The Sydney Swans, and the football world as a whole, is mourning the passing of Bloods Champion, Barry Round.

Barry Round holding 1982 Night Premiership trophy

We are joined in mourning by his local club Warragul, the Western Bulldogs, and Williamstown - all clubs where he played not only with distinction, but with a deep sense of affection from teammates, opponents, administrators, and spectators.

While he was a champion player, which is highlighted below, and much admired as Bernie Quinlan said, the reality is he was one of the few players who was universally loved. Not just at the clubs at which he played, but across the entire AFL world.

Barry was nothing if not durable. He joined Footscray (now Western Bulldogs) as a 17 year old, and between 1969-75 played 135 senior games with the Bulldogs.

In 1976 he moved to South and between 1976-85 played 193 games with South Melbourne/Sydney. From 1986-91 he coached and played for Williamstown in the VFA. He retired at 41 with a lazy 438 senior games in all to his credit.

Barry was captain of the Swans from 1980-84. He captained the club to the night premiership in its first year as Sydney in 1982. He won the Club Best and Fairest (now known as the Bob Skilton Medal) in 1979/81 and was second in 1976 and third in 1977.

In 1981 he tied with one of his oldest mates from Footscray, Bernie Quinlan, in the Brownlow Medal. Barry had a strong record in the Brownlow, finishing 4th in 1979 and 6th in 1982.

In 2003, he was selected in the South Melbourne/Sydney Team of the Century as first ruck. He was an inaugural inductee into the Swans Hall of Fame in 2009 and elevated to Bloods Champion in 2022.

Aged 36, Barry moved to the Williamstown Seagulls in the VFA, as captain coach. He had immediate success, taking the club to a premiership in his first year. He repeated this achievement in 1990. He was an inaugural inductee into the Seagulls Hall of Fame in 2014 and simultaneously was made a Legend.

Between 1987-89 he won three consecutive Callahan Medals as Williamstown’s Best and Fairest. Along the way in 1987, at 37, he won the Liston Medal to go with his Brownlow. Aged 40 he won the Norm Goss Medal as best on ground in the 1990 VFA Grand Final and was selected as first ruck in the club’s Team of the Century. Meanwhile, Barry's son David won the B+F in 1999.

He played five times for Victoria (VFL) and represented the VFA on four occasions.

And fittingly was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame in 2001.

For much of his career, Barry's role was first ruck. While at 193cm (6’4’’) he was not particularly tall relative to many of his opponents, his bulk (he played at up to 108kg) made him virtually unbeatable at boundary throw-ins or in contested marking situations. At bounce-downs his athleticism and judgement made him consistently one of the dominant ruckmen in both the VFL and VFA. His extraordinary anaerobic capacity was often underrated. Later in his career at Sydney he often played at centre-half forward. He kicked a highly respectable 157 goals for the club.

From a Swans point of view, Barry embodied everything the club wanted and needed. He was highly competitive but scrupulously fair, he had great leadership qualities and became a mentor to many emerging players. He was eternally positive and had a one liner or a humorous anecdote for any circumstance. Most of all, Barry loved playing football, being in the company of former teammates, current players, and supporters from all walks of life.

Barry Round and Mark Browning leading the team onto the ground

There is, however, a role he played that forever changed the club and laid the foundations for a national competition and gave the game in NSW a giant fillip. With Mark Browning, his loyal vice-captain, they convinced the players that the relocation to Sydney was the only option. Virtually every player bought in based on their belief in Barry and Mark’s judgement. And the rest, as they say, is history.

In 1994, to honour the pioneers who brought the club to Sydney in 1982, we named the Best Clubman award after Barry. In perpetuity it is to be known as the Barry Round Best Clubman Award.

Apart from a couple of periods of ill health, Barry was always on hand to present the award. He was always so positive about the recipient of the award. And his message generally was what great shape the club was in and how lucky we all are to be part of it.

The club extends its deepest condolences to Barry’s partner Jenni, his children David and Natalie, his grandchildren, and his extended family. 

Barry Round (centre back) pictured with fellow Swans greats Peter Bedford, Fred Goldsmith, Gerard Healy and Bob Skilton, 2009


From Andrew Pridham

Barry Round was a great of our club.

Barry was a big man who leaves behind a legacy which will forever live in the folklore of our club.

He was an outstanding player and forged such a decorated career.

But his impact at the Swans reaches far beyond the playing arena.

