Brendan Fevola lifts the lid in revelation about Ben Cousins he's 'never told in public'

The former AFL players have both been through their fair share of struggles.

Brendan Fevola has spoken publicly for the first time about a chance encounter he had with Ben Cousins when the fallen AFL champion was at one of his lowest points. Cousins has turned his life around in recent years after a well-documented drug addiction that saw him spiral out of control and spend time behind bars.

The former West Coast Eagles captain and Brownlow medallist is now working in the media and appears to be on the straight and narrow, much to the delight of many in the AFL world who want to see him happy and healthy again. One such person is fellow former AFL player Fevola, who lifted the lid on an encounter he had with Cousins at Crown Casino in Melbourne that left him worried for Cousins' wellbeing.

Ben Cousins and Brendan Fevola.
Ben Cousins and Brendan Fevola have both been through some difficult times. Image: Getty

Speaking on the 'Fifi, Fev & Nick' radio show on Melbourne’s 101.9 The Fox on Wednesday morning, Fevola provided details about the situation for the first time during an appearance by Cousins on the program. "We know each other very well," Fevola said of his relationship with Cousins.

"I’ve never told this story in public. There was a night after one of my best mate’s engagement party, (former Richmond captain) Chris Newman, and you were down from Perth, and we were at Crown. I was not there with Ben, but I was going upstairs to stay at Crown, and Ben hopped in the lift. I was like, ‘g’day mate, how are you going?’, and something had happened with your rental car, and you couldn’t get to the airport, you’d missed your plane, and you said, ‘can I stay with you tonight?’

“So, we went up to our room on the 33rd floor. You had a couple of phones, you kept taking the battery out, and then you're charging the battery. I'm like, ‘are you alright mate?’ and he's like, ‘I just don't know.’ And we sat there all night, and I didn't go to sleep because I was a bit worried about Ben. And we sat and chatted for about seven hours until you left the next morning. We got in deep to some stuff. And I couldn't believe how worried I was about you. You worried about me. Two cooked units sitting there, chewing the fat, talking about life. How did you turn it around?”


Cousins replied: “It’s hard to put it down to one thing. Unfortunately, when I think about it now, I do wish that it didn't have to run its course the way it did. It wasn't through lack of wanting to turn it around at times, but it's just, it's just a complicated thing. But I do remember that night fondly. We’ve always had a good time when we’ve caught up, but I wasn’t going too well at that time.”

Ben Cousins, pictured here during a West Coast Eagles parents v kids match at Optus Stadium.
Ben Cousins during a West Coast Eagles parents v kids match at Optus Stadium.

Ben Cousins reveals Brendan Fevola's support amid struggles

Fevola, who has previously been open and honest about a gambling addiction that cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars, said: “I wasn’t either.” Cousins revealed further details of how Fevola has supported him through difficult times. He said: “I do give it to you (Fev). Even after that night, there was a number of times that I received a call personally, or someone close to me did, from Fev, who would call up just to make sure I was going alright. We are good mates. I want to say you've got a good heart and want good things for other people.”

Fevola added: “For probably the next year and a half, I reckon I’d ring him once or twice a month to see how he was going. We didn’t hang out often, but I’d just call him to check in. You’ve done a great job, and it’s a credit to you. All the people out there going through issues, you can always turn it around.”

Cousins also discussed his stint behind bars and how he fell out of touch with a number of friends he made in AFL circles. “The mates you make along the way is what you leave the game with. For a long time there… it’s easy to isolate and not put yourself in situations you normally would to catch up and spend time (with them)," he said. "The last few years, I’ve spent more time down at the Eagles and spending time at training. Talking on the phone about footy, whatever’s happening. Whenever I come to Melbourne (now), I’m hooked in with the (Richmond) Tiger lads. I miss the locker-room banter and humour.”

Cousins' turnaround has sparked fresh calls for him to be finally be inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame. The former Brownlow Medallist has been eligible for the Hall since 2013, but has been consistently overlooked due to his off-field behaviour and chequered past.