1966 - 2012http://www.saxton.com.au/jim-stynes/,
Jim Stynes OAM
1966 - 2012
It is with much sadness that we mourn the passing of Jim Stynes, an AFL legend and a great humanitarian, following a long and courageous battle with an aggressive form of cancer.
The 1991 Brownlow Medal winner, Jim Stynes was the Melbourne Football Club's Best and Fairest four times. His most extraordinary performance was to play an AFL record breaking 244 consecutive games between Round 17 in 1987 and Round 4 in 1998 when his hand was broken; a tribute to his guts, determination and commitment to fair play.
Despite his outstanding sports record, Jim was equally famous for his work with children.
Together with actor friend Paul Currie, Jim set up the Melbourne-based Reach Youth Foundation in 1994, a non-profit, non-denominational organisation dedicated to inspiring young people from all walks of life between eight and 18 years.
Jim Stynes helped realise the dreams of more than 100,000 young Australians. From the drug affected and homeless, to teenagers simply searching for direction, the organisation holds camps and workshops with the aim of supporting young people on their journey to find their own truth, and to follow their dreams. Reach achieves this by creating a 'safe space' for groups of young people to develop trust, openness and the freedom to express their concerns, perceptions, fears and aspirations and to recognise that they are not alone.
In recognition of his hard work and contribution to the wider community, Jim Stynes was named Victorian of the Year in 2003.
Most recently Jim assumed the presidency of his beloved Melbourne Demons Football Club in June of 2008. Driven by his passion for the red and blue, he vowed to turn around the once great club's fortunes and return the founding club of the AFL to its powerful best, both on and off the field.
In a statement, Melbourne FC president Don McLardy said: 'There are few places in Australia that have not heard or been touched by the legend of Jim Stynes - the affable Irishman who left his homeland to chase a dream, and succeeded beyond anyone's expectations.
'In the next few weeks, you will hear from many who will tell you about his magnificent playing record, and why Kevin Sheedy says he is the greatest story in the history of the AFL.
'You will also hear from many whose lives have been changed by Jim, mainly through contact with his incredible youth organisation Reach. Not just great achievers such as Jules Lund, Trisha Silvers and the like, but hundreds of young kids who openly say Jim Stynes 'changed my life'. Can there be a greater accolade than that?'
Jim Stynes is survived by his wife Sam, son Tiernan and daughter Matisse.
Those who would like to donate money in tribute to Jim can do so via Reach (www.reach.org.au) or the Peter Mac Cancer Foundation (www.petermac.org).
- The Team at Saxton
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