AFL great Nathan Buckley forced into ‘difficult’ move after divorce

Three years on from his separation from wife Tania, AFL great Nathan Buckley has been forced to make some “difficult” decisions related to his football career.

Buckley is one of the most revered figures in Collingwood history, winning six Copeland Trophies as best and fairest and captaining the club for nine seasons.

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The 51-year-old’s memorabilia from a lifetime in footy was valued as part of his divorce settlement, with a vast number of items set to go under the hammer at Charles Leski Auctions on May 1.

Buckley has reportedly “bought back” some of the more cherished items, including his 2003 Brownlow Medal and 2002 Norm Smith Medal, along with those Copeland prizes.

But more than 200 items will be put up for sale, including the Magpies jumper he wore in that 2002 grand final defeat to the Brisbane Lions.

It has been a difficult process for Buckley, who had hoped many of the possessions would go back to the clubs he represented, rather than into private collections.

“You do collect a bit of stuff from a lifetime in the game and these items are the sum of the last 30 years in footy,” Buckley told the Herald Sun.

“Unfortunately, all of it has been dragged into the property settlement from my recent divorce and will be liquidated.

“Thankfully, I was able to, in effect, buy back my medals after they were valued. It’s a crazy world.

“I’ve never viewed these items as commodities and thought that in the fullness of time they would be returned to the clubs or institutions I represented at the time.

“I do still hope this transpires.”

The 2002 jumper is estimated to fetch between $3000 and $5000 at auction, with a bid already lodged for $2400.

Other items include his 2003 grand final jumper, his game worn jumper from his 150th game and his 1992 SANFL premiership jumper with Port Adelaide.

Auctioneer Charles Leski acknowledged the challenging scenario that has led to the auction.

“This collection, sold under difficult circumstances, gives us a rare glimpse into the life of a sporting hero,” he said.

“It’s unlikely the Nathan Buckley Collection would have been offered for public sale had it not been for the divorce of Nathan and his former wife, Tania.”

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