DOB: 13 September 1967
From: Kyabram/Melbourne High School
Best and Fairest - 1990, 1994
Captain - 1991 - 1997
Leading Goalkicker - 1994, 1995
Grand Final team - 1988
Night Premiership - 1987, 1989
Best First Year Player - 1986
150 Heroes selection
Team of the Century member
All Australian - 1993, 1994, 1995
Victorian state player - 1988, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994 1995
Life Member - 1995
MFC Hall of Fame - 2006
Lyon was signed by the Demons as a 15-year-old and arrived in 1984 but had to wait until 1986 to debut after working through the Under 19s and Reserves. The son of 16 game Hawthorn player Peter was so coveted by the Hawks that they unsuccessfully tried to pass a motion that the father/son rule qualification be reduced from 20 games to 15.
Lyon made an immediate impact as the Best First Year Player in an emerging Demon side with 26 goals in 20 games, and he added another 28 goals from 18 games the next season before it was cut short by a broken leg suffered in Round 22, 1987 which caused him to miss Melbourne's first finals campaign since 1964.
He returned from the injury to kick 41 goals in 1988 as the Demons went to the Grand Final, and he played a big part in getting them there after kicking the winning goal in the Elimination Final. On Melbourne's miserable Grand Final day, when they were beaten by a then record margin, Lyon kicked two of Melbourne's six goals.
Rapidly becoming one of the stars of the competition in 1989, Lyon suffered a groin injury in the round 16 clash with Geelong and missed the rest of the season. Several times when he seemed likely to return the injury flared again. Before his injury he'd been one of the Brownlow Medal favourites, but his absence hardly affected his chances as he only managed 3 votes anyway.
The next year he was cruelled by injury again. Having played 21 games for the season on route to his first Best and Fairest, Lyon missed the 1990 Semi Final loss against West Coast after being collected by Steve O'Dwyer in a Thursday night training mishap.
In a potent forward line during 1991 pressure on the new captain Lyon to be one of his sides spearheads was less and he found himself drifting back and into the midfield more - nevertheless he was once again an important member of the side who made a run to the second week of the finals. With Darren Bennett and Allen Jakovich contributing less in 1992, Lyon was called back up forward and despite missing seven matches in the middle of the year with a broken thumb he booted 30 goals.
By the mid 90s Lyon had become one of the genuine superstars of the AFL and a regular state player. In his 1993 list of the top 50 AFL players Mike Sheahan ranked Lyon 3rd behind Jason Dunstall and Steven Kernahan. He had also finished 3rd in 1991 behind the same two players.
Lyon made a name for being able to go to either end of the ground effectively. He was agile and strong, but his willingness to throw himself into contests might have contributed to a litany of injuries including a chronic pelvis complaint in 1993.
In 1994, Richmond - led by former Demons Cameron Schwab and John Northey - made a massive offer to try and lure Lyon to Punt Road. He chose to stay with Melbourne, signing a four year contract extension, but the payments he received from the club were later cited in the investigation over the club's salary cap rorts. The next year Lyon was one of 10 players involved in a writ against the AFL over marketing rights.
After a career best 10 goal haul against Footscray in the 1994 finals series Lyon's career was destroyed by injuries. He overcame a pre-season wrist injury to play 20 games in 1995, but added just 11 more during 1996 and 1997. For several years he'd been affected by sciatica in his back and associated hamstring issues, and broke down after the first two games of 1996. He underwent testing at the University of Newcastle's Spinal Research Institute, and after more than a month without running returned in Round 8. The comeback was short-lived, his season was over after Round 11. Lyon appeared in just two games in 1997 after undergoing surgery. He was offered the chance to coach the team for the second half of the year after Neale Balme was sacked but declined.
Lyon gave up the captaincy before the start of 1998 after leading the side in 117 matches over seven seasons and was replaced by Todd Viney. An inspirational return in Round 2 of that year helped the Demons to a shock win over North Melbourne and he went on to play 20 games that season, including finals.
Unlike his teammate Jim Stynes, who retired after the 1998 season, Lyon decided to push on for one more year but didn't play until Round 10 due to more injuries. He played his last game in the next week and was immediately approached by Adelaide as a potential senior coach but ultimately turned down the chance to apply for the job.
Collingwood offered Lyon a coaching role and Richmond also attempted to lure him to Punt Road after Jeff Gieschen resigned as senior coach in 1999, but other than an assistant coaching role with the Demons coaching staff in 2000 he waited until 2001 to dip a toe into coaching with the Australian International Rules team. After that he rejected overtures towards senior AFL coaching and instead worked in the media.
In 2003 Lyon's home was raided by Australian Federal Police and tax office agents as part of an investigation into payments he received in his final years at the Demons. The club was also raided. A payment of $30,000 to Lyon led to the club being fined $55,000 in an ongoing tax investigation that year but he was cleared of any personal wrongdoing.
In 2005 after serving as host of the Sunday Footy Show, and co-writing the Specky Magee children's book, he became co-host of the Thursday night Footy Show. Having ruled out applying for the senior coaching role in 2008 after Neale Daniher left, Lyon then worked with the sub-committee that appointed Dean Bailey to the top job.
In the wake of the club's near record loss to Geelong in 2011 and the sacking of Bailey, Lyon was appointed to the club as a temporary football director on 4 August. He took over the Football Director role from Jim Stynes who was battling cancer, and assisted in the appointment of Mark Neeld before standing down again to concentrate fully on his media commitments.
Lyon presented the premiership cup after Melbourne won the 2021 Grand Final.
|Round 9, 1990||Abusive Language||Reprimand|
|Round 12, 1991||Striking||1 match|
|Round 19, 1991||Striking||Withdrawn|
|Round 17, 1998||Attempted tripping||Not Guilty|