Former West Coast champion Ben Cousins’ journey back into the AFL family is taking another huge step, making an amazing return to the Brownlow Medal function in Melbourne.
Cousins appeared at the event when it was held in Perth in 2021 after receiving an open invitation from the AFL.
But tonight will be the first time he has been in the room in Melbourne since he won the medal in 2005.
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In 2021, AFL chief Gillon McLachlan said he was thrilled to have Cousins back in the fold.
“He’s a Brownlow Medal winner, he deserves to be here and I’m really pleased that he’s in the right space where he can come,” McLachlan said.
“People have ups and downs in their lives and I’m thrilled that his trajectory sounds like it’s good and he’s in a good spot.”
Ben Cousins with Kelley Fergus ahead of the 2021 Brownlow Medal at Perth’s Crown Casino. Credit: Getty Images
West Coast played in back-to-back grand finals in 2005 and 2006 when Cousins was in his prime and genuine superstar of the competition.
But he did not fly to Melbourne for the event in 2006, choosing to stay in Perth with the team.
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He retired as a player at the end of the 2010 season after spending two years at Richmond.
Since then he has battled high-profile drug and legal issues but now has his life back on track.
The 45-year-old kicked off a new career in June this year, accepting a role as a 7NEWS Perth sport presenter.
“It’s been fun. A journey, but I’m learning every day,” Cousins said about his gig on Seven.
“I can tell you, as the words scroll through, it’s harder than it looks.”
Ahead of the 2021 Brownlow, Cousins was legitimately excited.
“It’s definitely a big night. It’s been a while since I’ve been to one of the football industry nights. So I’m looking forward to it,” Cousins said.
He was also asked how much work it took for him to attend the Brownlow and who helped him.
“(There’s been) a little bit behind the scenes, but that’s part of it,” he said.
“You find yourselves in different situations along the way. It’s just great to be here tonight.
“There’s been plenty of people. I won’t go into it tonight. I’m just very fortunate that I’ve got the opportunity to come to one of football’s great nights.”
Cousins said the Brownlow ceremony seemed “to resonate more and more” with him each year.
Watch the Brownlow
Seven’s exclusive, live and free coverage will begin at 7.30pm AEST on Channel 7, 7mate and – for the first time on all devices – 7plus.
The grand final will also be live and free on 7plus for the first time.
Head over to 7plus now to sign in and get yourself ready to watch the Brownlow, Talking Finals, The Front Bar and the grand final.
7AFL commentator Hamish McLachlan and 7NEWS Melbourne’s Rebecca Maddern will host the Brownlow direct from Melbourne’s Crown Casino.
And the festivities will kick off with the Brownlow Medal’s famous Red Carpet.
All the glitz and glamour from the Red Carpet will be brought to you by hosts Abbey Gelmi, former AFL star Dale Thomas and Emma Freedman.
You will also be able to catch the action on 7NEWS.com.au as we bring you all the action and pics in our live blog.
Head here to watch the Brownlow live and free on 7plus
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