Life membership of a football Club is truly a mark of loyalty, dedication, and a profound belief in and dedication to the Club - it is one of the great honours.
On Sunday night at the Club Champion Awards night the Lions welcomed two new Life Members.
Ryan ‘Froggy’ Lester is all those things and more. He has been the epitome of persistence through 11 years at the Brisbane Lions.
An Oakleigh Chargers product, Lester was drafted to the Club with pick #28 in the 2010 National Draft.
He debuted at age 18 in Round 1 2011 against Fremantle at the Gabba and had 16 possessions and kicked a goal in a two-point loss.
Since then, Lester has evolved into a fantastic teammate and leader.
He has been a member of the Lions leadership group for five seasons now, having joined it in Chris Fagan’s first year at the helm in 2017.
He notched his 150th game this season and has now played more games in jumper #35 than anyone else in the extended Lions family and after all these years, he has had what many describe as a career-best season in 2021.
Outside of footy, ask anyone in the football department or broader football administration team and they’ll tell you what a fantastic human-being Lester is.
Our next inductee is a name you might be familiar with, someone who has made an indelible mark on the Brisbane Lions Football Club in his 208 games and ten seasons, AFL Captain Dayne Zorko.
Most, by now know of Dayne’s unconventional but incredible path to the AFL and the Lions that saw him finally picked up as a 22-year-old mature-age recruit.
Zorko made his debut for the Club in round seven, 2012 against Collingwood – as the sub - and has since forged a stunning career, based on a combination of explosive pace, goal sense, defensive pressure rivalled by few, and leadership.
He’s notched up five Merrett-Murray Medals and an All-Australian jacket and of course the Lions Captaincy.
Since taking over the Captaincy in 2019, Zorko has led the Club to a semi-final, a preliminary final and of course into another semi-final in season 2021.
It’s his tenacity that got him to the Lions at age 22, and it’s his tenacity now that continues to drive the Club forward in his role as captain.
His energy, passion for the football Club and his unwavering loyalty make him one of the great club men.
It seems very fitting that the brothers-in-law and great mates are inducted as Life Members of the Brisbane Lions Football Club together.