Ron Barassi, AFL great, dies aged 87 | AFL

The AFL great Ron Barassi has died, his family confirmed in a statement on Saturday.

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

“He died peacefully, surrounded by loving family. We ask for privacy at this time.”

Barassi was a giant of the football world, as a player, coach and media personality.

He was made a member of the Order of Australia in 1978, became a life member of the AFL in 1979 and was the first player to be inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996 as a legend.

Barassi played more than 200 games and won six premierships with Melbourne, and then won four premierships as a coach – two with Carlton and two with North Melbourne.

He wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, Ron Barassi Sr, and play at Melbourne, where he helped pioneer the position of ruck rover.

After winning the grand final six times with Melbourne, Barassi made the move to Carlton, playing just 50 games as captain and coach, before making coaching his sole focus.

Current and former players, coaches and politicians have paid tribute to Barassi on social media.

The prime minster, Anthony Albanese, said there was no more famous name in football and described Barassi as “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,” Albanese said on Twitter/X.

“Ron’s name and his legacy will be remembered as long as footy is played. “May he rest in peace.”

More to come.

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