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Neil Mitchell’s special interview with Ron Barassi ahead of his 80th birthday

AFL icon Ron Barassi has opened up to Neil Mitchell ahead of his 80th birthday.

The legendary football figure spoke about his health, his past glories, the state of the game and the incident which changed his life forever in 2009.

The 10-time premiership winning player and coach was assaulted when he went to the aid of a young woman in St Kilda on New Year’s Eve.

Barassi said the incident was still causing him grief today.

‘It’s only been since then that I’ve had poor memory,’ he confessed on 3AW Mornings.

Click PLAY below to hear PART ONE of the interview with Ron Barassi

The AFL legend said he was concerned by the state of the game and the way it was being played.

‘I think the people who are running the game aren’t doing the right things,’ Barassi said.

‘They’ve allowed the game to become less of a spectacle.’

He said skill, fitness and ability had all improved, but the game somehow wasn’t as good to watch as it once was.

He also revealed why Brent Crosswell was the most difficult player he coached.

Ron with Brent Crosswell, the hardest player to coach.

Ron with Brent Crosswell, the hardest player to coach.

‘He was a terrific player,’ Barassi said.

‘But he could have been one of the greatest ever.’

Click PLAY below to hear more from Ron Barassi on 3AW Mornings

Barassi also spoke about his life off the field and why his first marriage failed.

‘I’ll take all the blame,’ he said.

‘The only excuse I’ll have is that I was too young at 21.

‘It’s not too young for some people, but I think for me it was.’

Click PLAY below to hear more from Ron Barassi on 3AW Mornings

CLICK PLAY BELOW TO HEAR SOME AFL GREATS PAY TRIBUTE TO RON

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