Stynes in 2008
|Full name||James Stynes|
|Date of birth||23 April 1966|
|Place of birth||Dublin, Ireland|
|Date of death||20 March 2012 45)(aged|
|Place of death||St Kilda, Victoria, Australia|
|Original team(s)||Ballyboden St Enda's|
|Height||199 cm (6 ft 6 in)|
|Weight||99 kg (218 lb)|
|Representative team honours|
|International team honours|
|1987–88, 1998||Australia||5 (42pts)|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1998.
2 State and international statistics correct as of 1998.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
James Stynes OAM (23 April 1966 –20 March 2012) was an Irish-born footballer who converted from Gaelic football to Australian rules football. Playing for the Melbourne Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL), he went on to become one of the game's most prominent figures, breaking the record for most consecutive games of VFL/AFL football (244) and winning the sport's highest individual honour, the Brownlow Medal, in 1991. Off the field, he was a notable AFL administrator, philanthropist, charity worker and writer.
This section relies largely or entirely on a single source . (June 2018)
During his 264-game career playing for the Melbourne Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL) between 1987 and 1998, Stynes became the first and only non-Australian-born VFL/AFL player to win the Brownlow Medal, which he achieved in 1991.
After his retirement he was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame. Stynes was quite famous in both Australia and Ireland as a result of his involvement in the Melbourne Football Club's ambitious international recruitment program (now known as the "Irish experiment"). Born in Dublin Ireland, where he was a promising Gaelic footballer, Stynes made an ambitious move to Australia at the age of 18 following his side's win in the 1984 All-Ireland Minor Football Championship.
Debuting in the Australian Football League in 1987, he played a league record 244 consecutive games between 1987 and 1998 as a mobile ruckman. Along with his Brownlow Medal, his Australian Rules achievements included the Leigh Matthews Trophy, two time All-Australian team selection, a Grand Final appearance in 1988 and four club trophies for Melbourne. He also represented Victoria in interstate football matches, and both Australia and Ireland in international rules football, a hybrid of Gaelic football and Australian rules football.
Following his football career, Stynes focused on youth work using his profile to launch the Reach Foundation, which he co-founded in 1994. As a result of his work with young people in Victoria he was named Victorian of the Year twice, in 2001 and 2003, and with the expanded profile of Reach nationally, awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2007.
Stynes also served as president of the Melbourne Football Club from 2008 and was involved in fundraising efforts which brought the club out of debt. In 2009, Stynes was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma and continued to work during his treatment for brain metastasis. He died in March 2012 and was honoured by a state funeral held at St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne on 27 March 2012.
Stynes was born in Dublin, Ireland to a Roman Catholic family,the eldest son of Brian and Teresa Stynes, one of six siblings. He grew up in Rathfarnham.
He attended Ballyroan Boys National School.He began playing Gaelic football at the age of eight. From age nine, he played at Ballyboden St Enda's at under 11s level. He attended high school at De La Salle College, Churchtown, where he played rugby union while continuing to play Gaelic football for his club alongside his younger brother, Brian.
His first exposure to Australian rules football was watching the 1980 film The Club on television. Stynes represented Dublin and in 1984 at the age of eighteen, was on Dublin's winning side in the All-Ireland Minor Football Championship.
Stynes aspired to a college education; however, he lacked the means and was earning just $10 a week delivering newspapers.
Later in his life he graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science degree and a Diploma in Youth Work from RMIT University, as well as a Bachelor of Education degree from Deakin University. He was later awarded with the honorary degree of Doctor of the University from the Australian Catholic University.
In 1984 Stynes responded to an advertisement in his local paper placed by the Melbourne Football Club that offered two scholarships all expenses paid to play football and attend university in Victoria, Australia. Applicants were required to be under 18, over 183 cm and at county standard.
Tall and slim, Stynes was selected, along with James Fahey and brought to Victoria to undergo a crash course in Australian Rules and signed a two-year contract, hoping to use the money to fund his way through college. Stynes was promised accommodation with an additional $60 a week, clothing and $50 a game. He arrived in Australia on 7 November 1984.
Stynes debuted for the Melbourne under 19s team in 1985 and finished the season runner-up in the best and fairest.Ray Jordon, a coach who was experienced with talented juniors, worked intensively with Stynes and he was sent to Victorian Football Association's Prahran Football Club to compete at senior level.
In 1987 he played in a night premiership side. The Melbourne coaching panel's perseverance with him paid off when Stynes made his senior debut for Melbourne in 1987 at Waverley Park against the Geelong Football Club.
