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Heritier Lumumba

Last played for Melbourne Demons in 2016
Games: 223     Born: November 15, 1986     Origin: Claremont
Playing Height: 188cm     Playing Weight: 88kg     Position: Defender
Drafted: Round 2, Pick #20 2004 Rookie Draft by Collingwood Magpies
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Heritier Lumumba Biography

Wednesday, 3 March 2021
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley admits he needed to be better during a 2017 media conference about Heritier Lumumba's claims of racism at the club, claims which have been backed up by other former Magpies in Leon Davis and Andrew Krakouer.

"We don't want people to ever feel like they're diminished or vilified or seen as less than in our environment. If that is their experience, then it needs to be acknowledged. And for that, I think the club has said it apologises unreservedly.

"Obviously, I have been a part of this club for a long time so I don't like the fact that people have felt that way and I've got to - we've all got to - listen and learn more to the experiences and acknowledge them rather than dismissing them."

Thursday, 18 February 2021
Former Collingwood-listed player Shae McNamara has called for key club figures to speak up and acknowledge Heritier Lumumba's experience with racism.

"I have bitten my tongue for far too long and I can no longer stay silent in what has really bothered me," McNamara said on social media (Twitter).

"The interpersonal racism happened (i.e. racist jokes, nicknames, stereotypes etc.) (Lumumba's) not bitter because he was traded - he was traded because he wouldn't stop addressing the toxicity in the club.

"You need to honour the effects of trauma - he felt racism his entire life, in the club, against opponents and through media/social media - everyone has their breaking points. This isn't about destroying the club - this is about making sure this is the last time anyone at CFC experiences what he did."

Tuesday, 2 February 2021
Heritier Lumumba strongly criticizes Collingwood's response to a report that accused the club of having a toxic culture of systematic racism.

Magpies president Eddie McGuire had addressed the report at a lengthy press conference with a statement describing the release of the report as a "day of pride" while claiming that the club was not racist.

"What I saw was a clear case of cowardice. It was a clear case of a football club that is delusional if that's the way Collingwood wants to address (the release of) an independent report, that it did not want out there," Lumumba said.

"I have been asking Collingwood Football Club since late last year when I knew they had the report, I have been asking them for it, but it was not given to me. It was actually sad I had to receive that from media sources."

Sunday, 5 July 2020
Indigenous barrister, writer and academic Professor Larissa Behrendt AO will lead a review of the environment at Collingwood between 2005-14, in the wake of premiership player Heritier Lumumba's accounts of racism at the club.

Collingwood's integrity committee, which is comprised of club directors Peter Murphy and Jodie Sizer and club CEO Mark Anderson, will review the findings.

"It has become increasingly clear that in Heritier's time we were unable to understand his experience; see and hear what he saw and heard. This lack of cultural safety that he and others have recently spoken of is a matter of great concern," Murphy said.

"We are seeking to understand these experiences of racism and to ensure they have no place in the current Collingwood environment."

Wednesday, 24 June 2020
Two of Heritier Lumumba's premiership teammates, Brent Macaffer and Chris Dawes, have backed the former Pie's claim he had the nickname 'chimp' during his time at the club, a nickname that led to Lumumba accusing the club of entrenched racism.

"The nickname 'the chimp' and stuff like that which absolutely I remember clearly like that was (his) nickname from whenever I got to the football club in 2006," Macaffer told SBS.

Dawes added: "You mentioned the nickname 'chimp'. I heard that a couple times."

Monday, 22 June 2020
Collingwood has referred former player Heritier Lumumba's racism allegations to the club's integrity committee, saying it "could not fully appreciate the personal impact of his experiences" during his time at the club.

Earlier this month, Lumumba posted on social media that he wasn't interested in sitting down with his former teammate and coach Nathan Buckley after he offered to "reach out" to Lumumba before they acknowledge some "fundamental facts".

