Ron Barassi, the Australian Rules football legend, passed away at the age of 87 due to complications from a fall. Born in 1936 and departing in 2023, Barassi’s legacy is notable.
He played 253 senior VFL games for Melbourne and Carlton, securing six premierships as a player and captaining Melbourne to two. His coaching career also shone, with two premierships for Carlton and two wins for North Melbourne. For more on Ron Barassi’s obituary, please read on.
Who was Ron Barassi?
Ron Barassi, also known as Ronald Dale Barassi, was a big name in Australian rules football. He did more than just play and coach; he shaped the sport’s history. As a player, he did amazing things. He was a pioneer of the ruck rover position and played for Melbourne, winning six premierships, two as the captain.
In 1964, he surprised everyone by leaving Melbourne for Carlton due to a great contract offer. His impact continued as a player, but it was his coaching career that truly left a mark. After retiring as a player in 1969, he became a successful coach.
He led Carlton to two premierships, including a famous comeback in the 1970 Grand Final, which changed the game forever. His halftime advice to his players to play on and handball at all costs revolutionized Australian rules football.
Even after retiring from playing and coaching in 1971, Barassi came back to coaching, this time with North Melbourne. He achieved more success, winning the club’s first two premierships. He also returned to Melbourne and played a vital role in rebuilding the club. During this time, he brought in Gaelic footballers, known as the “Irish experiment,” which added a unique twist to the sport.
|Profession||Australian rules footballer, coach, and media personality|
|Date of Birth||27 February 1936|
|Place of Birth||Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia|
|Date of Death||16 September 2023|
|Age at Death||87|
|Place of Death||Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
|Original Team(s)||Preston Scouts|
|Height||179 cm (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||87 kg (192 lb)|
Ron Barassi Cause of Death And Obituary
Ron Barassi, an iconic figure in Australian rules football, died at the age of 87, leaving the football world in shock. His death was confirmed by his family, who blamed it on complications following a fall. Barassi’s death brings to a close a life filled with tremendous accomplishments and contributions to the sport he adored.
Despite the sadness felt by followers and admirers, it is worthwhile to commemorate Barassi’s ongoing legacy. He was not only a six-time premiership player and four-time premiership coach for Melbourne, but also a symbol of determination, inventiveness, and enthusiasm in Australian rules football.
His contribution to the game and his enduring memory will continue to inspire future generations of sportsmen and fans. Barassi’s coaching career was defined by creativity, achievement, and a love of the game. His support for the creation of a national club-level competition demonstrated his dedication to the sport’s growth.
He was not only a sporting legend, but also a cultural icon in Australia. In appreciation of his accomplishments, Barassi was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1978 and was nominated a ruck rover in the AFL’s Team of the Century in 1996. His legacy as a player, coach, and advocate for Australian rules football is immeasurable, and he will be regarded as a great sporting legend.
Look at the Herald Sun tweet below:
Australia is mourning the death of AFL legend Ron Barassi, with footy figures, politicians and media identities sharing their heartfelt tributes. https://t.co/xk4mmlTAVC
— Herald Sun (@theheraldsun) September 16, 2023
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Family Influence on His Football Journey
Ron Barassi’s family history played a pivotal role in shaping his love for Australian rules football. He was the only child of Ron Barassi, Sr., a prominent figure in the sport who played for the Melbourne Football Club. His father’s involvement with the club influenced young Ron’s early connection to football.
Ron Barassi, Sr. was a rover for Melbourne and even played in their premiership-winning team in 1940. His service in World War II temporarily took him away from the sport, but his stories fueled Ron Barassi’s passion for football.
Moreover, Barassi’s family background added cultural diversity to his identity. He was a third-generation Italian Australian, with Swiss-Italian ancestors who had migrated to Victoria during the gold rushes of the 1850s and 1860s. This multicultural heritage was an integral part of his identity.
Father’s Influence and Tragic Loss
A defining moment in Barassi’s early life was the tragic loss of his father, Ron Barassi Sr., during World War II when Ron was just five years old. Ron Sr. was a Melbourne Football Club player, and young Ron was determined to follow in his footsteps.
This determination led to the introduction of the father–son rule in Australian rules football, which is still in use today. He went on to live with Norm Smith, Melbourne’s coach at the time and a former teammate of his father, who provided him with guidance and support.
Ron Barassi’s Marriages and Children
Ron Barassi’s personal life was marked by significant relationships and family joys. He married Nancy Kellett on March 4, 1957, whom he had met at work four years earlier. They settled in Heathmont, Melbourne, and had three children: Susan, Ron Jr., and Richard.
While the Barassi family shared many moments throughout Ron Sr.’s football career, their marriage faced challenges, and they separated in 1975. In 1981, Ron Barassi married Cherryl Copeland, marking a new chapter in his personal life. Together, they navigated the complexities of his career and public life.
Recognizing Ron Barassi’s contributions to Australian rules football is essential, but it’s also important to acknowledge the personal aspects of his life, including his marriages and the bonds he shared with his children, which undoubtedly played a role in shaping his experiences and perspectives both on and off the football field.
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