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Brisbane Lions player Jonathan Brown retires

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Jonathan Brown retires

After a career spanning 256 games Brisbane Lions champion Jonathan Brown has announced his retirement.

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Brisbane Lions stalwart Jonathan Brown has announced his immediate retirement from the AFL, citing health reasons for ending an accolade-filled 14-year career.

Brown made the announcement at a press conference at the Gabba, flanked by coach Justin Leppitsch and football director Leigh Matthews, who also coached the AFL club from 1999 to 2008.

The 256-game veteran, Brown, played in four consecutive grand finals including the premiership-winning teams of 2001, 2002 and 2003.

Jonathan Brown of the Lions looks on from the bench during the round 13 AFL match between the Brisbane Lions and the Greater Western Giants.

Jonathan Brown of the Lions looks on from the bench during the round 13 AFL match between the Brisbane Lions and the Greater Western Giants. Photo: Matt Roberts/Getty Images

However the 32-year-old has suffered multiple head injuries during his career, with the latest occurring against the GWS Giants on June 14.

Brown said he made the decision to quit the game over the weekend.

After spending time with his children, he contemplated the decision further and knew his health was "not worth risking".

Jonathan Brown is helped from the field during the round 13 match against  GWS. Click for more photos

Jonathan Brown retires

Brisbane Lions champion Jonathan Brown has retired after a career spanning 256 games. Photo: Getty Images

“I’ve had to finish up early from a playing point of view, I’ll still be involved with the club helping out the guys throughout the year ... unfortunately [I] can’t do it out on the field,” he said.

"Not to dramatise it. I’m ok, I’m going to recover ... I’m sure [my] symptoms will clear up pretty soon."

The powerful centre half-forward made his debut for the Lions during the 2000 season after he was drafted from TAC Cup side Geelong Falcons.

Jonathan Brown of the Lions is assisted from the field in Round 13.

Jonathan Brown of the Lions is assisted from the field in Round 13. Photo: Matt Roberts/Getty Images

Hailing from the Victorian country town of Warrnambool, Brown said he idolised the Lions as a youngster because his father Brian played for the club when it was formerly known as Fitzroy.

He said his "heart bled for the Lions from the very start and all the way through".

Brown said he was content with his decision to give the game away and that Leppitsch had not put him under any pressure to continue playing.

Brown captained the side from 2007 to 2013, booting 594 goals in his 14-year career.

"I’m looking forward to the future, whatever that may be," Brown said.

"[My] time at the footy club’s just been fantastic. The memories is what’s really the overwhelming thing. All the happiness, the great times.

"I’ve been fortunate enough to play in premierships and play with a lot of great players, build some great relationships, [I've] been coached by great men. So it’s just been a wonderful ride."

12 comments so far

  • Browny, well played well done and we will miss you.

    Commenter
    G Sacramento
    Date and time
    June 23, 2014, 12:48PM
    • Well said.

      Commenter
      Paul
      Date and time
      June 23, 2014, 1:07PM
  • A true champion who always gave it his best without fear. Not a Lions supporter but love Browny. I hope he goes on to work in the media because he's such a colourful character in the nicest possible way. Good luck Browny. We will miss you.

    Commenter
    Catherine
    Date and time
    June 23, 2014, 1:05PM
    • You will always be the Lion King Browny. Congratulations on an amazing career, you will be sorely missed

      Commenter
      MML
      Location
      Sunshine Coast
      Date and time
      June 23, 2014, 1:06PM
      • God Bless and Gods' Speed, Captain Courageous!

        Commenter
        Ilsa
        Location
        Brisbane
        Date and time
        June 23, 2014, 1:07PM
        • Well done Jonathon Brown, a hard decision but a wise one. Thanks for your service to the Lions and the fans.

          Commenter
          Watcher
          Location
          Brisbane
          Date and time
          June 23, 2014, 1:10PM
          • 2002 mark of the year running back to take it, super take

            Commenter
            Leigh Mathews
            Location
            Perth
            Date and time
            June 23, 2014, 1:11PM
            • About time... He should have gone 3 years ago.

              Commenter
              BILL
              Date and time
              June 23, 2014, 1:33PM
              • All AFL and NRL players should look to Jonathan Brown as an example of how to be a role model for young fans of the game. Professional, hard working, tough on the field a gentleman off the field. I would love for my boys to want to be like Brownie

                Commenter
                MustangSally
                Location
                Sunshine Coast
                Date and time
                June 23, 2014, 1:34PM
                • Now here's a sad day. We'll miss you Browny, what a legend.

                  Commenter
                  King Joffrey
                  Location
                  ACT
                  Date and time
                  June 23, 2014, 1:46PM

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