In a sparkling AFL career spanning 13 seasons, few players in the competition had Nathan Brown’s measure when it came to pure footballing skills.
Brown has proved to be just as adept at commenting on the game as he was as playing it and, since 1999, has established himself as an integral member of Channel Nine’s team of AFL experts.
Retiring from AFL at the end of the 2009 season, Brown joined The Sunday Footy Show as a regular panellist in 2010.
Complementing an all-star line-up of AFL legends, Brown’s appointment continues Nine’s tradition of assembling a cast of those who know the game better than anyone else.
As a player, Brown made a name for himself as one of brilliance, highlighted by a knack for finding space and a deadly accurate left foot.
His journey to the AFL started with the Bendigo Pioneers in the TAC Cup, winning the Morrish Medal (awarded to the best and fairest player) in 1996. The Western Bulldogs made Brown their first selection, pick 10 overall, at the 1996 National Draft.
Brown made it to the Preliminary Final in each of his first two years with the Bulldogs. By 2000, he had well and truly become a star, finishing runner-up in the Bulldogs Best and Fairest and representing both Victoria and Australia.
Moving from the midfield into a more permanent forward role under Peter Rohde, Brown topped the Bulldogs goalkicking with 50-plus totals in 2002 and 2003.
In search of a new challenge, Brown was traded to Richmond prior to the start of the 2004 season.
A 29-possession performance against the previous year’s runner-up, Collingwood, in a Round One blockbuster saw Brown quickly become a fan favourite at Punt Road.
Third in the best and fairest in 2004, Brown started 2005 in brilliant fashion, with 34 goals in ten rounds before suffering a horrific leg injury.
Back for part of 2006, Brown began to show signs of his best. Another year playing mainly up forward on the comeback trail in 2007 prepared Brown for a big 2008. He kicked 35 goals and finished Top 10 in the club’s Best and Fairest.
In November 2009, after a total of 280 AFL games and with 349 goals to his name, Brown decided to hang up his boots.