The AFL mourns the passing of Life Member and former Carlton FC President John Elliott, who passed away late yesterday at the age of 79.

AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan said Elliott was a larger-than-life figure whose primary passion was his beloved Blues, who he served as club President for two decades - the longest tenure in the club's 157-year history.

"John Elliott was about Carlton first and last, but he loved the game deeply as a long-time player at amateur level and then as an administrator with a relentless drive to seek the best for his Navy Blues," Mr McLachlan said.

"Under his leadership, Carlton secured flags in both 1987 and 1995 and, before the days of the national draft, their search for talent across the country drew some of the greatest players in the club's history to Ikon Park, with a team that was a joy to watch at its best.

"John was a giant figure in Australian business and politics in the 1980s and he was central to the theatre of the VFL and latterly the AFL, with the constant sparring with rival clubs and that search for any advantage that could lead to four points on a Saturday.

"Our sincerest condolences to all his family, his many friends and all at the Carlton Football Club who worked with him during his time with the club."