Billy Brownless suffers devastating tragedy during I'm a Celeb

Chris Young
Sports Reporter

AFL great Billy Brownless’s time on reality TV show I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here ended on a horrible note, with the Geelong champion’s father passing away the day he was voted off the show.

Brownless, twice the leading goalkicker for the Cats before embarking on a successful career in media, travelled back to Australia for a memorial service for his father, Anthony, which was held in Jerilderie.

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The 53-year-old celebrated his birthday the day before the memorial service, with the prominent personality posting a picture of himself with his four children.

Brownless included a hashtag in the post, saying his was ‘having a beer for dad’.

The venture into the South African jungle was an eventful one for Brownless, who was heavily criticised online for comments he made on the show about women’s footy.

Asked by Love Island star Erin Barnett for his “truthful opinion on female footy”, Brownless certainly put his foot in it.

“I still don’t know if girls should play footy, I’m not sure. I don’t know if they’re built to play footy. Not being sexist or anything,” Brownless said.

AFL great Billy Brownless received tragic news after leaving reality show I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, with his father, Anthony, passing away. PIcture: Twitter/Channel 10

“The other things with girls, they get hurt and they haven’t been taught how to protect themselves properly. They run in and, bang, do a collarbone,” he added, mimicking a big collision.

To his credit, Brownless did say he thought things would improve in the future.

“They will learn all that, because now we are seeing girls who actually grew up with football like we did and bounce a footy,” he said.

“You go to games at halftime and there are girls kicking a footy at halftime. You never used to see that.

“I can’t believe how passionate the girls are and they just want to learn.”