Jim Stynes to be honoured with statue
Tribute to Dublin-born Aussie Rules star to be erected at Melbourne Cricket Ground
Dublin-born Aussie Rules star, Jim Stynes, is to be honoured with a statue in Melbourne. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times
Jim Stynes was honoured by team mates during the 1999 round 1 of the AFL season between Melbourne Demons v Richmond Tigers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia. Photograph: Hamish Blair/Getty Images
Stynes photographed during training with the Australian International Rules team in October 2006. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Stynes, who enjoyed a 264-game career, died in 2012 after a long-battle with cancer.
Melbourne Cricket Club president Paul Sheahan said it was fitting the statue would be built exactly 30 years after the Gaelic footballer was recruited from Dublin.
“A true gentleman of the game, Stynes is an exceptional individual whose achievements as a non-Australian born player remain unmatched,” said Sheahan. “There is no doubt that he is one of the most extraordinary and inspiring figures in the history of Australian sport.”
Stynes was born in Dublin in 1966 and raised in Ballyroan in Rathfarnham before he moved to Australia when he was 18. He played 244 consecutive games from 1987-98 and became the only non-Australian AFL player to win the prestigious Brownlow medal.
In 2000, Stynes was included in Melbourne’s team of the century and was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2003.
Stynes was also involved in youth work and launched the Reach Foundation in 1994 which helped children to realise new opportunities and fulfil their potential.
Stynes will join cricket players Shane Warne and Neil Harvey, and footballers Norm Smith and John Coleman, in the series of statues featured on the Australia Post Avenue of Legends.
Australia Post managing director and CEO Ahmed Fahour said Stynes “was not only a great AFL champion, he was also an inspiration to many underprivileged and troubled youths during his career.