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    • Lachie Neale was crowned the winner of the 2020 Brownlow Medal on Sunday
    • The Brisbane Lions midfielder was a favourite to win going into the countdown 
    • The 27-year-old celebrated with his wife Julie and Lions players in the Gabba
    • Coronavirus meant players watched the tally from locations around the country 

    Lachie Neale has been crowned the 2020 Brownlow Medal winner after a remote ceremony held at five different locations across the country.

    The Brisbane Lions midfielder took an unassailable lead with two rounds remaining and finished with 31 points, beating runner up Port Adelaide’s Travis Boak by ten points for the prestigious award. 

    The 27-year-old was joined by his wife Julie and other Lions players in the Gabba in Brisbane for the ceremony.

    ‘To the footy club, the staff and the coaching staff, I think we’ve done such a great job. I’m so thankful to be part of the organisation. This award is for the club and the playing group,’ Neale said.

    Brisbane Lions midfielder Lachie Neale (pictured with wife Julie) has won the 2020 Brownlow Medal

    Neale enjoys a beer with Adelaide Crows star Rory Laird at the Brownlow function at the Gabba

    Neale enjoys a beer with Adelaide Crows star Rory Laird at the Brownlow function at the Gabba

    ‘There are so many people throughout my life who have helped me for a very long time. My mum Amanda, she has done so much for me and so much for my siblings. Same for my dad Robbie. I can honestly say now he is one of my best mates.’ 

    Despite his landslide victory, Neale was sombre through the early stages of the night following the Lions’ heartbreaking loss to the Geelong Cats on Saturday night.

    ‘It’s exciting but I’m still feeling the effects of last night,’ Neale said.

    ‘It was disappointing. I felt like we didn’t play our best footy at all and full credit to Geelong. They played and deserved to win quite comfortably in the end.’

    Neale was a hot favourite going into the countdown after a stellar showing through the season, but the shock preliminary final loss had left him disappointed. 

    ‘In a weird way, I’m still pretty flat but I know what a big occasion this is,’ he said. 

    Neale grew up in a small town called Kybybolite about 300 kilometres southeast of Adelaide in South Australia.

    He played for the Kybybolite Tigers in his youth and returned home during the coronavirus pandemic to work on the family farm while the AFL season was paused.

    With his wife Neale drove 2,000 kilometres before the borders closed to make it home, spending his time fishing before his return to the game.

    Neale in action for the Lions during their preliminary final loss to Geelong at The Gabba on Saturday

    Neale in action for the Lions during their preliminary final loss to Geelong at The Gabba on Saturday

    Neale and his wife Julie made a glamorous entrance at the AFL Brownlow Medal ceremony in Brisbane on Sunday

    Neale and his wife Julie made a glamorous entrance at the AFL Brownlow Medal ceremony in Brisbane on Sunday

    ‘I’ve been fishing and hunting with my little brother and we brought the dog as well and he’s loving it. It’s good fun to chuck a lure in the dam and see if we can catch a few,’ he told The Advertiser.  

    Neale was drafted to the Fremantle Dockers in 2012 and played six seasons before being traded to Brisbane at the end of the 2018 season. 

    He thrived at his new club, earning an All-Australian selection in 2019 before taking out the Brownlow in 2020, with seven best on ground efforts in the opening 11 rounds of the competition.

    The AFL Brownlow Medal is very different this year thanks to COVID-19, with no main ceremony as players and their partners gather at dinners being held remotely around the country.

    Players and partners gathered at a variety of venues: the Seven studio in Melbourne, the Brisbane Lions at their Gabba home, Richmond and Geelong players in separate function rooms at Gold Coast’s Metricon Stadium ahead of their upcoming grand final next weekend, SA based players at the Adelaide Oval and WA based players at Optus Stadium in Perth.

    Despite the absence of a red carpet, the WAGS still grasped the chance to indulge in some glamour after months of few social opportunities due to lockdown. 

