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A stunning 4-metre bronze sculpture of Barrie Robran MBE has been unveiled at Adelaide Oval, taking pride of place on the Southern Plaza – the main entry point to the newly redeveloped stadium.

Robran is the first footballer to be honoured through the generosity of businessman and philanthropist Basil Sellers AM.

Three other legends of the game – Malcolm Blight AM, Russell Ebert OAM and Ken Farmer – will also be immortalised in bronze along with four cricket greats.

The stunning likeness of Robran was unveiled by fellow North Adelaide champion Bob Hammond AM, Basil Sellers AM and SA Football Commission Chairman The Hon John Olsen AO at a ceremony today.

“I am incredibly honoured to be the recipient of this extraordinary tribute,” said Barrie.

“Adelaide Oval was always a special place on which to play football, and to be part of its rebirth is an extremely humbling experience.”

“I would like to thank Basil Sellers for his generosity, not only on behalf of myself but for the millions of people who will come to live and breathe the history that has been made – and will continue to be made – here at the Adelaide Oval.”


Barrie Robran was joined at today’s ceremony by members of his family and closest friends as well as other football dignitaries.

“Today is a special day for football here at the Adelaide Oval,” said John Olsen, Chairman of the SA Football Commission.

“I know I speak for all football fans when I say that we are delighted Basil has chosen to honour four of the greats of the game in this way. His gift to the people of South Australia will ensure these legends will be honoured for all time at the Adelaide Oval, as will his generosity.”

Barrie Robran fact file:

Originally from the North Whyalla Football Club, Barrie Robran played only 201 games for North Adelaide; yet his career saw him finish as one of the most awarded and respected footballers ever to play the game.

He won the Magarey Medal three times – 1968, 1970 and 1973 – and was a premiership player twice, in 1971 and 1972. He won his North Adelaide’s Best and Fairest Award seven times and resisted all overtures to play in the VFL. He received the Member of the Order of the British Empire for his services to football in 1981.

He was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996 and, in 2001, he was upgraded to Legend status, the first South Australian player and the first never to have played in the VFL or AFL to receive the honour.

Sculpture facts:

The sculpture of Barrie Robran MBE shows the North Adelaide champion in a classic pose – taking an overhead mark at Adelaide Oval from a photo taken by Ray Titus.

The original form was sculpted in 250kg of clay-based plasticine. The sculpting process took more than 500 hours. A mould was taken from the plasticine sculpture before the sculpture was cast into bronze. The figure is 125 % life size, is four metres high and weighs 300kg. It is the work of sculptor Ken Martin.

Article courtesy of SANFL.