Today, we lost one of the true gentlemen of this world, Jim Stynes. The former Melbourne great who laced his boots up in VFL/AFL264 senior games passed away after a battle with cancer at the age of 45. Far too young.
Born in Dublin in 1966, Stynes went on to have a great football career in addition to touching so many people’s lives outside of the sport, especially in his work with the youth.
Stynes the footballer did almost everything a player can ask to achieve.
A Brownlow Medal in ’91. A club champion four times. Twice selected in the All-Australian side – ’91 and ’93. A night premiership in the pre-season cup. A Leigh Matthews Trophy winner. A member of the Australian Football Hall of Fame and a member of the Melbourne Football Club Team of the Century.
From all the awards the ruckman received throughout his career, the most impressive aspect for me was his dependability. He still holds the record for consecutive games with 244. Toughness. Determination. A Class act.
If you were to ask around, you would not hear one – not one – bad word about Jim Stynes.
Jim Stynes was the Melbourne Football Club. His passion for the Demons moved him to become the Chairman and the person who would champion a revival of the struggling side.
Off-field, Stynes was once again held in the highest regard because of his charity work with The Reach Foundation.
His work was acknowledged several times including being named Victorian of the Year in 2001, ’03 and ’11. In 2007, Stynes was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia by the Queen.
Jim Stynes will be given a state funeral by the Victorian government. Tributes will flow for weeks to come, and so they should. Words will be conveyed, yet they will be incapable of entirely describing the great man.
Jim Stynes’ service to both the game of Australia rules football and the community will never be forgotten.