AFL great Ron Barassi’s ‘legacy’ remembered

Tributes are starting to flow honouring the legendary AFL great Ron Barassi, hours after his family announced his death.

The Barassi family confirmed the AFL star died on Saturday in a statement.

“After a full and extraordinary life, Ronald Dale Barassi, aged 87, left us today due to complications from a fall,” the family stated.

“He died peacefully, surrounded by loving family.

“We ask for privacy at this time.”

Barassi was the very first player to be inaugurated into the Australian Football Hall of Fame as a Legend after an exceptional career.

He was a six-time Premiership player for Melbourne and four-time Premiership coach with two different clubs.

Melbourne Football Club CEO Gary Pert said the beloved Demons legend was one of the game’s greatest names.

“Everyone at the Melbourne Football Club is extremely saddened to hear of Ron’s passing. We send our sympathies and condolences to Ron’s family and friends at this incredibly sad time,” Pert said.

“Ron was a much-loved character and friend to so many of us around the club which is why he will be so deeply missed.

“Ron was more than a player and coach. He was an icon of the game, and a true Melbourne person. His legacy will forever be etched in the history of the game.

“The entire football community has lost a giant, but Ron’s spirit and impact will live on through the game that he loved so dearly.“

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese shared his condolences following the news of Barassi’s death.

“There is no more famous name in football than Ron Barassi and there is no-one who gave more to the game that millions love,” Mr Albanese wrote on social media.

“Ron Barassi was a legend in every sense of the word.

“A fearless player and leader, a visionary coach and a tireless champion for the growth and success of Australian rules football.

“Ron’s name and his legacy will be remembered as long as footy is played.

“May he rest in peace.”

Federal MP Zoe Daniels also shared her memories of the legendary ALF player.

“Feeling the loss of Ron Barassi,” she said.

“An old friend of my dad’s from a different era of football, yet an enduring legend. Thoughts are with Ron’s family tonight.”

Comedian Anthony “Lehmo” Lehmann said Barassi was “a legend”.

“Sure he won six flags as a player and four as a coach but his contribution to this country goes way beyond that,” he said.

Barassi was named captain of the Demons’ Team of the Century, won two club best and fairest trophies and earned All-Australian honours on three occasions.

More to come.

Originally published as AFL great Ron Barassi dies peacefully surrounded by family

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