After a glittering AFL career with the Brisbane Lions, Jonathan has successfully forged a career in the media and is one of the most recognised and loved personalities in the AFL community.
Known for his courage, strength and imposing style of play, the son of former Fitzroy player Brian grew up in Warrnambool and played TAC Cup for the Geelong Falcons.
A Vic Country representative at Under 16 and Under 18 level, he was drafted as a Father-Son selection by the Lions in 1999 and debuted against the Adelaide Crows in Round 5, 2000. He played 13 games in his rookie season as the young up-and-coming Lions outfit continued to develop into a potential contender.
The following season, it all came together in a hurry for the team and for Brown personally. The 19 year-old played all 25 games in 2001 and booted 38 goals to be named Most Improved Player in the Lions’ first premiership in 57 years.
Another two flags followed in 2002 and 2003 as the Brisbane Lions became the first VFL/AFL team in 46 years to win a premiership hat-trick. Brown a triple premiership player at the tender age of just 22.
No dynasty lasts forever, but to Jonathan’s credit as the Lions faded as a premiership contender, his own performance continued to rise and by the time he was appointed Co-Captain in 2007, he was firmly cemented as one of the competition’s genuine stars.
A hat-trick of club Best & Fairests followed from 2007-09, along with two All-Australian blazers, three AFLPA Most Courageous Player Awards and two Best Captain Awards and a Coleman Medal as the League’s leading goalkicker.
But Brown was so much more than just the accolades. The way he played – fearless, all-in commitment with a total willingness to sacrifice his body for his team and an old-school combative approach of ‘give a few, wear a few,’ endeared him to the masses. His passionate and inspirational leadership set the example for his teammates to follow and the harder it got, the harder he fought.
He was an old-fashioned ‘love of the jumper’ footballer in a modern world.
Fittingly, Brown is a member of both the Brisbane Lions Hall of Fame and the Australian Football Hall of Fame.
Jonathan has always been admired by the footballing public for his ‘what you see is what you get’ approach both on and off the field. His ‘lovable larrikin’ country boy nature has endured well beyond his playing career and his popularity has seen him forge an extremely successful media career on television and radio. His life story is shared in his 2015 autobiography ‘Life & Football’ in which he reveals what goes on behind the scenes at an elite football club, the sacrifices made to endure success, and what it was like to pull the plug on the career he loved.
Brown is key part of Fox Footy’s AFL coverage, in particular as a member of Monday Night program On The Couch, and has also been part of the Nova FM Melbourne Breakfast team since 2016.
Proud parents to Olivia, Jack and Macy, Jonathan and his wife Kylie love spending time outdoors and returning to their families farms when they can.
His national profile and down-to-earth nature has seen him forge long term partnerships with major brands including CUB, Toyota, Four N Twenty and Dairy Australia.
In 2019, Jonathan completed the New York Marathon while raising almost $100,000 for the EB Research Foundation in the process, crossing the line with a time of 3 hours, 14 minutes and 26 seconds.