Robbie Neale can add a familiar name to his masterful memory of Brownlow medallists in the AFL (Australian Football League) era after son Lachie topped Sunday’s count in remarkable fashion.
Brisbane star Lachie Neale polled 31 votes from 17 games to win the 2020 Brownlow medal.
If Neale averaged the same number of votes per match in a regular 22-game season then he would have tallied 40 votes, comfortably a league record.
It was a sweet night for Neale—if not soured a little by the fact it came after the Lions’ preliminary-final loss—and indeed his dad.
“This is something I’ve looked up to ever since I was a kid,” Lachie Neale told reporters.
“My dad can reel off the last 40 Brownlow medallists I think.
“He might have a tear in his eye (doing it now).
“He loves his footy. I learned the love of the game from him.
“From all reports he was a very good player, played a lot of country football ... he said his one regret is he didn’t stick it out (and stay in Adelaide for more than one season).”
Robbie Neale was among the influential figures that Lachie thanked in his acceptance speech, noting “our relationship has grown and developed every year and I can honestly say now he is one of my best mates.”
“I’m lucky to have such great family members on both sides, my mum and dad’s side. They have been awesome for me,” he added.
Lachie told reporters he was still wrapping his head around the idea of becoming a Brownlow medallist, joining a prestigious list that includes childhood hero and 1993 winner Gavin Wanganeen.
“People remember Brownlow medallists, what they achieve and whatnot. For me to be in that category, it doesn’t really sit well,” Neale said.
“Because I just admire so many players who have won them, they’re greats of the game. It’s incredibly humbling.”
Michael Voss, Jason Akermanis and Simon Black are the only other Brisbane players to have won a Brownlow medal.
“If I was in the team with those three I'd be on the bench most games,” Neale said.
“They’re amazing players and it was such a golden era.”