Home Australia Barry Davis: Football world mourns as legend dies aged 80

Barry Davis: Football world mourns as legend dies aged 80

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Barry Davis has died at age 80, it was confirmed Thursday
  • Barry Davis has died at 80
  • Premiership legend is an Essendon and North Melbourne legend
  • The world of football has paid tribute to the Hall of Fame member

Barry Davis, who has the rare distinction of having top honors as a player at two AFL clubs, has died aged 80.

Davis was a top player, best and fairest winner and captain at Essendon and then North Melbourne in his playing career from 1961-75.

He is a life member of both clubs, a member of their century teams and a 1997 inductee into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

He also coached the Bombers in 1978-80 before resigning and is credited with laying the foundations for his successor Kevin Sheedy, who broke his premiership drought in 1984.

Davis was a key figure in North’s recruiting coup in 1973, when the Kangaroos took full advantage of the then VFL’s new 10-year rule.

Under the rule, players who had worked at their clubs for a decade could move to another team of their choice.

The Kangaroos swooped in and recruited Davis from Essendon, as well as John Rantall from South Melbourne and Geelong key forward Doug Wade.

They were all current or former captains at their previous clubs and the VFL removed the rule soon after.

Davis captained North until his inaugural premiership in 1975 and then retired.

“Barry Davis was a brilliant defender and ruck rover who was one of the greats of the VFL in the 1960s and 1970s,” AFL chief executive Andrew Dillon said in a tribute.

Davis was a triple premiership player and laid the foundation for Kevin Sheedy at Essendon

Davis was a triple premiership player and laid the foundation for Kevin Sheedy at Essendon

‘A three-time premiership player and five-time best and fairest winner throughout his career, he was also a regular state representative for Victoria and a hero to the young fans of his two clubs.

“Barry will be remembered as a pivotal player for both the Bombers and the Kangaroos and we send our condolences to his family, many friends and former teammates.”

Davis played 218 games for Essendon and played in their 1962 and 1965 senior teams.

He was a three-time best and fairest winner for the Bombers and captained them in 1970-71, as well as twice finishing second in the Brownlow Medal.

“When the people of Essendon think of Barry, they will remember him as a champion player and a true gentleman,” Bombers chief executive Craig Vozzo said.

Davis captained the Kangaroos in all 71 of their matches between 1973 and 1975 and won their best and fairest honors in 1973 and 1975, for a career total of 289.

“Many people connected with that first great era of our club credit Barry, along with coach Ron Barassi, for raising the expectations of our players and fans after a long streak without ultimate success,” said the president of North, Sonja Hood.

Davis also played 11 games for Victoria.

In 2002, Essendon ranked him 15th in their top 25 players.

AFL North Melbourne Kangaroos

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