Barry Davis: Australian football legend dead at 80

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An Australian football legend has died at the age of 80.

Australian football legend and hall of famer Barry Davis has died at the age of 80 on the evening of Wednesday, May 22.

A well decorated sportsman, Davis played for both Essendon and North Melbourne over the course of his professional career. In 2002, Davis was named as the 15th greatest player in Essendon’s history and also made it into the North Melbourne team of the century.

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He won three Premierships during this time, in 1962, 1965 and 1975 - he also played in 289 games over the course of his professional career. He generally played in the half-back flank role - he scored 119 goals during his career.

Additionally, following the conclusion of his time as a player, Davis coached Essendon for two years from 1978 to 1980. He resigned at the end of the 1980 season after they finished outside of the top five in the league table, therefore missing out on the Premiership finals.

Following Davis’ passing, AFL chief executive Andrew Dillon issued a statement, which reads: “Barry Davis was a brilliant defender and ruck rover who was one of the greats of the VFL in the 1960s and 1970s.

“A triple premiership player and five-time best and fairest winner across his career, he was also a regular state representative for Victoria and a hero to young fans at both of his clubs.

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“Barry will be remembered as a pivotal player at both the Bombers and the Kangaroos and we send our sympathies to his family, many friends and past team mates.”

Essendon FC also issued a statement on their official X (formerly Twitter) page, which reads: “We're saddened to hear of the passing of Barry Davis, a true champion of our club and the game in general. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this time.”

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