Charlie Lacey isn’t your everyday eight-year-old.

The passionate Brisbane Lions member has experienced first-hand the hardships caused by COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns in Queensland – his older sister one of the many who sadly lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic.

And while Charlie remained thankful that he could still watch his beloved Lions play live at the Gabba during the disrupted 2020 AFL season, he spared a thought for his fellow fans down in Victoria who have been starved of such opportunities.

When the Lions last played Richmond in Melbourne it was Round 23 of 2019 and a record crowd of 76,995 packed the MCG to watch the competition’s two in-form sides battle it out on the eve of Finals.

It was the biggest home-and-away crowd the Lions had experienced in their merged history and remains the highest ever AFL home-and-away attendance featuring a non-Victorian team.

No one could possibly predict what was to come.

It would be almost 18 months later – in Round 2 earlier this season – when the Lions would again play in front of their Victorian-based fans.

This Friday night will mark just the third time in almost two years that the Lions have played in front of a crowd at a Melbourne venue.

This fact wasn’t lost on young Charlie, who channelled his sympathy for those Melbourne-based supporters into a fundraising campaign.

In short, he wanted to help some of his southern pride experience a special day at the football after such a lengthy lay-off.   

He began raising money by washing cars and selling cupcakes to local community members, before setting up a Go Fund Me page with the help of his parents to further accelerate funding for his project.

He was overwhelmed with the level of support, but was particularly thrilled when he realised that one his heroes – the Lions’ own Rhys Mathieson – had contributed towards his cause.

Charlie has now raised $1,570 and plans to use it for a family in need this Friday night when the Lions face the reigning premiers at the MCG.

Specifically, he is seeking a family of two adults and two children, together with two pensioners (because ‘old people’ mean a lot to him) who would like to experience a special night out at the football without the financial burden.

He’s even garnered support from Brady Hotels, who have agreed to donate one nights accommodation for both the family of four (in a two-bedroom apartment) and the two pensioners (in a King Room) at their Central Melbourne location for the night of the match.  

Now all Charlie needs is to find a suitable Victorian-based family to help fulfil his wish.

If you fit the criteria (family of four plus two pensioners) and appreciate the opportunity that Charlie is offering, then please email with your story.

Charlie and his family will ultimately select the successful nomination on Wednesday in time for the Round 18 match.   

Charlie’s amazing story of generosity is best outlined in the letter below that he penned himself and sent to the Club.


My name is Charlie. I am 8 years old. I live in Brisbane.


I love AFL and play for my local club The Kenmore Bears in the U8’s.

Brisbane Lions supporters across Australia have heard my ROAR so listen up our Melbourne and Victorian Lions supporters.

I have washed cars, baked cupcakes, done jobs and had support from locals and our awesome Lions supporters. We have raised money and we can hear your ROAR when you need it.

I would love to help a family and two pensioners who are having a tough time financially from COVID.

My sister lost her job from COVID so I know it can be really hard. Not all people can afford to go to watch a Lions game and take their children.

It’s more important to pay bills.

It’s more important to put food on the table.

It’s more important to me to make a family smile and have a happy day watching our Lions play a game.

I lost my Nanna, I still have my Grandad who is awesome. My Dad is Grandad’s best friend. Old people mean a lot to me, so I want to make two old people smile again.

I want the kids to have a Lions guernsey and wave a Lions flag. It’s important for the adults, especially the old people, to wear a Lions beanie to keep their head warm.

I want them to have a hotdog and sauce and a drink, but if you want something a bit different that might be okay.


So Melbourne and Victorian Lions
 supporters I need to hear you ROAR.

Don’t feel sad, don’t feel bad in putting your story out there. Let us know why and what happened during COVID to be in with a chance to get this awesome experience.

I wish I was there to see you, please Melbourne and Victoria look after our Lions. Hopefully I will see them play when they come home.

Oh by the way I am nearly 9 years old!

From Charlie Lacey and all the Lions supporters who sent messages, donations and had their cars washed and ate my cupcakes.