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Lee Hampton and Cliff Lyons

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles will celebrate NRL Indigenous Round against the Penrith Panthers at Lottoland (Round 12, Saturday 1 August) by wearing a specially designed Indigenous jersey that pays tribute to our spiritual home.

Lee Hampton and Cliff Lyons
Lee Hampton and Cliff Lyons

Titled ‘Returning to God’s Country,’ our 2020 Indigenous jersey has been designed by well-known Indigenous artist Lee Hampton together with Sea Eagles Indigenous Legends Cliff Lyons and Mal Cochrane, along with Mrs Kay Van Norton Poche, Co-Founder of Poche Indigenous Health Network, a Senior Partner of the Club that will be featured across the main front of the special Indigenous jerseys.

The son of a Stolen Generation Mother, I have begun a journey of self-discovery and along with my children, I am looking to learn more about my people and our culture

Lee Hampton Indigenous Artist

Lee has drawn inspiration for his own artworks from some of Australia’s most celebrated Indigenous artists, admitting that his artistic flair and passion for story telling through paintings originally started as a hobby.

'Returning to God’s Country' - Created by Lee Hampton
'Returning to God’s Country' - Created by Lee Hampton

“My urban styled Aboriginal art began in March 2014 as a hobby and a way for me to relax and connect to my inner spirit. It progressed from football boots and motor bike helmets into jersey designs and original art pieces.” 

I hope you enjoy my art and hope I can encourage others to be more expressive and prouder of where they come from, as we all have a unique story to tell. Always remember that your dreams are never too far away if you believe in them and your goals are never too high to reach. Society will not hand it to you, you have to go get it.

Lee Hampton Indigenous Artist

Hampton also created the artwork for the Sea Eagles season 2019 Indigenous Round jersey, which was a tribute to Cliff Lyons, who was on hand to reveal the new 2020 jersey today.

While I am a fan of last year’s jersey, this year has gone another step above, I love it

Cliff Lyons Sea Eagles Legend

The large blue circular design feature positioned in the bottom right corner of the jersey represents the Manly district and Brookvale, with its tentacles and tributaries reaching far beyond, embracing fans across the country.

At the centre of the circle is a map of the Manly/Warringah/Pittwater districts. There are also seventeen lines, one for each of the warriors selected to represent the 2020 Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in the NRL each week.

2020 Sea Eagles Indigenous jersey

The carefully dotted lines also represent the journeys undertaken by Indigenous players, past and present, who have proudly represented the Manly Club and their Peoples. At the end of each journey, the players communities and grass roots footy are depicted. It is, in essence, the starting point from where the Rugby League adventure begins for all First Nations players.

The Club’s Indigenous players are stand outs in their respective communities, supported and adored by their family, friends and peers.

The footprints signify that whilst they come from different places, backgrounds and mobs, our First Nations players are all connected. They are brothers, forever bonded by their culture, and by their connection to the Sea Eagles.

The flashes of white represent their broader communities getting behind and supporting the players and their dreams of becoming respected community leaders. They stand along the banks of the rivers and fields to watch them, showing unwavering support.

Lee Hampton and Cliff Lyons
Lee Hampton and Cliff Lyons

The large white area running through to ‘God's Country’ represents the legions of fans who continually flock to watching games each week as the players progress from community football to Rugby League’s biggest stage as representatives of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.

Sea Eagles Official Apparel Partner, Dynasty Sport, worked closely with the Club to produce a garment that represents and respectfully portrays the Club’s Indigenous community.

“At a time where the spotlight is firmly fixed on Indigenous affairs and welfare across the globe, we are truly honoured to have worked with the Sea Eagles to create a garment which pays tribute to the Club’s First Nations players, past and present.” Dynasty Sport Managing Director, Tyler Rakich said.

The Sea Eagles 2020 Indigenous jersey is available for pre-order now through www.seaeagles.com.au/shop

Sea Eagles Major Partner United Resource Management (URM) moves to the lower back of the special Indigenous Round jersey, allowing Senior Partner Poche Indigenous Health Network to be featured across the main front position.

Click here to learn more about Poche Indigenous Health Network