    Wow! Julie opted for racy sheer frock with a hip-high split and glittering embellishments throughout

    Wow! Julie opted for racy sheer frock with a hip-high split and glittering embellishments throughout

    Neale looks downcast as he watches on during the Brownlow Award ceremony on Sunday

    Neale looks downcast as he watches on during the Brownlow Award ceremony on Sunday

    Chic: Lachie looked smart in a navy blue suit with a white shirt and patterned tie

    Chic: Lachie looked smart in a navy blue suit with a white shirt and patterned tie

    Neale and his wife Julie made a glamorous entrance.

    Julie opted for racy sheer frock with a hip-high split and glittering embellishments throughout.

    Underneath, she wore a pair of nude underwear which showcased her slim pins to their full extent.

    She carried a silver clutch, wore clear heels and opted for a soft pink makeup palette, her blonde hair down in waves.

    Lachie looked smart in a navy blue suit with a white shirt and patterned tie.

    Also turning heads were Isabella Beischer, the partner of Melbourne’s Christian Petracca in all white, Rebecca Lauren – accompanying GWS star Stephen Coniglio – in an all black outfit, Lucy Gilkes, the partner of GWS’ Josh Kelly and Rachel Newett, who attended with Essendon’s Jordan Ridley.

    Callum Mills of the Sydney Swans arrived with partner Tiffany Browne who looked stunning in a vintage-style pink, satin frock.

    Think pink: Callum Mills of the Sydney Swans arrived with partner Tiffany Browne who looked stunning in a vintage-style pink, satin frock. Callum chose a navy blue checked suit, open to a white dress shirt, and skipped a tie

    Think pink: Callum Mills of the Sydney Swans arrived with partner Tiffany Browne who looked stunning in a vintage-style pink, satin frock. Callum chose a navy blue checked suit, open to a white dress shirt, and skipped a tie

    Retro: The old Hollywood style dress featured bell sleeves and a v-neck cut that showed off the beauty's ample assets

    Retro: The old Hollywood style dress featured bell sleeves and a v-neck cut that showed off the beauty’s ample assets

    The old Hollywood style dress featured long bell sleeves and a v-neck cut that showed off the beauty’s ample assets.

    She opted for a soft makeup look while wearing her brunette locks off her face, and nude heels to finish the ensemble.

    Callum chose a navy blue checked suit, open to a white dress shirt, and skipped a tie.

    Jake Lloyd of the Sydney Swans and his partner Zoe Heard made a chic pair, with Jake choosing a slim-fit black suit and satin tie.

    All bright: Jake Lloyd of the Sydney Swans and his partner Zoe Heard made a chic pair, with Jake choosing a slim-fit black suit and satin tie

    All bright: Jake Lloyd of the Sydney Swans and his partner Zoe Heard made a chic pair, with Jake choosing a slim-fit black suit and satin tie

    Arty: Zoe opted for an artistic abstract dress in bright block colours, that clung to her slim frame, while wearing her hair in a half-up do

    Arty: Zoe opted for an artistic abstract dress in bright block colours, that clung to her slim frame, while wearing her hair in a half-up do

    Zoe opted for an artistic abstract dress in bright block colours, that clung to her slim frame, while wearing her hair in a half-up do.

    She paired the dress with an equally bright bag and heels with chunky straps, while opting for a nude makeup look.

    Charlie Cameron of the Lions and his partner Caitlin Seeto made a chic entrance in sophisticated looks, with Charlie wearing a black velvet tuxedo and bow tie.

    Caitlin looked stunning in a black satin gown with a thigh-high split and diamonte detailing, while holding a silver clutch and finishing the ensemble with strappy heels.

    She wore her hair slicked back off her face, and oped for a pink lip and dainty earrings.

