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Covid Australia: Golfer breaching isolation sparked Victoria cluster which infected AFLs Ron Barassi

How a Covid-infected golfer who breached his 14-day isolation period to hit the course sparked Victoria’s birthday bash cluster that infected AFL legend Ron Barassi – as MORE footy icons test positive

  • Peter ‘Crackers’ Keenan celebrated 70th birthday with party for 130 last month
  • One guest had ‘played golf with partner who skipped 14-day isolation for game’
  • He sparked superspreader event that has seen at least 40 people Covid-infected
  • Ron Barassi is one victim and will now miss Demons’ Premiership celebrations 


An infected golfer who broke out of Covid-19 isolation to play with a guest who then attended Peter ‘Crackers’ Keenan’s 70th birthday party may have been the cause of the superspreader event.

At least 40 people out of the 130 at the Port Melbourne birthday party last month have now become infected, including AFL legend Ron Barassi, his wife Cheryl, and septagenarian footy veterans David McKay, Frank Davis and Shane McCarthy.

Barassi, 85 – who is only recently double-vaccinated – has now had to abandon plans to present the Melbourne Demons with their 2021 Premiership Cup in front of 40,000 adoring fans at the MCG on Sunday.

It’s claimed the infections all stem from the one guest that had earlier played with an infected golf partner who ignored his 14-day isolation period for the illicit round.

A golfer broke out of Covid isolation to play a guest at Peter ‘Crackers’ Keenan’s 70th birthday party, sparking the superspreader event that infected AFL legend Ron Barassi (pictured)

The partygoer, from Yarrawonga, then travelled to Port Melbourne for the birthday party while infected and only found out the following day, reports the Herald Sun.

Neither Barassi nor his wife has needed to be hospitalised since becoming infected but are said to be ‘poorly’ although bearing up well.

His personal assistant Rosemary Long said the veteran Demons hero was resting at home while his immune system battled the disease.

‘It is a bit of bad timing but he has to take care of himself and let his body work it out,’ she added. 

Party host Peter 'Crackers' Keenan (pictured) managed to avoid infection, but a member of his extended family is also said to be among the casualty list for the birthday bash

Party host Peter ‘Crackers’ Keenan (pictured) managed to avoid infection, but a member of his extended family is also said to be among the casualty list for the birthday bash

Party host Keenan managed to avoid infection, but a member of his extended family is also said to be among the casualty list for the birthday bash.

Other guests who escaped infection included Bernie Quinlan, Wayne Schimmelbusch and ex-St Kilda coach Stan Alves. 

‘As soon as I found out I was on the phone and checking with everyone to make sure if they weren’t feeling well to get tested,’ Keenan said in the wake of the outbreak.

‘I phoned Cheryl [Barassi] and she said she wasn’t feeling well, and on Monday she was positive. Ron also got tested. 

‘Some people haven’t got it but they’ve passed it on to family members.’

Neither Ron Barassi (pictured) nor his wife has needed to be hospitalised since becoming infected but are said to be 'poorly' although bearing up well.

His personal assistant Rosemary Long said the veteran Demons hero (pictured here in his heyday) was resting at home while his immune system battled the disease.

Neither Ron Barassi (left) nor his wife has needed to be hospitalised since becoming infected but are said to be ‘poorly’ although bearing up well. His personal assistant Rosemary Long said the veteran Demons hero (pictured right in his heyday) was resting at home while his immune system battled the disease

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk