Nathan Buckley speaks out after AFL champion forced into brutal move due to divorce

The Collingwood hero is being forced to sell off some of his most prized possessions.

Nathan Buckley has expressed his sadness and objected to the fact he's being forced to sell off some of his prized AFL memorabilia as part of his divorce with ex-wife Tania. Nathan and Tania Buckley were the glamour couple of the AFL in the early 2000s, but announced in 2020 that they'd split after 18 years of marriage.

On Thursday it came to light that Collingwood champion Buckley was being forced to auction over 200 items of his own football memorabilia due to the divorce. The former player and coach has bought back his Brownlow and Norm Smith medals, but other prized possessions like grand final jumpers are going up for sale.

Nathan Buckley with current partner Brodie Ryan and ex-wife Tania.
Nathan Buckley, who has moved on with Brodie Ryan (L), is being forced to sell off his AFL memorabilia due to his split with ex-wife Tania (R). Image: Getty

“It’s unlikely the Nathan Buckley collection would have been offered for public sale had it not been for the divorce of Nathan and his former wife Tania,” auctioneer Charles Leski said. “This collection, sold under difficult circumstances, gives us a rare glimpse into the life of a sporting hero."


Nathan Buckley speaks out amid sad development for AFL hero

Speaking out later on Thursday, Buckley said he hoped some of the memorabilia would one day go back to the AFL or Collingwood, as well as his two sons. “You do collect a bit of stuff from a lifetime in the game and these items are the sum of the last 30 years in footy,” Buckley told the Herald Sun.

“Thankfully, I was able to, in effect, buy back my medals after they were valued. It’s a crazy world. I’ve never viewed these items as commodities and thought that in the fullness of time they would be returned to the clubs or institutions I represented at the time. I do still hope this transpires.”

Mark Riccuito, Nathan Buckley and Adam Goodes, pictured here with their Brownlow Medals in 2003.
Mark Riccuito, Nathan Buckley and Adam Goodes after jointly winning the Brownlow Medal in 2003.

Buckley played 260 games for Collingwood (and 20 for the Brisbane Bears) in a sparkling career from 1994 to 2007. He then coached the Magpies from 2012 to 2021, winning 117 games, losing 99 and drawing two.

Leski said there was “something for everyone” in the sale of more than 200 of Buckley's items. Prices range from $50 to $5000 for each piece, and it's believed the collection could fetch as much as $200,000 in total. Nathan and Tania's mansion in Tourak is also on the market for a whopping $18 million. The couple bought the property for $4 million in 2007.

Nathan Buckley opens up on sad toll of marriage breakdown

Discussing his marriage breakdown late last year, the 51-year-old Buckley said it was "the most traumatic thing that’s happened" to him. Speaking to Channel 7 personality Hamish McLachlan in an interview with News Corp, Buckley said: “I’ve learnt things about myself in the last five years that I didn’t know. I’ve unpacked a lot.”

When asked what was the driving force behind the change, Buckley said: “The most traumatic thing that’s happened to me recently was my marriage breaking down. The two most important things to me were family and footy. That was pretty much me. And when the family element started breaking down, my immediate family, I leant on football even more than I had before.

“It wasn’t just kicks, marks and handballs – it was the people in the footy club, and I think because they saw me vulnerable and imperfect, I actually think that deepened the connection. They realised that I needed them, potentially for the first time in our respective relationships."

Nathan Buckley, pictured here with girlfriend Brodie Ryan and his sons Jett and Ayce.
Nathan Buckley with girlfriend Brodie Ryan and his sons Jett and Ayce.

Buckley said he has moved past the hurt of his split with Tania and is happy in a new relationship with Melbourne business manager Brodie Ryan, who he stepped out with at last year's Brownlow Medal ceremony. Nathan and Tania have teenage sons Jett and Ayce together.