Vale: Ron Barassi

Legendary AFL figure Ron Barassi, who was part of Seven’s classic VFL / AFL broadcasts, has died, aged 87.

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

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

Barassi played with Melbourne, winning six premierships, before finishing his finished his career with Carlton and went on to coach the Blues and North Melbourne to two flags apiece.

While he is intrinsically linked to the Demons, Barassi also left a lasting impact on the Kangaroos and Sydney Swans.

Barassi was one of the inaugural inductees into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996. At the same time, he was named an AFL Legend, the first to be awarded that honour. He was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1987 for his contribution to Australian rules football and was elevated in 2006 to a Legend of Australian Sport.

Managing Director Seven Melbourne and Head of Network Sport, Lewis Martin, said: “The entire football community has lost a true legend of the game, and a great Australian whose contribution to the sport of Australian football in this country can never be adequately measured.

“Ron’s career was peerless in so many ways. He was a revolutionary of the game both on the field and off, and we can also be thankful for his extraordinary contributions to football broadcasting on Channel 7 during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Ron valued and understood the role of broadcasting in the growth of AFL and was one of the game’s greatest champions.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the Barassi family and loved ones at this difficult time.”

In addition to his numerous AFL related appearances, Barassi was also profiled in SBS series Who Do You Think You Are? in 2009.

Source: Seven News, ABC