Former AFL player Tony Armstrong stole the show at the Logies, scooping up an award and delivering an emotional speech to pay tribute to his ‘superstar’ mum.
Now better known for his work on-camera as the ABC Breakfast sports host, Armstrong played 35 matches for Adelaide, Sydney and Collingwood across a six-year AFL career.
The 32-year-old won the Graham Kennedy Award for most popular new talent at the TV Week Logies on Sunday less than a week after a glorious meltdown following the Socceroos’ nail-biting penalty shoot-out win against Peru in the World Cup playoff.
Armstrong spent six seasons in the AFL, playing for Adelaide, Sydney and Collingwood
‘The old cheese, my mum, she is a superstar, has done everything for me and has been a superstar and I would not be up here without her so a big thanks to her and please give her a clap, she will love it back home,’ he said.
However, his reaction was measured compared with the celebrations that followed his first AFL goal for the Swans, the club he had supported as a child, against North Melbourne in 2012.
A clip which the AFL Twitter account shared on Sunday night, shows an ecstatic Armstrong mobbed by teammates as he celebrated his first major.
On Sunday, Armstrong also hit back at Twitter trolls who had criticised him for delivering a Welcome to Country during his acceptance speech at the Logies.
Armstrong won the Graham Kennedy Award for Most Popular New Talent at the Logies
He delivered an emotional Welcome to Country speech while on stage on Sunday night
The former Adelaide, Swans and Collingwood player acknowledged the traditional owners of the land while presenting an award with 2022 Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott.
His speech drew backlash from some social media users who accused him of ‘going woke’ and ‘virtue signalling’.
‘Acknowledgement of country is virtue signalling that does nothing to further the wellbeing of Indigenous people in Australia,’ one person wrote on Twitter in response to a tweet from ABC News Breakfast co-presenter Michael Rowland praising Armstrong.
‘Specially to a room of coke-sniffing elites. It’s time we drop this nonsense.’
Armstrong swiftly fired back: ‘Shut up bro,’ he wrote. ‘I’m a blackfulla and I am duty bound to respect the land I’m on.
Armstrong had a jubilant meltdown watching Australia qualify for the World Cup on Tuesday morning in Federation Square in Melbourne
Surrounded by fans, Armstrong completely lost it as Awer Mabil scored the crucial penalty to send the Socceroos to the World Cup
The ABC News Breakfast star made headlines last week, when reporting from Federation Square in Melbourne during Australia’s playoff against Peru.
As Awer Mabil scored from the spot to send the Socceroos to the 2022 World Cup, Armstrong momentarily forgot he was on air and joined the jubilant fans in celebrating.
‘Yes! We are through!,’ he screamed at the top of his lungs, while back in the News Breakfast studio, hosts Michael Rowland and Lisa Millar could be heard laughing along.
Armstrong swiftly recomposed himself, adding: ‘Sorry, sorry, ah, I forgot I was on TV there.’