He was among those who led the club through the turbulent relocation era in the early 1980s and his support and influence were crucial to the move ultimately going ahead, in the face of much opposition.

Barry remained captain in the early years of the Sydney Swans, leading and uniting a playing group that was provided with little outside assistance. His many recollections of those early years were insightful, at times shocking but always entertaining.

He was an immensely popular figure at our club. 

On a very personal level it was a great thrill to meet and then get to know one of my childhood hero’s. What a wonderful man. As a kid one of my most vivid memories was watching this huge man, Barry Round, battle it out at the SCG on the Sunday telecast of Swans games live into SA.

Notably, Barry was a unifying figure who identified the positive in everything and everyone.  His impromptu renditions singing “The Gambler” of “Sweet Caroline” were always a highlight when Barry attended club functions.

As someone who led the club through so much adversity, he was incredibly proud of the success achieved in recent times. Despite living on the Gold Coast, he remained very connected to the club, just this year attending the Hall of Fame event and Grand Final week where he joyfully reconnected with former teammates.

Barry is a true Bloods Champion and will always hold a special place in the history of the Sydney Swans.

Andrew Pridham (Director Sydney 2002, Chair 2014-current)


From Richard Colless AM

When I assumed the chair of the club in mid/late 1993 there were understandably a lot of people, including past players, in both Sydney and Melbourne who were frustrated and, in some cases, angry with the state of affairs.  Losing 26 games in a row isn’t much fun so their demeanour was perfectly reasonable.

I started to meet various people who had or were playing different roles in the club, one of whom was the legendary Barry Round. To my surprise and wavering sense of self belief said something to the effect, “great to meet you Dickie we’re going to be okay mate”.  That vote of confidence by this Swans hero to someone whom he had never met and who was about to assume such an important position in the club he had devoted so much of his life, and I guess energy and emotion was such an uplifting experience.

Over the next nearly 30 years I progressively got to know him a lot better, and I realised what he said to me at our first meeting wasn’t a throw-away line.  He was a supreme optimist.  He exuded confidence about every aspect of the club. (And life in general). I genuinely never heard him say a bad or negative thing about anybody or any aspect of the club and for someone who had been denied any meaningful on field success I never once heard him talk about what might have been.

On the MCG immediately after the 2005 premiership win there was Roundy with his scarf draped over his massive shoulders and the joy that he was experiencing was infectious. It was like he had finally got the success he’d been denied. The fact he hadn’t actually played wasn’t the point. The Swannies had finally prevailed.

If I can make a comment wearing my Chair Hall of Fame hat,  I knew his record in minute detail and I realised he was a great player

What I hadn’t fully appreciated however, were the extraordinary leadership skills that he possessed and that were fundamental to the club relocating and surviving.  It’s a recurring theme with every teammate of his with whom I’ve spoken in recent days.  And post his leadership role at the Swans he included coaching in his repertoire at Williamstown with much success. True leadership comes in many forms.

It’s been said by other people, but I truly believe in an all-round sense he is one of the greatest and most influential players in our nearly 150-year history.

If I can finish on a lighter note and that is after match/past player functions won’t be the same without some musical contribution from Roundy.  Generally it was more country or Neil Diamond, but I was there to witness a duet with Billy Thorpe of “Over the Rainbow”.  They survived the experience and became great mates.

By chance I came across an article written in 2008 by John Anderson of the Herald Sun about an LP (unless you’re over 50 you probably won’t know what that means) called AFL Footy Favourites that was released in 1981 and had one player from each of the 12 VFL clubs singing a song, I presume of their choosing. The Swans were naturally represented by its captain and musical virtuoso

To quote John Anderson.  “Swans ruckman Barry Round, a country and western man somehow ended up singing Elton John’s “Little Jeannie” and he says although reluctant at first ‘after 14 cans I wanted to do the whole album’”.

In one throwaway sentence football/music/socialising/not being precious. What a package. What a man.

 Richard Colless (Sydney Swans Chair 1993 – 2013, 1998 – 2002 Chair of the AFL (NSW-ACT) Commission, Chair Hall of Fame Committee)


From Mark Browning

There will always only be one Barry Round.

He is a unique individual in that no matter where he might have been at a particular time, people of all walks of life would gravitate to the big fella and want to be in his company.

His warm friendly personality and strong presence made everyone feel comfortable and safe.

