Jamie Charman spent more than 4,000 days as a Brisbane Lions player from 2001-11. He had a lot of good times in a 129-game career, but there was one day that was special – so special it made all the other days seem almost irrelevant.
It was 27 September 2003 when a 21-year-old Charman, in his 48th AFL game, was a member of arguably the greatest AFL team of all-time. The Brisbane Lions side that completed an extraordinary premiership hat-trick with a 50-point grand final win over Collingwood at the MCG.
The Lions were the fifth of now six teams in AFL history to win three flags in a row, but the only team to do so travelling interstate every other week. In the grand finals of 2001-02-03, they beat MCG tenant clubs Essendon and Collingwood (twice). Enough for experts to proclaim the side coached by Leigh Matthews and captained by Michael Voss, the best of the very best.
It was third time lucky for Charman, a Maryborough-born but Brisbane-raised state-level swimmer who gave up the pool when offered a chance to join the club he’d always barracked for. As a 10-year-old, he’d kicked two goals for the Little League ‘Bears’ in a game against Adelaide at Carrara in 1992 in Voss’ third AFL game, and had barely missed a game after the club moved to Brisbane in 1993.
Claimed by the Lions as a Queensland zone selection in the 2000 AFL National Draft, the ever-jovial ruckman had played two games in the first premiership campaign of 2001. In 2002 he played 20 games and in his first final enjoyed a 71-point qualifying final win over Adelaide. But with the 2001 ruck pairing of Clark Keating and Beau McDonald finally fit together, he was an emergency for the 2002 preliminary final and grand final.
He left nothing to chance in 2003. With Simon Black and Luke Power, he played every game and finished 10th in the Merrett/Murray Medal as Keating (12 games), McDonald (9 games) and Dylan McLaren (five games) shared the second ruck spot.
Denied a chance to play in the 2004 grand final by a season-ending knee injury in Round 17, he was a regular when fit thereafter until his 129th game in Round 4 2009. He was struck down by season-ending ankle and achilles injuries. He battled on until 2011, but never played again at AFL level and retired a member of a glorious Lions draft class of 2000. It was an elite group which included draft pick #13 Ash McGrath, #22 Richard Hadley, #29 Charman, #33 Martin Pike and rookie pick Robert Copeland, who had played together in the 2003 flag. Charman’s 129 games in jumper #19 remains a Lions record.
A product of Nudgee College who always wanted to be a primary teacher, Charman had been a member of the Northern Raiders’ Under 18 premiership side in Brisbane in 1999. In 2000, when he was a member of an All-Australian Under 18 team that included fellow Queenslander Nick Riewoldt and future AFL stars Jimmy Bartel, Kane Cornes, Daniel Kerr, Justin Koschitzke and Alan Didak, he spent six months in Cairns to guarantee entry to his preferred tertiary course at QUT and was a North Queensland Open representative.
He never finished his teaching degree. Post-football he moved from the Lions’ underground football headquarters at the Gabba to level five, where he was a corporate sales executive (2011-14) and corporate sales manager (2014-15).
In 2012 with then coach Michael Voss, he formed the ‘Lion Hearts’, a coterie group that still operates behind-the-scenes today, with 28 members who provide important business and commercial support and guidance for players. ‘Charmo’ is still at the helm.
After time as a property consultant with ACORPP (2016-17) and in real estate with Ray White (2018-19) he launched ‘Charman Property Co’, a property buyers’ agency, in January 2020. One of football’s great people, always with a smile and time for others, he has been married since 2014 to Nicky, and is the father of daughter Lenny (8), and sons Joe (6) and Gus (7months).