Port Adelaide legend Russell Ebert was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a form of cancer that affects the production and function of blood cells.
The 71-year-old’s diagnosis was confirmed by the club in a statement Wednesday afternoon, where he revealed he had already started intensive treatment.
“Russell and his family thank those who have already made contact to convey their support and best wishes,” the club’s statement read.
“He would like to especially thank the members and supporters of Port Adelaide Football Club for their wonderful support for so many years.
“The club asks everyone to respect the privacy of Russell and his extended family at this time so that they can focus on his treatment.”
Ebert is the most famous figure in the club’s rich history, having played 391 games for Port Adelaide between 1968 and 1985, before coaching the team for four years.
Ebert played in Port Adelaide’s premier teams in 1977, 1980 and 1981 and is a four-time Magarey medalist and six-time best and fairer club winner.
Ebert’s legacy was carried over to Port Adelaide by his son Brett, who played 166 games for the club, and his nephew Brad, who recently retired after 184 games for Port.