He continued: "Why a public acknowledgment? Because I have been discredited publicly. I don't want a private handshake. I want justice for how I was treated. That includes correcting public denials about my account of the racism and isolation I faced.

"Collingwood needs to acknowledge the following: They did not have the cultural competence and organisational literacy to deal with a real culture of racism at the club, of which I was a victim for a number of years."

Thursday, 11 June 2020
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley says he wants former Magpie Heritier Lumumba to return to the club to see how much its environment has improved.

Buckley's impassioned plea to Lumumba followed club president Eddie McGuire's comments a night earlier of his same intention to speak to him.

The animosity between Lumumba and his old team continues to be played out publicly, even with him living in Los Angeles and four years passing since he retired from the AFL. The 33-year-old, who played in Collingwood's 2010 premiership, this week again raised accusations of racism from his time at the club, including alleging he was nicknamed "chimp".

Lumumba's relationship with Buckley was fractured in the aftermath of that incident, with the coach saying his player had thrown McGuire "under the bus" with his public condemnation of him.

"We have a disgruntled ex-player in this particular issue of racism. I speak for the club generally but I have to speak for myself. I'm not comfortable with the fact Harry, sorry, Heritier, feels like he's been belittled and diminished in our environment. I haven't spoken to 'H' since 2014 (but) I'd love to speak to him again," Buckley said.

Saturday, 19 August 2017
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley expresses sadness that Heritier Lumumba harbours such bitter memories of his AFL career at the club.

In an explosive, soon-to-be released documentary about Lumumba's life, the 2010 All Australian defender accuses Buckley of lacking "sensitivity and emotional intelligence".

Lumumba also accused the Pies of racism, claiming he was called "Chimp" around the club.

"It's a bit sad, in many ways, that ‘H’ feels that way about his experiences in the game," Buckley said.

"He's been a great contributor to our footy club for a decade, for his 199 games (for Collingwood), and I shared those times with him as a player and then as a coach.

"I suppose I'd echo the sentiments of the club, just hoping that he's doing well and that he can still see the positives of his experience as an AFL footballer as well."

Asked whether he lacked emotional intelligence, as Lumumba had suggested, Buckley dryly remarked: "He wouldn't be the first bloke to think that."

Wednesday, 21 December 2016
Heritier Lumumba retires from AFL football after struggling with repeated concussions.

Lumumba was restricted to just five games in his 2016 as he battled the lasting effects of multiple head knocks.

"To receive medical advice that he should no longer play the game he loves has been really challenging for Heritier. Based on this advice, we have agreed to release Heritier from his 2017 contract and are supportive of his decision to retire from the game," Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney said.

"Although he can no longer play AFL football, we are pleased that the latest tests have shown that Heritier has been cleared of having any ongoing concussion symptoms and that there are no signs of long-term damage."

Thursday, 24 November 2016
Heritier Lumumba is disputing the way the club handled his concussion in 2016 and may have played his last game for the Demons.

However, the club has asked for restraint as it works through issues associated with the defender's health.

The 30-year-old missed the start of pre-season training as he seeks further advice on issues relating to concussion that forced him to miss all but one game from round six, 2016.

Fairfax Media revealed on Wednesday night Lumumba was also in discussions with the club about his contract, and his potential entitlements if his career with the club ends.

"Heritier and the club are currently investigating issues associated with Heritier's health, to determine his ongoing playing future with the club," Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney said.

"Contrary to media reports, Heritier has not threatened legal action against the club.

"We ask media to refrain from further speculation on Heritier's health while he seeks the necessary information to make an informed decision on his playing career."

Monday, 21 November 2016
Heritier Lumumba will have a delayed start to pre-season as he seeks further information about ongoing issues related to concussion.

"Heritier did not train today with the full squad as he is currently gathering additional information about his health before making the decision to return fully to pre-season training," Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney said.

"We have been very diligent with our concussion management and we are supportive of Heritier gathering this information."

Tuesday, 5 July 2016
Heritier Lumumba suffers another head knock in his comeback game from concussion and is facing more time out of football.

