Statement by the Prime Minister and Minister for Sport on the passing of Jim Stynes
Australia has lost one of our sporting greats with the passing of Jim Stynes this morning, following his courageous battle with cancer.
As a sporting legend Jim inspired millions with his sportsmanship, making a lasting contribution to Australia’s game.
But he will always be remembered for the heroic and brave way in which he handled adversity – for this he will remain a legend.
Born and raised in Dublin, Jim moved to Australia in 1984 to play a foreign code, only to quickly master it.
Jim represented Melbourne Football Club for 264 AFL matches, winning his club’s best and fairest award four times and the Brownlow Medal once in 1991.
But these achievements are just one segment of his extraordinary life. Jim used the opportunity AFL gave him, to become someone who changed lives.
Through his youth organisation Reach, he touched the lives of thousands of young Australians, helping them to realise their full potential.
It was work close to his heart and work that he continued even in the face of his battle with cancer.
Jim was also a faithful servant of his beloved Melbourne Football Club.
He took on the Presidency when the club was at its lowest ebb and managed to shape a bright future and new direction for the organisation - for this they owe him a tremendous debt.
Above all, Jim was a loving husband and father who will be sorely missed by his wife, Sam, and their two children.
The thoughts of the nation are with them today as they grieve the loss of a wonderful man.