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The Melbourne Football Club’s touching Anzac Day tribute

Melbourne Football Club legend Ron Barassi was four years old when his father, Ron Barassi Snr, was killed at Tobruk during World War II.

Like father, like son. Barassi Snr was also a champion for the Demons, having played 58 VFL games for the club between 1936 and 1940. Like many others, he joined the army following the outbreak of the war and served in Australia’s campaign in North Africa before he was killed in action in 1941 at just 27 years old. He was the first VFL player to pay the ultimate price in the war.

11 years later, the Demons lobbied hard to draft Ron Barassi Jnr under the father son rule, ensuring Barassi Jnr would follow in the footsteps of his father by donning the red and the blue. Barassi would go on to win six VFL premierships with the club – two of them as captain – and would grow to be one of the games most illustrious and revered figures as both a player a coach.

In the lead up to Anzac Day, the Melbourne Football Club have presented Ron Barassi with a special edition guernsey to be worn in their Anzac Day Eve clash with Richmond.

The jumper features the names of the 30 men who played for the club and died serving their country during World War I and II.

A poignant moment occurs when Barassi, after being presented with the jumper, recalls how his fathers tragic death affected his mother.

“Every time I think of my father, I think of my mother and how she cried,” Ron told the Melbourne website in a moving video.

“Lest we forget.”