. 
  11. ^ "Brown spearheads top 50 list". 
  12. ^ Australian Football League, The Game That Made Australia, Retrieved 19 September 2010
  13. ^ Jonathon Brown Signs 4 Year Contract with Brisbane Lions
  14. ^ a b Davis, Greg (10 September 2010). "Michael Rischitelli wins best-and-fairest". Herald Sun. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  15. ^ Australian Associated Press (10 September 2010). "Rischitelli the Lions' best in 2010". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  16. ^ Jonathan Brown's player profile at AFL Tables
  17. ^ "Brown's Fitzroy fables". Brisbane Lions website. 6 July 2007. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  18. ^ "Picken up the pace". Real Footy website. 13 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  19. ^ Martin, Hannah (26 October 2008). "Lion king Jonathan Brown shows his pride on wedding day". Courier Mail. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  20. ^ "Lions roaring over captain Jonathan Brown and wife Kylie's new cub, Jack William Brown". The Courier Mail. 5 November 2012. Retrieved 2015-01-11. 
  21. ^ Martin, Hannah (7 June 2014). "Retired Brisbane Lions legend Jonathan Brown’s new beginning as third child arrives". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 2015-01-11. 
  22. ^ "AFL reveals new commercial". Football Nation. 7 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Gary Moorcroft
AFL Mark of the Year
Succeeded by
Chris Tarrant
Preceded by
Glenn Archer and Brett Kirk
AFLPA Robert Rose Award for Most Courageous Player
Succeeded by
Joel Selwood
Preceded by
Mark Ricciuto
Tom Harley
AFLPA Best Captain Award
Succeeded by
Tom Harley
Brett Kirk