    Cool couple: Charlie Cameron of the Lions and his partner Caitlin Seeto made a chic entrance in sophisticated looks, with Charlie wearing a black velvet tuxedo and bow tie

    Cool couple: Charlie Cameron of the Lions and his partner Caitlin Seeto made a chic entrance in sophisticated looks, with Charlie wearing a black velvet tuxedo and bow tie

    What a pair: Melbourne player Christian Petracca took along partner Isabella Beischer, who chose a skin-tight while frock that showed off her slim physique

    What a pair: Melbourne player Christian Petracca took along partner Isabella Beischer, who chose a skin-tight while frock that showed off her slim physique

    Melbourne player Christian Petracca took along partner Isabella Beischer, who chose a skin-tight while frock that showed off her slim physique.

    She added matching details with white fingernail and toenail polish, shoulder bag and square heels with delicate straps.

    Christian looked handsome in a three-piece navy suit with an ivory satin tie and white dress shirt.

    The Giants Josh Kelly looked dapper in a modern suit with dotted tie, pocket square and a chunky watch, while his partner Lucy Gilkes opted for a baby blue gown.

    The tight dress showed off her figure, and the beauty opted for white heels and gold accessories.

    She chose a bronzed makeup palette, with highlighted cheeks and coral lipstick, while wearing her brunette hair off her face in a ponytail.

    Feeling blue: The Giants Josh Kelly looked dapper in a modern suit with dotted tie, pocket square and a chunky watch, while his partner Lucy Gilkes opted for a baby blue gown

    Feeling blue: The Giants Josh Kelly looked dapper in a modern suit with dotted tie, pocket square and a chunky watch, while his partner Lucy Gilkes opted for a baby blue gown

    Shining star: The tight dress showed off her figure, and the beauty opted for white heels and gold accessories

    Shining star: The tight dress showed off her figure, and the beauty opted for white heels and gold accessories

    Jordan Ridley of the Bombers and his partner Rachel Mewett brought some brightness to the occasion with Rachel picking a bright yellow, satin gown. 

    She paired it with blingy statement earrings, a glittering clutch and wore her blonde hair down around her shoulders, while choosing smoky eyeshadow and pink lips. 

    Jordan looked smart in a dark blue suit worn with a bow tie pocket square and white dress shirt.  

    Dapper: Jordan looked smart in a dark blue suit worn with a bow tie pocket square and white dress shirt

    Dapper: Jordan looked smart in a dark blue suit worn with a bow tie pocket square and white dress shirt

    Stephen Coniglio of the Giants and partner Rebecca Lauren were clearly up for a fun night, posing in a number of adorable photos upon arrival. 

    Rebecca donned a casually high-fashion look wearing a sleeveless top with flared pants, while styling her hair half-up with a chunky satin headband. 

    She carried a Dior bag, wore a scattering of gold accessories, black nail polish, and chose a smoky eye makeup look with a pink lip. 

    Fash pack: She carried a Dior bag, wore a scattering of gold accessories, black nail polish, and chose a smoky eye makeup look with a pink lip

    Fash pack: She carried a Dior bag, wore a scattering of gold accessories, black nail polish, and chose a smoky eye makeup look with a pink lip

    Jarryd Lyons of the Lions and his partner Savahna Lyons posed up a storm, with Jarryd wearing a blue suit with a mauve tie and pocket square that matched Savahna’s dress. 

    Savahna wore a violet dress that sat off the shoulders, and featured extra long sleeves, with her blonde hair down around her face. 

    The dress had a thigh-high split that showed off her slim legs and for makeup, she chose a pale pink lipstick and rosy cheeks.  

    Matching: Jarryd Lyons of the Lions and his partner Savahna Lyons posed up a storm, with Jarryd wearing a blue suit wit ha mauve tie and pocket square that matched Savahna's dress

    Matching: Jarryd Lyons of the Lions and his partner Savahna Lyons posed up a storm, with Jarryd wearing a blue suit wit ha mauve tie and pocket square that matched Savahna’s dress

    Wow factor: Savahna wore a violet dress that sat off the shoulders, and featured extra long sleeves, and a thigh-high split that showed off her slim legs

    Wow factor: Savahna wore a violet dress that sat off the shoulders, and featured extra long sleeves, and a thigh-high split that showed off her slim legs

    Jack Crisp of the Magpies and his wife Mikayla Crisp made a head-turning entrance with Jack in a black suit with a patterned tie. 

