Mystery woman behind Ben Cousins' appearance at Brownlow Medal

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·Sports Editor
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Ben Cousins, pictured here at the Brownlow Medal ceremony with Kellye Fergus.
Ben Cousins attended the Brownlow Medal ceremony with Kellye Fergus. Image: Getty

Ben Cousins has made his first appearance at the Brownlow Medal since retiring from the AFL in 2010, attending Sunday night's ceremony in Perth.

As a former winner, the 2005 Brownlow Medallist is invited to the count each year.

However the former West Coast Eagles captain has endured a stunning fall from grace because of a well-documented drug addiction and hadn't been to the Brownlow in 11 years.

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He was convicted of stalking his ex-partner in November last year and spent more than six months in jail.

However Cousins was welcomed back into the AFL fold on Sunday night, looking happy and healthy as he walked the red carpet at Optus Stadium with Kellye Fergus.

According to The Daily Mail, Fergus is a fly-in, fly-out worker from Western Australia who works for fine foods supplier Gourmet WA.

Asked on Sunday night if he was back on the right path, Cousins replied: "Yeah absolutely."

"It's definitely a big night. It's been a while since I've been to one of the football industry nights. So I'm looking forward to it."

Cousins was asked how much work it took for him to attend the Brownlow and who helped him.

"(There's been) a little bit behind the scenes, but that's part of it," he said.

"You find yourselves in different situations along the way. It's just great to be here tonight.

"There's been plenty of people. I won't go into it tonight. 

"I'm just very fortunate that I've got the opportunity to come to one of football's great nights."

At his peak, Cousins was one of the AFL's top midfielders and played a crucial role in the Eagles' 2006 premiership victory.

However his off-field troubles cost him the West Coast captaincy in early 2006 and he was sacked by the club after the 2007 season.

Cousins played 238 games for the Eagles and returned in 2009 to play 32 games for Richmond before he retired at the end of 2010.

Ben Cousins and Kellye Fergus, pictured here at the 2021 Brownlow Medal count at Optus Stadium.
Ben Cousins and Kellye Fergus at the 2021 Brownlow Medal count at Optus Stadium. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Ollie Wines wins Port Adelaide's first Brownlow Medal

Port Adelaide's Ollie Wines admitted to mixed emotions after winning his club's first AFL Brownlow Medal, saying the award and their disastrous end to the season have him rattled.

In a pulsating count on Sunday night that was one of the most entertaining in Brownlow history, Wines polled 36 votes to finish three clear of Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli.

The Bulldogs star had led since round 12, but did not poll after round 19.

Wines, who entered the count as the slightest of favourites, hit the lead with one vote in round 22, and snared another two votes in round 23 - against the Bulldogs - to secure the medal.

It was some small consolation for the Power after the Bulldogs humiliated them by 71 points two Saturday nights ago in the preliminary final.

The Bulldogs will play Melbourne next Saturday in the grand final.

"I'm a little bit rattled, to be honest, still," Wines said on stage at Perth's Optus Stadium, the grand final venue.

"There are so many great players that I still look up to at my age ... and a lot of them are obviously playing on Saturday in the biggest game of the year.

"I'm extremely envious of them and I'd love to be in their position.

"I know our boys - it's burning inside them as much as it is in me, and we'll be back next year better than ever."

with AAP

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