Main content

Meet Heritier Lumumba: Harry O's name change

Harry O's new name Harry O'Brien will now be known as Heritier Lumumba, his birth name.
Harry O'Brien of the Magpies in action during the 2013 2nd Elimination Final match between the Collingwood Magpies and Port Adelaide Power at the MCG, Melbourne on September 07, 2013. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Heritier Lumumba, formerly Harry O'Brien, in action for the Pies last year

THE NAME of a Collingwood premiership star has been cut from the Magpies' playing list.
 
Fortunately for Pies and their army of fans, the player himself hasn’t left the club.
 
The cult figure formerly known as 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.
 
Lumumba, 27, explained the reasoning for the change on collingwoodfc.com.au.
 
“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.”
 
Lumumba said his teammates were happy for him and were already "having a lot of fun" with his name.
 
"They said, 'We just can’t wait 'til you get the ball and you’re bouncing down the wing and we hear the commentators pronouncing your name,'" he said.