It’s been more than 10 years since Leo Barry Jnr retired from the Sydney Swans AFL side, but he’ll forever be a footy star in the eyes of his home town.
Growing up in Deniliquin — the son of Leo Snr and Judy Barry of Deniliquin — Mr Barry showed his footy talents as a Deniliquin Rams junior before taking his football career to new heights.
He joined the Swans in 1995, and remained one of the side’s key players right up until his retirement in 2009.
And he will forever be remembered for his match-saving mark in the 2005 AFL grand final.
Since retiring from football, Mr Barry has forged a career in investments, working at Merrill Lynch institutional equities business before joining fund manager Fairview Equity Partners as an executive director.
But he could not stay away from the Swans too long, and joined the football club’s board ahead of the 2020 season.
Mr Barry completed Years 7 to 10 at Deni High School before the Swans drafted him in 1994. He completed his senior high school years boarding at Saint Ignatius College in Riverview.
Mr Barry started his AFL career as a forward, before coach Rodney Eade sent the young gun to defence as an experiment in 2001. He quickly emerged as an elite full back, earning two All-Australian selections.
Mr Barry will share his experiences in football, the AFL and his life since retirement with his home town as this year’s Australia Day ambassador.