Making his return from a long lay-off due to concussion symptoms for Casey Scorpions against Richmond in the VFL on Sunday, Lumumba suffered the knock towards the end of the third quarter.

The club has confirmed the 29-year-old will be given at least this weekend off football while the Scorpions have the bye.

It's the latest setback in a frustrating season for the former Collingwood premiership defender, who hasn't played senior football since round six.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016
Melbourne has overhauled its leadership group with captain Nathan Jones the only survivor from last year.

Vice-captain Lynden Dunn, former co-captain Jack Grimes, key forward Chris Dawes and Heritier Lumumba have all been axed from the 2015 group, while Daniel Cross has already retired.

The new group features reigning best and fairest winner Bernie Vince, veteran Colin Garland, defender Tom McDonald and emerging stars Jack Viney and Max Gawn.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016
Melbourne is fully supportive of Heritier Lumumba despite an overseas paperwork mishap forcing the defender to miss four days of training.

Lumumba was holidaying in the Democratic Republic of Congo in west Africa when a misunderstanding over his paperwork to enter the country forced him to relocated to Kenya while it was being resolved.

Once the matter was sorted, the 29-year-old returned to the Congo where he finished his holiday over the Christmas break.

The drama forced Lumumba to miss four days of training due to a delayed arrival back into Australia.

Friday, 18 September 2015
Heritier Lumumba is facing a delayed start to pre-season after undergoing surgery on both ankles.

"Lumumba will be on a rehab program up until Christmas time," Demons football manager Josh Mahoney said.

"He won't do a lot of football training prior to Christmas and Jones is in the same category."

Thursday, 2 April 2015
Heritier Lumumba will play his 200th AFL match against the Suns in the Demons' 2015 season opener.

Lumumba says moving to Melbourne from Collingwood has reinvigorated him.

"If you asked me this time last year I would have said that I would prefer to play at one club (Collingwood), but now that I've made the transition I've been able to rejuvenate my career," Lumumba said.

"The experience has been fantastic for me, not just from a football sense, but for my life in general."

Friday, 20 March 2015
Heritier Lumumba sought a special ruling of the AFL's illicit drugs policy relating to his potential exposure to cannabis.

Lumumba approached the AFL in the late 2012–early 2013 period while playing for Collingwood, seeking clarification on his personal circumstances.

The Footy Show understands that Lumumba's links with Rastafarianism were part of the conversations held between the various parties on the matter.

It is known that he asked the authorities what would happen to him, under the drugs policy, should he record a positive strike due to passive ingestion.

However, it is not known what weight Lumumba himself placed on this.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015
Jones will be Melbourne's sole captain in 2015 and he will be supported by three recycled players in the club's leadership group.

Jones, 27, will handle the responsibility on his own after sharing the captaincy duties with Jack Grimes in 2014.

Former Collingwood defender Heritier Lumumba is a surprise choice for the Demons' leadership group, which also includes Grimes, Lynden Dunn, ex-Dog Daniel Cross and former Magpie Chris Dawes.

"I think it's a really good mix of guys that understand how difficult it has been, but also some guys who have had some real success who can continue to raise standards around here," Melbourne coach Paul Roos said.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014
Heritier Lumumba believes the fresh perspective of playing football for Melbourne will help him take his game to new heights in 2015.

"I've really relished the changes in perspectives and philosophies around training from the sports science group to the medical staff and also the coaches and assistant coaches," Lumumba said.

"Those changes are things that I feel as though will allow me to get the best out of myself as an athlete and go to another level."

Monday, 24 November 2014
Heritier Lumumba says he was convinced to join Melbourne after visiting Paul Roos' family and meeting his new teammates at former Magpie Chris Dawes' wedding.

"I always looked at him [Roos] and thought I'd love to be coached by him. He's a classy person … and it was [Roos' wife] Tami who got me over the line," Lumumba said.
Friday, 21 November 2014
Heritier Lumumba says he left Collingwood with great memories and respect for the club and people within it, but that it was time for both parties to go their separate ways.

"[I] would not change it for the world. I learnt a lot about myself and [have] been able to develop qualities that I never thought that I would have," Lumumba said.

"This is the beginning of a new journey for me."
Wednesday, 15 October 2014
Mitch Clark will resume his AFL career in 2015 with Geelong after a three-way trade that sees Heritier Lumumba join Melbourne and Cats midfielder Travis Varcoe head to Collingwood.
Tuesday, 30 September 2014
Heritier Lumumba has nominated Melbourne as his preferred club to be traded to and the Demons are ready to do a deal with Collingwood, according to Melbourne football operations manager Josh Mahoney.

"We're very really pleased that he's chosen us as the preferred club," Mahoney said.

"Obviously there's a lot of work to be done now but we can sit down with Collingwood and try and get an appropriate deal."

Wednesday, 24 September 2014
Reports have emerged that disgruntled Pie Heritier Lumumba could be used as a straight swap for the troubled Demon Mitch Clark.

The chase for Lumumba is heating up, with North Melbourne reportedly joining Melbourne in pursuit of the Collingwood premiership defender.

North Melbourne reportedly appeals to Lumumba because of his association with football boss Geoff Walsh and coach Brad Scott, who was formerly a Magpies assistant.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014
Luke Ball believes former teammate Heritier Lumumba and Collingwood might both benefit from the disgruntled Magpie moving to a different club.

"I know he sees himself as a Collingwood person, he's very passionate about the club," Ball said.

"But we've seen in recent times that while it might be nice to be a one-club player, sometimes a fresh start and a change of scenery can help everyone."

Friday, 5 September 2014
Heritier Lumumba may have played his last game for Collingwood after he reacted to a 'joke' posted on the players' noticeboard that he perceived to be homophobic.

Discussions to resolve the issue have reached a point where both the club and the player are considering whether they might be better off parting ways.

Collingwood has refused to comment on the matter and Lumumba's manager Ben Niall has said that all parties need to take a break before committing to any course of action.
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has left the door open to the possibility of Heritier Lumumba remaining at Collingwood following reports that the defender is seeking a move from the club after being offended by a 'joke' on the players' noticeboard that he perceived to be homophobic.

"Sometimes it might be better for both to split. [It] doesn't mean you don't love each other, marriages break up every other day, sometimes amicably, sometimes the other way. This is one that is very amicable at the moment," McGuire said on Triple M..

"[We're] working through some situations to get the best opportunity for both club and player.

"There's no hatred, there's no friction, or anything else like that. There's different points of view, it's as simple as that."

Friday, 6 December 2013
Harry O'Brien has reclaimed his birth name, Heritier Lumumba.

At the age of nine, he adopted his stepfather's surname of O'Brien, but has decided to change it back to that of his Congolese biological father.

"The name Heritier means the inheritor or the heir … the inheritor is the inheritor of the Lumumba name and the name Lumumba is a very famous one in Africa, in particular the Democratic Republic of Congo. It's a bit stronger than Harry O'Brien. It's Heritier Lumumba and it's always resonated with me," Lumumba said.

"Connecting with my true birth name has been quite empowering ... I've realised the impact of changing my name at the age of nine years of age had on me … moving forward over the next phase of my life I'd like to take back my original name because I want to be as truthful to myself as I can and also to go back to where it all started for me."

Friday, 26 July 2013
Harry O'Brien is welcomed back into the Collingwood side that will take on GWS at the MCG.

"He's been missed. He brings a lot to the team so it will be good to see him back out there and get his run and enthusiasm back," teammate Tyson Goldsack said.

"The fact that he has come back from that and he is back playing, it is good to see. I'm looking forward to having him out there."

Wednesday, 24 July 2013
Magpie coach Nathan Buckley says Harry O'Brien's return to the side is imminent.

"Harry will come back in the next couple of weeks - if not this week," Buckley said.

