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AFL great Billy Brownless has announced he is bringing his lengthy broadcasting career with Channel 9 to an end after this AFL season.
The former Geelong superstar starred in the original version of the Footy Show which first went to air in 1994, before its demise in 2019.
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Though the more controversial Thursday night program has been cancelled, the Sunday Footy Show has continued running without incident.
Brownless' decision to step away from the Sunday Footy Show comes as no surprise to network bosses, with the former Cats star revealing to the Herald Sun that he had actually first raised retiring last season.
However, having been convinced to go around one more time, Brownless announced this would be his final season with the show on Sunday morning.
— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) September 19, 2021
“It’s been good fun, 23 years on the Sunday Footy Show,” Brownless said on Sunday morning.
“A sad day, but I’ve probably just had enough. I’m getting a bit older, it would be nice to have a Sunday off. And I haven‘t been sacked but it’s a matter of time, I suppose. Probably get out before I do get pushed.
“Sad day because we are all family, we’re good friends.
“Even the camera crew and the floor staff, they’ve been here longer than us.”
Brownless' co-hosts were clearly saddened by the decision, paying tribute to one of the long-time faces of the Footy Show.
Tony Jones said everyone in the room was 'genuinely flat' after the announcement, while former Essendon great Matthew Lloyd said Brownless would be missed.
“You’ll be hard to replace Bill. We’re going to miss seeing him. Gonna miss you Bill," he said.
Billy Brownless explains motive behind Footy Show retirement
After becoming one of the faces of footy media following his retirement from the AFL in 1997, Brownless became a fan-favourite for his antics.
Describing the early years of the Footy Show, which he appeared on alongside Eddie McGuire, Sam Newman and Trevor Marmalade, as the 'good old days', Brownless said he had been extremely fortunate to find such a rewarding life after football.
Brownless explained he was simply ready to enjoy more time to himself and have his Sundays off after more than 20 years discussing the footy every week.
“I started with the Footy Show with Ed, Sam and Trev (Marmalade) in the good old days. Once I finished up footy I was lucky enough to get onto the show and ended up doing both the Thursday and Sunday shows," he told the Herald Sun.
“It has been a fantastic ride, to be honest.
“I have just had enough, to be honest.
“I love the show and I love the boys.
“We have a very good chemistry which is hard to get on a footy panel show because we all have egos, but we all get on really well. We are a team.”
Brownless is set to continue his radio career with Triple M for the foreseeable future.
The 54-year-old is set to make two final appearances for Channel 9 before his retirement, the Footy Show Grand Final Eve special and the Sunday Footy Show Grand Final wrap.
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