As a leader on and off the footy field he was the same to his teammates and I would say opposition as well.

For many years I was vice captain to Barry and just running out behind him on match day the energy and passion was like come on boys follow me.

He loved match day and his performances in over 300 games for the Swans/Footscray and another 110 for Williamstown is a reflection of that.

Always giving his absolute best no matter what the situation Barry was unbelievable in his understanding that you had to compete with everything no matter what.

Baz was a magnificent athlete for his size, incredible endurance, not many big or small could match his running ability. Plus his determination to push behind the footy to support the defence or push hard forward to be a marking option at the right time in tight games was something that always stood out to me.

He loved to win.

The most symbolic moment for me of the early years in Sydney was the Swans winning the 1982-night premiership.

The photo of Barry holding up that premiership cup at the presentation on a cold winter night at Waverley I think captured the efforts of the whole club at the time and the move to Sydney.

It also gave Swans supporters everywhere some hope for the future.

I strongly recommend that photo of Big Barry holding that cup should be displayed in the Swans new home or outside the facility as a statue.

For me it is the link from the past to the future, it should not be forgotten.

Barry would agree with me for sure, he would be very proud of that.

Like all his teammates I loved playing footy with Barry Round, he was an inspirational leader and player.

Mark Browning (Played 1975-87, 251 games, was long tome VC to Barry. Assumed captaincy 1984/85. B+F 1983/2nd 1975/84, All Australian 1983, Victorian representative 8 times)


From Bernie Evans

To say I’m devastated at the news is an understatement.

Roundy to me was a pleasure to play for.  A pleasure to play with.  A great player.  A great captain, but most of all a great MATE.

A player I rated as the best I’d played with at the Swans.

A giant of a man with a heart just as big. Everyone would just gravitate to him because of his infectious personality. He was dry, he was funny, he loved a drink, and everyone loved to have a drink with him.

He has done it hard the last few years and he certainly deserved better. To my big mate you are a champion in every sense of the word.

I love you mate.

Bernie Evans (Played for club 1978-85. 148 games. Winner B+F in 1884. All Australian 1984. Member Swans Hall of Fame)


From Neil Cordy


He played in a time long gone when the social element was a key part of a footballer’s enjoyment of the game.

He was loved by teammates and opponents alike.

He could drink like nobody I’ve seen before or since. To go toe to toe with Roundy at the bar was inviting trouble.


At the age of 50, Round returned to his hometown of Warragul to catch up with friends.

Over convivial refreshment on Friday night in a local pub he found the Gulls were short of players in the seconds and he was needed on the field.

After many hours at the bar, he finally agreed to play on the condition he could sing Delilah after the match. As we all know Baz loved to sing.

The word got out about his return to action, and a good crowd was in attendance for the curtain raiser.

He played at full forward and didn’t leave the square.

Unfortunately, by three quarter time he hadn’t troubled the scorer either or the stat sheet.

He had a quick chat with the non-officiating umpire during the last quarter and said this won’t go down well with the locals if the Brownlow Medallist and favourite son doesn’t get a touch.

Job done, five minutes later the umpire blows the whistle, infringement in the marking contest and Round is on the scoreboard with a goal.

Car Horns around the ground celebrate Round’s effort and everyone is happy including B Round.


He never spoke badly about anybody and had a line for every occasion.


“There were streamers and balloons everywhere and I thought they’re making a bit of fuss for my first game,” Round said.

“I heard someone say they were going to have a guard of honour and I thought this is a bit over the top. “It turned out it was Teddy Whitten’s 300th.


“I was cut down in my prime at 41”

“I played till I was 41 so I must have enjoyed it,”

“Either that or I’m a slow learner.”


“I thought I could play another year in the forward pocket and when you’re Captain Coach you don’t have to worry about getting a game.”


“I was born on Australia Day in 1950 and lived on ANZAC Crescent in Williamstown so you can’t get more Aussie than that.”


“I’m happy to be here, in fact I’m happy to be anywhere.”


On a personal note, I’ve known Barry for more than 40 years and have been chasing him around the country for most of that time.

I’ve followed almost every move he’s made footy wise and geographically.

We both grew up in Footscray’s zone in Gippsland, Roundy in Warragul, and me 80 k’s away in Rosedale.

By the time I reached the Western (Now Whitten) Oval he’d gone to South Melbourne/Sydney Swans. Then when I followed his move to the Swans, he’d gone back to Melbourne to captain coach Williamstown in the VFA.