"He trained very well [today] and feels well in himself."

Wednesday, 17 July 2013
Harry O'Brien has again been omitted from the senior team this week as he deals with personal issues.

"Along with the expert advice of the people he is working with and our doctors, we'll find the right time for him. It's not really a time-frame issue," Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said.

"It's just about when our players are right to play. It's easy if you have got a calf or you have got a hamstring but there are other issues you need to get right to be able to play four quarters of intense football."

Thursday, 11 July 2013
Victoria Police has made contact with Collingwood in relation to Harry O'Brien's comments regarding a murder he witnessed while in Brazil in 2011.

Collingwood CEO Gary Pert said an approach had been made on "a very respectful basis" to determine how O'Brien was dealing with the issue and what was behind the comments.

"We saw him articulate how emotional it was and Harry needs to be in a mindset to deal with everything that is going on. This would be another layer so we will be taking expert advice on that," Pert said.

"Harry will be back playing when it is deemed by his support team and Nathan Buckley that is appropriate that he back."

Luke Ball says the club and Magpies teammates will support Harry O'Brien as he goes through a difficult time in his life.

"It's all about supporting him ... and also letting him know that hopefully the way out is to play footy and to do what he does best," Ball said.

"From a selfish point of view we need him out there playing well because he's probably having his best year and when he's playing well we're a better team.

"I think when these sort of things happen it's important for all of us who haven't been through things Harry's been through to reflect on how lucky we are."

Wednesday, 10 July 2013
Former North Melbourne and Sydney Swans midfielder and depression sufferer Wayne Schwass has commended Harry O'Brien for going public with his latest revelations about dealing with "personal demons".

"If I look at my own experience, I never felt comfortable with it because I tried to hide it," Schwass told Crocmedia's Sportsday.

"The difference here is Harry's gone very public with it whilst he's playing.

"If I had my time again that's the first thing I would've done. I would've told those people I needed to tell so I can actually deal with what I needed to do.

"He should be commended, Harry. He's absolutely right, footy is second at the moment."

Tuesday, 9 July 2013
In a revealing interview, Harry O'Brien says he is battling with "personal demons".

"I'm going through issues that I sort of put in the past for a long time, including a long and very complicated history of sexual abuse," O'Brien said.

"Suicide, depression, seeing someone get murdered knowing who'd murdered that person and not being able to say anything because that person would probably murder you."

Collingwood admits to being taken by surprise at O'Brien's comments to the media.

"We did not know he was going to talk this morning," Magpies skipper Nick Maxwell said.

"That was his prerogative and we're trying to support him as much as we can."

O'Brien is removed from Collingwood's leadership group following the revelations about his past.

"Footy's probably the last thing that he needs to be thinking about right now ... Harry's situation is not unlike others in normal society and we want to give him the chance to get back and do what he does best," Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said.

"Part of over the last couple of days has been a process to get back on track. But it'll be a product of Harry's mental state and application, along with what the team needs."

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley says the club will give Harry O'Brien time to deal with his personal issues before considering him for selection again.

"Harry O'Brien is a decent human being. He is a young man who is going through issues that he is happy to share with others. I think that is part of his healing, to be honest, but that is his right," Buckley said.

"As a friend, I am there to support him as a person. As a coach to his player, I am there to reconcile that and give him the opportunity to play senior football at AFL level at the same time."

Monday, 8 July 2013
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire downplays the reported rift between Harry O'Brien and coach Nathan Buckley.

"Everybody has had a couple of days' break to just chill out and have a bit of a think about things, and you come back together.," McGuire said.

"These are people who genuinely like each other, respect each other, work together, have a common goal … and that's to win the premiership."

Harry O'Brien is expected back at training after having resolved his differences with coach Nathan Buckley.

"Harry will be at training tomorrow ... and obviously everyone is happy with that," Collingwood football manager Geoff Walsh told radio station 3AW.

