Billy Brownless and Garry Lyon in remarkable eight-year first after nasty falling out

The AFL icons were previously best mates until Lyon started dating Billy's ex-wife Nicky.

Billy Brownless, Garry Lyon and Nicky Brownless.
Billy Brownless and Garry Lyon (L) have repaired their relationship, with Lyon now engaged to Nicky Brownless (R). Image: Getty

Billy Brownless and Garry Lyon have appeared on-air together for the first time since 2016 after their infamous falling out over Brownless' ex-wife Nicky. Brownless and Lyon were best mates for years before Lyon started dating Brownless' ex Nicky, leaving Billy furious and heartbroken.

The spat has since been put in the past, with the Lyon and Brownless families spending the last few Christmas' together. Garry and Nicky were recently engaged, before jetting off to New York for a romantic holiday to celebrate.

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And there is clearly no ill-will from Billy, who made an appearance on SEN radio alongside Lyon on Friday. Lyon and Brownless worked as foundation members on the radio network alongside Tim Watson in 2004.

On Friday, Brownless rang in to the program and had a chat with Lyon and Watson as part of celebrations for the network's 20th anniversary. It marked the first time they had joined forces on TV or radio since their days on the AFL Footy Show, which all came apart in 2016.

Billy Brownless, Gary Lyon and James Brayshaw, pictured here in 2008.
Billy Brownless, Gary Lyon and James Brayshaw at the Logies in 2008. (Photo by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

“Bill Brownless joined Tim and I to launch this station, and he joins us (now), with thanks to Triple M," Lyon said. "William, welcome!”

Brownless said: “G’day Gaz and g’day Whispy (Watson), and well done boys - 20 years, that is a bloody good thing to do”. Watson said: “I remember you saying on that first morning Bill, ‘This is so good. This radio station is going to be around for another 20 years’. How prophetic were you that day?”

Brownless responded: “I can’t believe you’re still going after some of the interviews we did. If you remember rightly, back in the good old days when we first started, I reckon (between) 6-7am, it used to get a bit fruity. Things going on at home, we’d been going out, and things like that - it used to get a bit frizzy.”

Billy and Nicky Brownless, pictured here with son Oscar in 2018.
Billy and Nicky Brownless with son Oscar after he was drafted by Geelong in the 2018 AFL draft. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Billy Brownless and Garry Lyon back on-air together

Watson reminded Brownless of the time he slept in his car outside the studio fellow SEN personality Andy Maher. “Well, yes, that did happen, and Andy didn’t sleep - he kept talking!” Brownless said with a laugh.

“But also, we did get in trouble there once when we went to the Logies and had a big night and went straight through to the breakfast show and we got into a bit of trouble there. We found a bit of trouble now and then.”

Brownless chatted with Lyon and Watson for nine minutes, with Lyon wrapping up by saying: “It is great to see you and talk to you. The first morning (in the station’s history), one of the very first voices that you heard on this station was one of yours and we couldn’t have done it without you. We appreciate you coming on and giving us some time this morning”.

Garry Lyon and Nicky Brownless, pictured here at an NBL game in 2019.
Garry Lyon and Nicky Brownless at an NBL game in 2019. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Billy Brownless and Garry Lyon's relationship repaired

Billy and Nicky Brownless, who have four children together, were married for 18 years before they split. It came out in 2016 that Nicky had started dating Lyon while Billy and Garry were still working together on the Footy Show.

In 2020, Billy opened up about the pain of Nicky moving on with his best mate during his stint on ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’. “We separated about four years ago. Had a big, big dust-up we did. It was public, very public,” he said. “She just fell out of love, which happens. 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.”

Addressing his nasty falling out with Lyon, Brownless said: “We’re not best mates and there was no Christmas cards or anything, but one day I suppose we’ll sit down and have a beer. Time heals.”

Those words have proven to be very prophetic, and time has healed the wounds. “It worked really well and that was all very positive," Billy and Nicky's daughter Lucy said about everyone spending one Christmas together. “We're all happy and happy to be all together. It was a great day. We were all really excited about that.”

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