Farewell to AFL legend Ron Barassi at MCG
AFL legend Ron Barassi will be remembered on Friday at a memorial service at the MCG. Photo: AAP
Thousands will flock to the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the site of Ron Barassi’s greatest sporting achievements, to farewell the Australian rules football legend at his state memorial service.
The 10-time Victorian Football League premiership winner as a player and coach died aged 87 on September 16.
Family, friends and supporters have been invited to Friday’s memorial service at the MCG, with the public also able to attend.
The event will celebrate Barassi’s extraordinary life and his contribution to Australian football and the wider community.
Ron Barassi (left) claimed 10 AFL premierships at Melbourne, Carlton and North Melbourne. Photo: AAP
Barassi played 253 VFL games; 204 for Melbourne and 49 for Carlton.
Between playing and coaching, he claimed 10 premierships at Melbourne, Carlton and North Melbourne.
Barassi coached 515 AFL/VFL games in charge of the Demons, Blues, Kangaroos and Sydney Swans.
Immediately after his death, Barassi was hailed as one of football’s biggest names.
“A giant of Australian football, who left a legacy at every club whose doors he walked through … none more so than our own,” Carlton president Luke Sayers said.
AFL chairman Richard Goyder paid tribute to Barassi, who helped take Australian rules to markets traditionally dominated by other football codes.
“He revolutionised 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,” Goyder said.
Barassi made an impact off the field, too.
On New Year’s Day in 2009, he went to the aid of a woman being attacked in the street by a group of men who then turned on the football legend, leaving him with serious head injuries.
He received a bravery award for his heroics in 2012.
Coming to the aid of a woman being assaulted earned Barassi a bravery medal in 2012. Photo: AAP
The Australian Football League is still considering how to best honour Barassi, with renaming the premiership cup or medals among options canvassed.
Barassi’s memorial service begins at 11am AEDT. It will be broadcast by the Seven Network.