I finally caught up with the great man two years ago when I moved from Sydney to the Gold Coast.

Baz has a line for every occasion, and I was lucky enough to hear most of them over the last couple of years at social breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

I will miss those occasions dearly.

Neil Cordy (Commenced at Footscray 139 games. Moved to Sydney 1987-93 96 games, 2nd in B+F In 1987/3RD 1990)



Barry was a person that people wanted to be around. His easy-going nature and the touch of rascal in him were a magnet. 

Roundy’s football record as a player and leader speaks for itself.

We didn’t see a lot of each other over the past years but when we did catch up it was as though nothing had changed.

Barry was a genuine and honest man who was just good fun. 

We worked together on building sites and as Football Development Officers when the Swans first moved to Sydney and I can’t remember ever laughing as much day in day out.

Whenever I hear Elton John singing ‘Little Jeanie’ or ACDC’s ‘A long way to the top’, to name just two, I think of Barry Round. 

But Roundy’s renditions were better.

The word legend is used too freely nowadays but Barry is as close to one as you could get.

John Reid (Played 1982-83, 10 games)



As one of the younger players during the Swans historic relocation to Sydney we looked to our then captain Barry Round for guidance and leadership and Roundy provided it in spades.

Whether it be on the training track, during a game or at the post game festivities; Roundy had time for everyone and lived life to the fullest.

There were numerous times throughout his illustrious career were he literally carried team mates on his massive shoulders to help forge another victory.

He will be truly missed but never forgotten.

Dennis Carroll (Played 219 games 1981-93. Captain 1986-92 131 games. Runner up B+F 185/91; 3RD 1988. All Australian 1986. Swans Team of Century. Swans Hall of Fame. A Victorian and NSW representative)



I remember growing up and watching Barry Round play for the Swans on a Sunday afternoon. With his big barrel chest, I couldn’t help but be drawn towards him. He just looked like he’d be a bloody good bloke to play with.

Roundy had a reasonably unique skill set as he was a terrific ruckman, yet he also featured as a regular multiple goalkicker.

His achievements in the VFL were as big as the man himself. And we were privileged that some of his biggest were at the Swans.

Brownlow Medallist, dual Club Champion, Captain, and Swans Team Of the Century member. Roundy achieved it all at our club on the field.

However, the big bloke was as pivotal off the field as he was on it. As captain during the tumultuous time of the club moving from South Melbourne to Sydney, his leadership helped steady the team as the challenges came thick and fast. He was a consistent performer and an influential player leader when the team needed it most.

It’s these combined traits that were admired by all and are behind the reason that the club named the respected Best Clubman Award after Barry. This award is highly valued among players and staff alike.

Personally, I remember Roundy as an incredibly positive and supportive ex-champion of the club. Whenever I came across him, he’d always comment on how he loved watching the young blokes play.

And who could ever forget his renditions of “The Gambler” at the end of a big night out at a season launch or end of season function? The crowd would rise as one and he’d have everyone singing along and having a great time.

Roundy was big in stature, big in playing ability and big in personality. Everyone loved being around him. He’ll be sorely missed.

John Longmire (Played 200 games for North Melbourne. In 1990 aged 19 won Coleman Medal/NMFC B+F/All Australian. Longest serving coach in 148-year-old history of club. Joined coaching panel in 2002. Appointed senior coach in 2011. Record number of games 283 and number of wins 177. Winning ratio of 63%. Coached club to four Grand Finals and premiership in 2012. Twice AFLCA Coach of Year)



I remember way back at the end of 1979 when I signed with the Swans, my then Woodville coach and former South Melbourne player Barry Goodingham told me to befriend Barry Round because he is a really good bloke- how right he was!

Roundy and I have stayed close friends throughout the years even though we lived a couple of thousand kilometres apart and I have always looked forward to our catchups to have a beer or two and to hear his jokes, occasional songs, and terrific yarns.

A proud Aussie who happened to be born on Australia day, one of my fondest memories of Bazza is him poolside at his Surfers Paradise residence on his 70th birthday with that big suntanned frame complete with an Aussie flag tattoo on one arm and a Swans premiership tattoo on the other leading the singing of our national anthem before somersaulting into the pool as a finale.

Bazza seemed to know just about everyone, and it wasn’t just because he was a champion footballer, he was also a champion bloke who was humble and who gave his time freely.

