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Billy Brownless fears Garry Lyon's affair with his former wife had been going for up to four years

A shattered Billy Brownless believes Garry Lyon's affair with his former wife had been going for up to four years.

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As the fall-out over the dramatic ending of a friendship between two of football's biggest names continues, it emerged on Monday Brownless had been telling friends he suspected Lyon's affair with his former wife, Nicky, had been going for between three and four years.

Brownless' marriage broke down last year, and during an interview on Fox Footy's Open Mike the former Geelong star cited his life in the "fast lane" as a reason for this.

It's also believed Brownless first confronted Lyon about the affair around the time fellow The Footy Show star Sam Newman celebrated his 70th birthday in December. Lyon and Brownless attended Newman's birthday.

Brownless has been baring his soul and confiding in close friends since the revelations broke publicly over the weekend.


Those close to Lyon, while disappointed by his actions, are supporting him.

Brownless admitted last year he had been blind-sided by the marriage breakdown.

"I didn't see it coming, so that hurt," Brownless said.

"And I took a while to get over it. But you've got to get back up because that's what I do, you've got to be up and bubbly. We all get down but it's about getting back on the bike."

Lyon, The Footy Show co-host, has stepped down from his media duties, including as a columnist for The Saturday Age, as he battles depression.

Lyon and his wife Melissa had an amicable spilt about 18 months ago.

Brownless and Lyon have worked together for at least 15 years. The two families had also been close, with Nicky Brownless and Melissa Lyon close friends.

James Brayshaw, Lyon's friend and the North Melbourne chairman, is now expected to be the solo host of The Footy Show, as many in the football industry doubt whether Lyon can return to the prominent role.

Eddie McGuire, the former host of the show, cannot return to the role as he is contracted to Fox Footy for football matters.

Brownless said his busy life had contributed to the demise of his marriage.

"No doubt because I think we in the media do get carried away with ourselves. There's no doubt about that and we get very selfish, or self absorbed, and it's all about us," he said.

"And you do think about your family, your wife, or your kids and later on when you think about it you think, 'Geez, I should've been a better parent or a husband'.

"I think maybe I am a (better dad) but I could've been a better husband."

At the time, Brownless said he and Nicky had been on "good terms".

"And the kids, too. It's all fine but it was just hard to take," he said.

David Schwarz, Lyon's former Melbourne teammate, was one of several commentators to weigh in on the situation on Monday. He said the difference in Lyon in the past year and a half had been noticeable.

He said former teammates had noticed that Lyon had been "absent" when he had formerly been "very available".

"It was concerning for a lot of teammates," he said.

"He's actually angered a lot of his ex-teammates because he just hasn't returned calls and been very aloof, which is very unlike Garry.

"In light of what we know now, there was obviously a fair bit going on."

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