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Ron Barassi
, 1975

by Rennie Ellis

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 50.4 cm x 40.3 cm, image: 43.5 cm x 30.5 cm)

Ron Barassi AM (b. 1936) is one of Australian Rules football’s most decorated figures. His professional career commenced at age seventeen when he joined the Melbourne Demons, the team his father had played for. Between 1953 and 1964, Barassi notched up 204 games and 295 goals and was a member of the flag-winning Demons teams of 1955, 1956, 1957 and 1959. Having led the Demons to further premiership victories in 1960 and 1964, he left to join Carlton as captain-coach and in 1968 engineered the Blues’ first premiership win in 21 years. Carlton took out the flag for the second time under Barassi’s direction with a comeback win against Collingwood in the 1970 grand final. In 1973 he joined North Melbourne, guiding the team that won the wooden spoon in his first season there to the premierships of 1975 and 1977. Barassi returned to the Demons in 1981 for a four-year stint there as coach and retired from football in 1995 after two seasons with the Sydney Swans. Twice voted Melbourne’s best and fairest, thrice selected for the All Australian side and named in the Team of the Century, Barassi became an officially designated AFL Legend in 1996.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 2006
© Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive
Accession number: 2006.63