"That's as a result of Harry and Nathan having a chat today and the good news for everyone connected to Collingwood is that he'll be at training tomorrow.

Sunday, 7 July 2013
Travis Cloke says teammate Harry O'Brien is expected back in the team after taking time off following "an incident" last week.

"There was an incident last week, a few words were spoken, but it's a private conversation between the group that was there," Cloke said.

"He's gone and had a couple of days to freshen up. He was obviously a little bit injured with his ankle. That was the main reason he was missing.

"We're looking forward to him coming back with a fresh mindset."

Saturday, 6 July 2013
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley refuses to deny reports of a rift between himself and defender Harry O'Brien who was dropped from the side to face Carlton.

"I have conversations with players multiple times every day, and we don't feel the need to play it out in public," Buckley said.

"So if there's an issue, I won't be talking about it."

Harry O'Brien spends the weekend in Port Douglas amid reports of a conflict between himself and coach Nathan Buckley.

"I won't be discussing it at all," Buckley said when quizzed about his relationship with O'Brien.

"I have questions and comments and discussions and topics with players internally every day of every.

"The issue with Harry or any issue with any other players will remain in-house."

Thursday, 4 July 2013
Harry O'Brien is omitted from Collingwood's side to face Carlton.

Media reports have speculated a falling out between O'Brien and coach Nathan Buckley but the Magpies have stated that O'Brien has been rested due to an ankle injury.

Thursday, 30 May 2013
Eddie McGuire fights back tears as he expresses remorse over his King Kong gaffe on radio.

"It's hard to be portrayed in the opposite of what you are," McGuire said.

"I know I've made the blue yesterday and I've explained the whole situation. But look it is, it's really hard, but it's good to hear that maybe you know somewhere along the journey you've done something right as well.

"If I'm feeling it this morning, I can only imagine what Adam Goodes has felt all his life, and Harry O'Brien, and that's why I'm not going to turn this into the Wailing Wall for me."

Wednesday, 29 May 2013
Harry O'Brien slams president Eddie McGuire for suggesting Adam Goodes should be involved in the promotion of the King Kong musical.

"Im [sic] extremely disappointed with Eddie's comments and do not care what position he holds, I disagree with what came out [of] his mouth this morning on radio," O'Brien tweeted.

"To me Eddie's comments are reflective of common attitudes that we as a society face. To me Australia is very casual with racism, I would argue that many people in this country would not think what Eddie or the 13yr old girl said last friday is 'bad'.

"In my opinion race relations in this country is systematically a national disgrace and we have a long way to go to reach a more harmonious and empathetic society."

Monday, 20 May 2013
Harry O'Brien says a fiery exchange between him and Cat Tom Hawkins was just on-field banter.

Reports have surfaced that O'Brien had called Hawkins a "f***ing f**got", a claim which O'Brien denies.

"Just to clear something up..Id never resort to a homophobic slur..for those wanting to know, I said fat f$@k..simply some onfield banter," O'Brien tweeted to his 44,000 followers.

He continued: "there was a lot of passion in that game & things did get heated...there was 2 way banter...Just what you expect in the heat of the battle."

Tuesday, 23 April 2013
After declining to join the leadership group during the pre-season, Harry O'Brien rejoins the group four games in saying he is now in a better state of mind.

"I have put my hand up to be back in the leadership group because the darkest times are behind me. I feel better. A weight has been lifted off my shoulders," O'Brien said.

"I'm happy and I have found some inner peace after some turmoil. As a result, I am enjoying my football a lot more and everything about my life a lot more."

Monday, 1 April 2013
Harry O'Brien says Australians should be more appreciative of life after witnessing a murder in Brazil in 2011.

"Christmas Day 2011, I watched someone get murdered," O'Brien said on SEN radio.

"Just coming back to Australia after Christmas, and seeing the contrast in life, and people complaining about the pettiest things, I just lost so much faith in the world really."

