Brisbane Lions great Shaun Hart says the first premiership he won in 2001 against Essendon was a huge relief after 12 years of perseverance.

Hart spoke at length to Lions TV, as part of the Premiership Pride series, of September 29, 2001, a fateful afternoon that was a life-changing moment for the midfielder.

“So to come up trumps 12 years into a career, you know 3,000 sessions probably over that time and the blood sweat and tears was an enormous relief,” he revealed. 

Hart, a one club man, had come through years of disappointment, with Brisbane finishing with the wooden spoon three times.

“The final siren was enormous relief,” he says.

“And then the exhilaration of winning, as Leigh promised, was enormous but the reality was it went so quick, it was such a blur, that the game was done and gone before I knew it.”

Hart, famous for his distinctive headwear, was a gutsy midfielder for the Lions and was awarded the prestigious Norm Smith medal for best on ground for his efforts.

But still to this day, the victory over the Bombers is all such a blur.

“I got to the end of the game and felt like I couldn’t have replayed any of the action to anyone in the game if they’d asked me,” he says.

Hart says trust was essential to their success on field.  The 2001 was the start of three-peat premiership campaign. Senior Coach Leigh Matthews and his list management team brought together a great team of men.

"They started to build a really strong team, a trustworthy team,” he says. 

“It’s the culmination of some hard work, you’ve got to go through a lot of tough times.”

The Brisbane Lions Premiership Pride series will feature throughout September on Stay tuned for more interviews and stories from former Lions' greats that featured in our premiership three-peat. 

Episode One: Jonathan Brown