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 September 17, 2023

AFL legend Ron Barassi dies at 87

Ron Barassi, the great Australian Football League (AFL) player and coach, has died at the age of 87. 

According to Sky News, Barassi's passing was announced on Saturday by his family.

"After a full and extraordinary life, Ronald Dale Barassi, aged 87, left us today due to complications from a fall," the family said in a statement released on Sept. 16, 2023.

The family continued, "He died peacefully, surrounded by loving family. We ask for privacy at this time."

Australian News reports:

Barassi is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the game, and was the very first player to be inaugurated into the Australian Football Hall of Fame as a Legend. He was a six-time Premiership player for Melbourne and four-time Premiership coach with two different clubs, and leaves a legacy in almost every facet of the game.

As a player, Barassi played more than 200 games in the AFL, winning six premierships with Melbourne.

Then, Barassi's success continued when he became a coach, winning two premierships with Carlton and two more with North Melbourne.

Altogether, as both a player and a coach, Barassi had his hand in 10 premierships. This is a record that he shares with fellow AFL great Norm Smith.

Following the news of Barassi's passing, AFL chairman Richard Goyder released a statement highlighting what Barassi meant to the AFL.

Goyder said, "He revolutionized the game as a player – created the position of ruck rover – built premiership success at clubs as a coach, and then was our first great evangelist to take the game north and grow it to become what we have today."

AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan, in a statement of his own, described Barassi as "fierce, challenging, and determined." McLachlan said that Barassi "loved most of all the next contest for the ball, and watched games with an eye for the skills of the game and the courage and desire to play it well."

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also released a statement on Barasso's passing.

Albanese wrote:

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.

ESPN reports that "Ron Barassi's family will be offered a state funeral to honor the Australian sporting icon."

Written By:
Robert Ayers

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