Our sincere condolences are extended to his fiancé Jenni and family, his children Natalie and David and families and all of Bazza’s family and friends who knew the great man.

Rest in peace my beautiful friend.

John Roberts (Played 1980-2. 50 games/135 goals. All Australian 1980)



Very sad news with the passing of my great mate Roundy.

Having known him on and off the field since 1969, I looked upon him as my best mate; I hope he felt the same about me. But I'm sure many others also looked upon him as their best mate.

A big man with an even bigger heart.

Roundy fought on bravely over the last few years fronting up to his health problems without complaining and was always positive in his outlook.

Roundy will be a big loss to many peoples who absolutely adored him.

I'll miss you big fella.

Rest in peace mate.

Bernie Quinlan (Began his career alongside Barry at Footscray in 1969. He left the Dogs 2 years after Barry had joined South Melbourne in 1975 to play with Fitzroy. Having played 177 games and kicked 241 goals. Just as Barry had done, he similarly became a legendary figure at his second club. Playing 189 games and kicking 576 goals. He was unquestionably one of the great players in the VFL in the 1970/80s. He tied with Roundy in the Brownlow in 1981 and won the Coleman Medal in 1983/4. He was an All Australian in 1983/4. He was selected at CHF in the Fitzroy Team of the Century. And is a member of the Australian Football Hall of Fame)



Barry Round

O Captain! My Captain!

When the greatest players to have worn the famous red and white colours are discussed, Barry Round is very much part of the conversation. And rightly so. 193 games (plus 135 with Footscray), Brownlow medallist, Australian Football Hall of Fame, Swans Hall of Fame in the Champion category, Captain, Swans Team of Century, dual Club Champion.

Deeds on the playing arena and training track part of Swans folklore. Well documented and the stuff of legend.

Not as well-known is the crucial role Barry played in the move of the club from South Melbourne to Sydney and the genesis of the VFL/AFL National Competition.

Although engineered by the VFL, the relocation was under prepared, under-funded, under resourced. Unbelievably there was no venture capital by the VFL. No short or long-term investment strategy.

In a fundamental sense, the club arrived in Sydney and simply did not have the money required to properly establish and run a VFL club in a new market.

The players quickly discovered the harsh reality of the Promised Land was in fact a challenging search for suitable accommodation, a struggle to find employment, poor or non-existent facilities and all in a market which back then had very little understanding or interest in our game.

On reflection, it’s amazing the club survived and quite simply would not have done so without the resilience and commitment of the playing group.

They believed in Sydney, and they led the charge … if the players had wavered the move could have all fallen over at any point. But the belief was unshakeable. They wanted to make it work and whenever there was a problem – and there were plenty – they found another way.

In the history of world sport, it is hard to imagine a more powerful and impactful display of solidarity by a group of players.

And the lynchpin to all this was the inspiring leadership of Barry Round (ably assisted by loyal lieutenant Mark Browning).

Roundy in his laconic, ‘it’ll be right mate’ approach, led from the front and never asked or expected anything of anyone that he wouldn’t do himself. He had a steely resolve to make it work, despite the challenges. The sort of resolve that laid the foundation upon which the Bloods culture was built.

There is no question the VFL foray into Sydney would have happened. But make no mistake it would not have happened as it did in 1982 without the leadership and influence of Barry Round.

There have been many great Swans players but arguably none have had a bigger impact than Barry Round. The universally loved and respected ruckman changed the course of VFL/AFL history.

Dean Moore (Dean has played a pivotal role in the club’s move to and success in Sydney. He joined South Melbourne as assistant secretary (CEO) in 1979.  Once the decision was made to play home games in Sydney in 1982 he assumed all logistical responsibilities. This grew into an extraordinary role. One that had never been undertaken and that involved the formal relocation of all aspects of the club to Sydney for season 1983. He returned to Melbourne at the end of 1984 and joined the VFL (Now AFL). He was lured back to Sydney to become the club’s Head of Football in 2009. Taking over from Andrew Ireland who had become CEO. Dean oversaw the club’s participation in two Grand Finals. Including the Premiership victory in 2012. In 2020 he was again lured back to his alma mater to play a lead role in the development of the club’s new world class facilities. Dean has been an outstanding middle/long distance runner and says the only player who could beat him was Barry. Again, highlighting Roundy’s amazing and underestimated aerobic capacity.)