Stynes, (23 April 1966 – 20 March 2012) passed away at 8.20am this morning after a long battle with with brain cancer. He was just 45 years old and is survived by his wife Sam and children, Matisse and Tiernan.
Arriving in Australia at the age of 18 to play a new brand of football, Stynes went on to have a long and remarkable career on the field. Over a 12 year period he played 264 games with the Melbourne Football Club before retiring in 1998, the second most in club history. In 1991 he won the Brownlow Medal and remains to this day the only winner of that prestigious award to have been born outside Australia.
But as remarkable as he was on the field, the Jim Stynes that we saw off the field was better.
He co-founded the Reach Foundation, a charity that believes “every young person should have the support and self-belief they need to fulfil their potential and dare to dream” and worked tirelessly as a youth worker in Victoria. His work in this area was recognised by the State when he was named Victorian of the Year in 2003.
In 2008, with the club on hard times, he returned to the Melbourne Football Club as its president, working to galvanize its fan base and grow its membership.
In 2009 Stynes stepped back from his role from the club after it was revealed that he was being treated for a rare melanoma on his spine , subsequent tests of which revealed that it had spread to other parts of his body, including his brain.
It was a long and very public battle for the popular figure, one that he faced bravely and fought with dignity right to the end.
RIP Jim Stynes, 1966-2012
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