Friday, 10 August 2012
St Kilda coach Scott Watters says Stephen Milne needs to take responsibility for his homophobic slur towards Harry O'Brien.

"The players are under enormous pressures, but you do still have a choice on what you say and how you react," Watters said.

"So Stephen's choice of vocab was poor. You need to be disciplined, you need to be controlled, and it's not about laying blame at the doorstep of someone else."

St Kilda's Sam Fisher says teammate Stephen Milne is remorseful for his homophobic comment directed at Harry O'Brien.

"Milney's a very resilient character and he's been through a lot throughout his career so there's no doubt he's very sorry for what he said," Fisher said.

"In this day and age, it's unacceptable and the club's made a strong stance on what was said but 'Milney' is a very strong character and he'll obviously be sorry for what he said but he'll bounce back and be a better person and he'll play some good footy for us for the rest of the year I'm sure."

Thursday, 9 August 2012
The AFL opens an investigation into an exchange between St Kilda's Stephen Milne and Collingwood's Harry O'Brien during their round 19 clash.

The AFL's integrity officer, Brett Clothier, has interviewed players and officials this week following a report of the incident by field umpire Dean Margetts.

St Kilda fine small forward Stephen Milne $3000 for his homophobic remark against Collingwood's Harry O'Brien.

"It has been confirmed that Milne made an inappropriate homophobic comment towards O'Brien during the course of play in last weekend's AFL round 19 match at the MCG which has breached the AFL Players' Code of Conduct and the AFL's Policy on Discrimination and Vilification," the Saints said.

"As a consequence of this breach, Milne will be sanctioned $3000 by the St Kilda FC and be required to undertake an AFL Education Program to address the inappropriate nature of his comments."

Saturday, 14 July 2012
On the eve of his 150th game, Harry O'Brien says he knew that AFL was to be his future after turning 14.

"My dream started to become a reality when I got to about 14 or 15 and I knew I'd become an AFL footballer," O'Brien said.

"I knew it was my destiny. I saw the impact someone can have when they're in the spotlight. I knew my biggest passion beyond football was being able to help other people, and that's why I was so driven."

Friday, 29 June 2012
Premiership defender Harry O'Brien says he wants to play out his career with Collingwood, even if that means getting less money.

"I know that it will be at a price. There are players who could go elsewhere, make a move, and most players make a move to gain more money," O'Brien said.

"I know that could be the case if I was to make a move but I want to spend my whole football career at Collingwood and I plan to do so."

Wednesday, 6 June 2012
Collingwood defender Harry O'Brien says he feels more pity than anger for the fan who racially abused Gold Coast's Joel Wilkinson.

"You may have anger [initially] … but trying to fight that back with more anger results in nothing," O'Brien said.

"[Joel and I] both feel really sorry for a person of this level of awareness and ignorance. It's really unfortunate to be that way."

Sunday, 22 April 2012
Collingwood defender Harry O'Brien says he avoided criticism directed at him by the media over the opening three rounds.

"I didn't read anything but I was aware. Family and friends said, 'Are you OK?', so I assumed something was written about me," O'Brien said after a win over Port Adelaide.

"Journalists … good luck to them. They're putting food on the table for their families and that's what they get paid for.

"I don't know who wrote it or what was said but hopefully I can string a few good performances together and they can write something positive about me."

Wednesday, 15 February 2012
Collingwood defender Harry O'Brien has suffered a freak accident, putting his hand through a pane of glass that will cause him to miss the Magpies' NAB Cup opener.
Wednesday, 18 January 2012
Harry O'Brien has become a People of Australia Ambassador after being nominated by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

"Harry has stepped forward already and involved himself in this work, reaching out to our multicultural communities informed by his own life experiences," Gillard said.

"He can be an incredibly powerful combination of sport and community; our sporting stars all working together using kids' natural love of sport (and) natural idolising of sporting stars to give them a helping hand and bring them into the life of our community."

Tuesday, 6 September 2011
Magpies skipper Nick Maxwell is the team's most important player according to teammate Harry O'Brien.

