AFL Legend John Kennedy Snr dies aged 91

John Kennedy Snr has passed away aged 91. Michael Dodge/Getty Images

AFL Legend John Kennedy Snr. has died peacefully aged 91.

Kennedy, a Hawthorn Football Club icon, won four best and fairest awards as a player, before coaching the club to its first three premierships in 1961, 1971 and 1976.

"It is with deep regret, that our great leader and contributor, John Kennedy Snr; player, coach and educator, has left us," said Hawks president Jeff Kennett in a club statement. "He set and lived the standards that are the culture of the family club. John will live on within the Hawthorn Football Club forever.

"His booming voice will forever echo in the corridors of the football club and the legend of the man in the brown overcoat, with a heart of gold, will be passed down from generation to generation of Hawthorn family."

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan also heaped praise on the recently named 'AFL Legend,' describing him as a humble man who achieved everything in the game.

"He was always fair, but strong and direct in his assessment of people and their qualities and contribution, while remaining modest around his own vast contribution to the game," McLachlan said. "The Kennedy family continues to leave an enormous mark on our game's history and we are thankful we had the privilege of John being involved in our game.

"When I visited him at his home earlier this year to talk about Legend status, he listened politely for a few minutes to my attempts to eulogise his career and time in the game, but he couldn't wait to turn the conversation away from himself and to how Hawthorn might go this year, and his thoughts on what 'Clarko' would do next to surprise the competition and lift the Hawks back up the ladder."