Brisbane Lions premiership players Des Headland and Ash McGrath have teamed up once again, this time to proudly design the Club’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round guernsey. 

Painted by Kevin Bynder, it represents the stories of each player and their families, the guernsey itself is a tale of two halves – which is signified by the initials DJH (Des James Headland) on the left side and CHM (Cliff Henry McGrath) on the right side. 

The initials of both players’ fathers are a significant aspect of the guernsey, acknowledge both men for laying down the foundations for their families. 

The curved U symbol, used widely across Indigenous art and seen throughout the guernsey design, symbolises a person - depicting a birds-eye view of the shape left in the ground after a human has sat crossed legged. 


Des’ story (left side)  

The swirling blue artwork represents the Swan River (Derbal Yerrigan) of Perth and the U symbols along the river represent the Whajuk Noongar people of that area. 

This represents Des, his sister and his parents who moved to Perth when Des was a child. 

They are further represented by the U symbols to the bottom right-hand side of the Derbal Yerrigan. 

This is where Des and his family lived in the small wheatbelt town of Merridan, home of the Njaki Njaki people and the place where his football journey began. 

Ash McGrath and his family (right side) 

The U-shape symbols represent Ash, his parents and his three brothers. 

His family connections are the Wongi people in Kalgoorlie and the Yamatji people of Western Australia.   

Ash was born in the small town of Northam, home of the Balladong people. 

The very top of the guernsey shows the hawk in star constellation which is Ash McGrath’s totem. 

Local landmarks and other significant artworks 

The guernsey also features the Brisbane (Meanjin) River on the right side. 

The circle and dot shapes surrounding both the Swan River and Brisbane River represents the Whajuk-Noongar people and the communities apart of Turrbal nation respectively. 

The top left of the painting illustrates the song lines, which represents the pathways of the Fitzroy Football Club and Brisbane Bears Football Club before merging to become the Brisbane Lions. 

The inside of the neckline includes the six totems of the current Indigenous players on the Lions list. 

The centre of the design represents the Brisbane Lions Football Club, with the players represented through the 18 U-shape symbols surrounding the circle - which represents The Gabba, the name Woolloongabba means whirling waters.  

The four long straight lines represent the spears the Indigenous people use for war.  

Surrounding these lines are 11 circles which connect to the football club, these symbolise the VFL and AFL premierships won by Fitzroy and the Brisbane Lions.  

The dot shapes in the middle are a representation of the supporters, staff and families of the Club. 

The back of the guernsey features the MCG and represents the premierships that were won at the ground. 

Our home Sir Doug Nicholls Round guernsey will be worn for the clash against the Gold Coast Suns at The Gabba on Saturday 20 May. 

The clash Sir Doug Nicholls Round Guernsey will be donned for our trip to Adelaide where we take on the Crows on Sunday May 28 at Adelaide Oval. 

Both guernseys will be available in a full range of both kids (2-14) and adults (S-7XL) through the Lions Shop. 

In an AFL first, the Lions will also offer a very limited amount of Sir Doug Nicholls Round polo exclusively sold by the Lions Shop, in a full range of men’s and women’s sizes. 

Match-worn guernsey auctions will also take place, as with previous years, the home match-worn guernsey will open Thursday 18 May at 6pm and close 7:30pm Wednesday 24 May. 

While the clash match-worn guernsey opens on Thursday 25 May at 6pm before closing at 7:30pm on Wednesday 31 May. 

The 2023 Sir Doug Nicholls Round Range is live from 7pm tonight with limited stock available from the Lions Shop don’t miss out, get yours in time for our game against the Suns!