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Tigers champion Bill Barrot passes away

(L-R) Ron Barassi, Bill Barrot, Geoff Raines and Bob Skilton share a conversations during the 'KB - A Life in Football' book launch at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Bill Barrot (second left) in 2011

BILL Barrot, a star in two Richmond premiership sides and a member of one of the great centreline combinations in League history, passed away on Tuesday.

He was 74.

He made his debut for the Tigers in 1961 but played his best football from 1966 once Tom Hafey came to the club as coach.

Richmond made the finals in 1967 for the first time in 20 years and went on to win the premiership that year and again in 1969. There were stars across every line for the Tigers but the centreline was especially magnificent – Francis Bourke and Dick Clay on the wings, with Barrot in the middle.

For years afterwards, VFL centrelines were compared, always unfavourably, to Bourke, Barrot and Clay.

A fitness fanatic when it wasn't always in vogue, Barrot was explosive and a thumping kick and he played well in both Grand Finals. Against Geelong in 1967 he had a match-high 26 kicks (including 18 inside 50s), while two years later Hafey moved him forward and he kicked three of Richmond's 12 goals for the game.

Earlier in the year he had kicked eight goals from full-forward in a comeback win against the Blues at Princes Park and in the Grand Final, with the Tigers again struggling against the Blues, Hafey moved him up the ground a second time and it paid huge dividends.

It capped off a fantastic finals series, which included 33 kicks and 15 marks against Geelong in the first semi-final.

All up, Barrot played 115 games for the Tigers, but he fell out with Hafey following the 1970 season and in a sensational development, was sent to St Kilda in a direct swap for dual Brownlow medallist Ian Stewart.

But while Stewart was a star for the Tigers from the beginning and would win his third Brownlow Medal in his first year at Punt Road, Barrot lasted just two games with the Saints before moving again, this time to Carlton, where he played 12 games to finish the season and then retired at age 27.

He later played in the VFA for Oakleigh.