AFL

Garry Lyon leaves Footy Show after relationship with Billy Brownless' ex

Garry Lyon has put his media commitments on hold and is understood to be battling depression after a deeply personal falling-out with his close friend and Footy Show colleague Billy Brownless.

The long-running friendship has apparently broken down after Brownless reportedly discovered a relationship between his ex-wife, Nicky, and Lyon.

Garry Lyon off air to deal with 'mental health' issues

Footy Show host Garry Lyon has been stood down indefinitely to be treated for mental illness. (Video courtesy Seven News Melbourne)

It is believed the former Geelong player and Footy Show funnyman recently confronted Lyon about the situation.

Brownless and Lyon have worked together for at least 15 years. The two families had also been close, with Brownless' former wife, Nicky, and Lyon's wife, Melissa, close friends. Brownless is understood to be rocked by the situation, and believes his friendship with Lyon is all but over.

The friendship between Garry Lyon and Billy Brownless is all but over.
The friendship between Garry Lyon and Billy Brownless is all but over.  Photo: Craig Sillitoe

Brownless last year talked publicly about how the breakdown of his marriage impacted him.

"I didn't see it coming, so that hurt," he told Fox Footy's Open Mike.

"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."

Channel Nine issued a statement on Saturday confirming Lyon had stood down as a co-host of The Footy Show and would be seeking treatment for a mental health condition.

Garry Lyon.
Garry Lyon. Photo: Karleen Williams

Nine said Lyon, who is also the co-host of Footy Classified, a Triple M commentator and an Age columnist, had been "suffering from a serious mental health condition". It is understood Lyon is battling depression. There is no time frame on when he would return to television.

The network's managing director, Ian Paterson, said Lyon, also a Melbourne Football Club great, had his full support.

"We are all supporting Garry and hope he will be back to good health very soon. Our priority is his wellbeing," Paterson said. "Garry has our full support. From here on, it's a private and personal matter and we ask that be respected."

The Footy Show returns next month, most likely on March 23. James Brayshaw will host the show solo until Lyon returns.

Nine said journalist Damian Barrett would fill in for Lyon on Footy Classified, which also features The Age's Caroline Wilson. Lyon will also stop providing a weekly column for The Saturday Age during his recovery.

Lyon's manager, Craig Kelly, of Elite Sports Properties, did not wish to comment on Saturday.