AFL legend John Elliot dies aged 79 as Carlton fans pay tribute to the ‘larger than life’ president 


John Elliot dies aged 79: Tributes pour in for  controversial business tycoon who was head of the Liberal Party and larger-than-life president of his beloved AFL club Carlton

  • AFL legend John Elliot has passed away aged 79 at hospital in Richmond 
  • Elliot was president of Carlton Football Club for 19 years winning two flags 
  • He worked as director of BHP, Foster’s Lager and Elders throughout career
  • Elliot was believed to be worth $100million at his peak at considered shot at PM 


AFL legend John Elliot has passed away aged 79 as footy fans pay tribute to the larger-than-life figure

AFL legend John Elliot has passed away aged 79 as footy fans pay tribute to the larger-than-life figure.

The businessman, who worked as a director for BHP and also as federal president of the Liberal Party, passed away on Thursday night surrounded by his family at Epworth hospital in Richmond.

His son, Tom, revealed his death on 3AW, saying he died from a ‘short illness’. 

‘Dad will be greatly missed by his four children Tom, Caroline, Edward and Alexandra. Their partners Elise, Craig and Georgia,’ he said.

‘Their grandchildren Henry, Sebastian, India, Ava, Lottie and Mathilda will remember forever their ‘Grandpa Jack’.

‘Also in mourning are John’s brother Ross, sister-in-law Jenny, former partner Joanne and second wife Amanda. They are joined in grief by numerous nieces, nephews, grandchildren and other close relatives. Vale Dad.’

The businessman, who worked as federal president of the Liberal Party, passed away on Thursday night surrounded by his family at Epworth hospital in Richmond

The businessman, who worked as federal president of the Liberal Party, passed away on Thursday night surrounded by his family at Epworth hospital in Richmond

Elliot led Carlton for 19 years, guiding them to two flags and five grand final appearances during his tenure

Elliot led Carlton for 19 years, guiding them to two flags and five grand final appearances during his tenure

Elliot, nicknamed ‘Thug’ and ‘King John’, led Carlton for 19 years, guiding them to two flags and five grand final appearances during his tenure. 

‘There is no doubt that this is the greatest club there ever was or ever will be. That’s the humility I’m looking for,’ he said after the club won the 1995 grand final. 

He painted a controversial figure, always inventing new ways to play the game, arguing with the game’s biggest voices and even dodgy practices.

Elliot enjoyed a fierce rivalry with Collingwood counterpart Eddie McGuire, with the two regularly trading barbs in the media. 

Carlton were penalised for under-the-table payments to players under his leadership.

At the end of the 2002 season the AFL found the club had cheated the salary cap with ‘deliberate, elaborate and sophisticated’ measures during the 2000 and 2001 seasons.

The sport found Elliot had knowledge of and was complicit with the club’s cheating system. 

They were fined $930,00 and stripped of several draft picks as a result.  

Elliot enjoyed a fierce rivalry with Collingwood counterpart Eddie McGuire, with the two regularly trading barbs in the media

Elliot enjoyed a fierce rivalry with Collingwood counterpart Eddie McGuire, with the two regularly trading barbs in the media

'There is no doubt that this is the greatest club there ever was or ever will be. That's the humility I'm looking for,' he said after the club won the 1995 grand final

‘There is no doubt that this is the greatest club there ever was or ever will be. That’s the humility I’m looking for,’ he said after the club won the 1995 grand final

Elliot was also a hugely successful businessman, leading Foster’s Lager, Elders and Courage Brewing in the UK.

At his peak he was believed to be worth $100million and considered a crack at becoming Australia’s prime minister while acting as Liberal president. 

‘Running a big business is not the same as running a country, but they have a lot in common,’ Elliot said at the time.

Elliot famously had four rules for his children: They must vote Liberal, support Carlton and do their best, and anyone they marry must also support Carlton.



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