    Mikayla couldn’t be ignored in a white, off the shoulder gown that had a long train and a thigh-high split. 

    She wore her long, blonde hair down and carried a white, square clutch, finishing the ensemble with pointed white heels.  

    Black and white: Jack Crisp of the Magpies and his wife Mikayla Crisp made a head-turning entrance with Jack in a black suit with a patterned tie

    Black and white: Jack Crisp of the Magpies and his wife Mikayla Crisp made a head-turning entrance with Jack in a black suit with a patterned tie

    Mikayla couldn't be ignored in a white, off the shoulder gown that had a long train and a thigh-high split

    Mikayla couldn’t be ignored in a white, off the shoulder gown that had a long train and a thigh-high split

    Toby Greene of the Giants and partner Georgia Stirton also went for a black and white look, with Toby in a black suit with a pink satin tie. 

    Georgia chose a fitted white dress with cut-outs that showed off a hint of skin, white carrying a smart black clutch with matching strappy black heels. 

    She added statement earrings with pearl accents and chose a deep pink lipstick with a satin finish, while wearing her strawberry blonde hair straight and down.  

    Good looking! Toby Greene of the Giants and partner Georgia Stirton also went for a black and white look, with Toby in a black suit with a pink satin tie

    Good looking! Toby Greene of the Giants and partner Georgia Stirton also went for a black and white look, with Toby in a black suit with a pink satin tie

    Peek: Georgia chose a fitted white dress with cut-outs that showed off a hint of skin, white carrying a smart black clutch with matching strappy black heels

    Peek: Georgia chose a fitted white dress with cut-outs that showed off a hint of skin, white carrying a smart black clutch with matching strappy black heels

    Pretty: She added statement earrings with pearl accents and chose a deep pink lipstick with a satin finish, while wearing her strawberry blonde hair straight and down

    Pretty: She added statement earrings with pearl accents and chose a deep pink lipstick with a satin finish, while wearing her strawberry blonde hair straight and down

    Luke Parker of the Swans and partner Kate Lawrence were eye-catching, with Kate wearing a burnt orange dress in a metallic finish with soft layers and a belted waist. 

    She wore her hair off her face in a bun and added a pair of hoop earrings, as well as donning a hair of towering black stilletos. 

    Luke looked dapper in a black suit open to a white shirt sans tie and a pair of brown dress shoes.  

    Bright: Luke Parker of the Swans and partner Kate Lawrence were eye-catching on the night. Luke looked dapper in a black suit open to a white shirt sans tie and a brown dress shoes

    Bright: Luke Parker of the Swans and partner Kate Lawrence were eye-catching on the night. Luke looked dapper in a black suit open to a white shirt sans tie and a brown dress shoes

    High fashion: Kate was wearing a burnt orange dress in a metallic finish with soft layers and a belted waist

    High fashion: Kate was wearing a burnt orange dress in a metallic finish with soft layers and a belted waist

    Glam: She wore her hair off her face in a bun and added a pair of hoop earrings

    Glam: She wore her hair off her face in a bun and added a pair of hoop earrings

    Dayne Zorko of the Lions and his partner Talia Demarco made a classy pair with Dayne in a fitted black tux. 

    Talia looked very old Hollywood in a crochet black, halterneck dress and her hair pinned to the side with a jewelled clip. 

    She added a number of dainty accessories and carried a glittering clutch while opting for a pink-based makeup palette.  

    All class: Dayne Zorko of the Lions and his partner Talia Demarco made a classy pair with Dayne in a fitted black tux

    All class: Dayne Zorko of the Lions and his partner Talia Demarco made a classy pair with Dayne in a fitted black tux

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