AFL

Garry Lyon's depression is 'serious and complex', says manager

Garry Lyon's depression is "serious and complex", says his manager, as the fallen television and football star works to rebuild his life after his affair with a colleague's former wife was exposed.

Craig Kelly, in the challenging position as the manager of Lyon and Billy Brownless, has worked closely with the pair since revelations that Lyon had been seeing Brownless' ex-wife Nicky were made public at the weekend.

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Fairfax Media reported on Tuesday that Brownless had been telling friends he feared the relationship had been going on for up to four years, a claim backed by several people in the football industry.

However, Kelly, the chief executive of TLA, denied this, insisting the relationship had only begun last year.

Happier times: Garry Lyon and Billy Brownless were once great mates.
Happier times: Garry Lyon and Billy Brownless were once great mates. 

Brownless and Lyon, two of the stars of The Footy Show, had separated from their wives by that time.

"Today's media reports suggesting that Garry and Nicky's relationship has gone on for years are totally incorrect," Kelly said.

"We want to be clear that this relationship took place when both parties were not married. To that end, those details are private and no one else's business.

"Both families are in turmoil and trying to work through this extremely difficult time."

Kelly also took aim at a major media outlet which had attempted to seek comment from the children of the two families.

"It is completely inappropriate for the media to be contacting the children and asking for comments on their parents," he said.

Kelly, a member of Collingwood's 1990 premiership side, said Lyon's mental wellbeing was a serious issue.

"Garry's mental illness is serious and complex and has been ongoing for some time," he said.

"He continues to receive medical treatment and, as anyone who has dealt with mental illness personally, or as a support, would understand it is a long process and often a day-by-day prospect."

Commentator Dwayne Russell, a former Geelong player, said he had kept his "nose" out of the scandal but used his position on 3AW's Sports Today show to speak in support of Lyon and Brownless.

"I have known Billy for 30 years, played with him at Geelong, spent six weeks touring through Europe years and years ago. I have also known Nicky since before they were married," he said.

"I was the MC at their wedding. I would simply say Billy is the nicest guy that I have ever met but it sounds like a pathetic cliche. But I have got to say, he is not only the nicest, but the friendliest, most genuine, kind-hearted, honest, happy, careful, personable, great company guy to hang with, who I have ever met.

"I have exchanged a few text messages with him these past two days but I have got no idea what's happened other than what I have read."

Russell said he had worked with Lyon at Nine for seven years but did not know him socially.

Essendon great Matthew Lloyd, who works with Lyon on Footy Classified and Brownless on The Sunday Footy Show, said there were "no winners out of a situation like this".

Lloyd said Lyon had been "probably the person I have looked up to most" in recent years as someone who had made a successful transition from playing into the media.

Lloyd said this had been a "huge setback" for Lyon but hoped he "could get back on his feet as soon as possible".

Some in the football industry have used Lyon's downfall as a way to score points against the one-time champion Melbourne forward when he is at his lowest ebb.

The Footy Show returns next month, where it is expected James Brayshaw will be the solo host.

For help or information call Suicide Helpline Victoria on 1300 651 251 or Lifeline on 131 114, or visit beyondblue.org.au