"His knowledge of the game plan and the way the coaching panel want us to play is by far the best out of any player in the team," O'Brien said.

"Contrary to a lot of external opinions and the question of whether he's in our best 22, for me, playing alongside him, he's our most important player."

Tuesday, 12 July 2011
Collingwood star Harry O'Brien says that football helped him cope with his identity issues when he first arrived in Australia.

"I found huge trouble fitting in and had huge identity issues because the other kids didn't look like me,'' O'Brien said.

"They would ask me why I was different and why my mum spoke with an accent.

"These are the issues which were negative impacts on my life early, but as I grew older I realised that these are things I should be proud of. During those tough times as a kid something I could retreat to, that transcended these differences was football."

Friday, 24 June 2011
Harry O'Brien has had a severe reaction to antibiotics that could have been life-threatening after getting treatment for a wound on his finger after a marking contest.

"It was an open wound they stitched me back up and gave me some antibiotics that I had a reaction to and I went into anaphylactic shock," he said.

Thursday, 9 June 2011
Collingwood defender Harry O'Brien has been moved by a stirring address by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in their meeting on Thursday.

"Living in Melbourne, which is very diverse, I've dedicated a lot of my time to bringing people together from all walks of life, and hearing His Holiness's answer just reaffirmed to continue on that path," O'Brien said.

"It also told me to ensure that this generation, my generation, handles the future responsibly."

Friday, 28 January 2011
All Australian Harry O'Brien has committed to a one-year contract extension, tying him to Collingwood until the end of the 2012 season.

"It's very exciting and also a bit of a relief, because I can put that behind me and really concentrate on the on-field stuff in 2011," O'Brien said.

"I want to play my football at the Collingwood Football Club. We have an opportunity here and we all feel it...we can have sustained success."

Monday, 29 March 2010
Collingwood defender Harry O'Brien says he has put aside all his personal goals to help the Pies win a flag in 2010.

"All I want to do is play my role for the team and I've erased all of my personal goals - I want to be as selfless as I can for the team and I don't judge my game on possessions," he said.

O'Brien had to go through a personal tragedy in 2009 but still managed to perform despite this.

"I had a really difficult year last year - it was the toughest year of my life and I managed to get through and play the best football of my career," he said.

Friday, 5 February 2010
Collingwood defender Harry O'Brien has appealed for everyone to treat troubled Mathew Stokes as a human being after the Geelong forward was charged with trafficking cocaine.

"Through his own choices he has placed himself in this situation. A situation which occurs frequently everyday in our country and around the world," O'Brien wrote on the AFL Players Association website.

"Mathew Stokes inherited the tag of being a role model when he entered the AFL. However he is still a human being."

"I would much rather focus on how to be proactive in the prevention of drug abuse and trafficking that affects the masses, than being reactive to one isolated incident."

Saturday, 3 October 2009
Collingwood defender Harry O'Brien stole the show at the Copeland Trophy with a heartfelt speech about his tough year following the death of his stepfather, Ralph, at the start of the season.

"There were times this season when I'd lock myself into the toilets and start crying," O'Brien said.

"I didn't really get a chance to reflect on how tough a season it's been and just thinking about it right now, I've learnt so much this season and this has been a bad year.

"I can't wait til a good year."

Sunday, 7 June 2009
Collingwood defender Harry O'Brien senses he is about to witness up close the start of a memorable career for Melbourne forward Jack Watts in his debut game.

"I actually look forward to seeing him out there, because from all reports he's going to be a great player,'' O'Brien said.

"I feel privileged to be playing in the first game he plays - good luck to him, I wish him all the best.''

Wednesday, 11 March 2009
COLLINGWOOD has given Harry O'Brien an indefinite leave of absence after the sudden death of his beloved stepfather Ralph.
Friday, 6 February 2009
Harry O'Brien says Heath Shaw and Alan Didak have done enough over the AFL off-season to earn back the players' respect.
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