He was dropped after a poor performance; however, he returned to the senior side later in the season against the Brisbane Bears. In the 1987 preliminary final, Melbourne was leading Hawthorn as the final siren sounded, when Stynes made the mistake of running across a mark, which resulted in a free for the opposition. His error resulted in a 15-metre penalty (it changed to 50-metres in 1990) which Gary Buckenara goaled after the final siren for a two-point win. [ citation needed ]The next year, Melbourne made the Grand Final. Despite being beaten by 96 points, Stynes was voted Melbourne's best player of the match.
Stynes' best year came in 1991, playing a consistent season he became favourite to win the Brownlow Medal and did so with 25 five votes clear of any other player. In doing so he became the first (and so far only) overseas-born player to win the award. Along with the Brownlow he was also awarded the AFL Players Association MVP award and was selected in the All-Australian team and won his first best and fairest at Melbourne. Media commentators noted that Stynes had used his extraordinary endurance to redefine the role of the professional ruckman. While many of his opponents were over 2 metres tall, Stynes played in the style of a tall ruck rover. Instead of focusing on hit outs and play in bursts, he ran the whole game gaining possession across the whole ground. [ citation needed ]This was a model of play which many other mid-sized ruckmen such as Geelong's John Barnes were able to successfully follow.
An exceptional run of consecutive games which had begun in Round 18 of 1987almost ended with a severe rib injury in 1993 Stynes sustained from a collision with teammate David Neitz in a match against North Melbourne Football Club. He was treated at Epworth Hospital for a compound rib fracture. Despite being ruled out by medical officers for six weeks, he convinced his coach Neil Balme to pass him in the club fitness test and wore a chest guard in order to play the following Friday night.
Stynes finished the season with his consecutive games record unblemished and achieved All-Australian selection for the second time.In 1994, he suffered a medial ligament tear, but continued to play through it, going on to string together three fine seasons between 1995 and 1997 in which he won consecutive club champion awards. In round 9 of 1996, Stynes played his 205th consecutive game, breaking the record held by Jack Titus since 1943.
Stynes broke his hand early in the 1998 season, effectively ending his streak of consecutive games finally at 244. He retired from professional football at the conclusion of the season, having played a total of 264 AFL games all at Melbourne, placing him second on the club's all-time games tally.
|Led the league after season and finals|
|Season||Team||No.||Games||Totals||Averages (per game)|
|Brownlow Medal votes|
|Green / Bold = Won|
In 1994, Stynes co-founded (with film director Paul Currie)The Reach Foundation and became a prominent youth worker in Victoria.
In addition to Reach, Stynes worked on government advisory boards including the 1997 Victorian Government Suicide Task Force and the Federal Minister For Youth's Youth Advisory Consultative Forum Committee.[ citation needed ]
Stynes authored several books. His written works include two autobiographies: My Journey (2012) with Warwick Green and Whatever It Takes (1996) with Jim Mainalong with children's self-help books co-written by Dr Jon Carnegie including Heroes (2003) and Finding Heroes (2006).
In 2008 Stynes began expressing an interest in becoming chairman. In June 2008, Melbourne's chairman, Paul Gardner, stepped down as president to make way for Stynes.
His early-stated main goal at this stage was to increase the Melbourne membership number – especially the junior membership base as stated on The Footy Show on 12 June 2008. Shortly following his election he declared his staunch stance against any proposed relocation of the club to the Gold Coast or elsewhere.
In March 2011, Stynes met Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in Kerang, teaching him basic Australian rules football skills.
In December 2011, Stynes handed his #11 guernsey to new recruit Mitch Clark.In February 2012, Stynes stepped down from the presidency of Melbourne, citing a desire to devote his energies towards his family and wellbeing. He was succeeded by his vice-president, Don McLardy.
The Jim Stynes Medal was named in Stynes's honour and first awarded in 1998 to the best Australian player in the International Rules series. The Jim Stynes Cup (also known as the Jim Stynes trophy) was named in Stynes' honour and awarded to the winner of the inaugural International Australian Football Youth Tournament.
In 2000, Stynes received an Australian Sports Medal,and was named in Melbourne Football Club's Team of the Century. In 2001, he received the Centenary Medal "for establishing and leading a Reach organisation for youth development", and was named Victorian of the Year.
In 2003, Stynes was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame and was once again named Victorian of the Year.[ citation needed ] In 2006, during the redevelopment of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, a new corporate dining and function room in level 2 of the Olympic Stand was named the "Jim Stynes Room" in honour of Stynes.
In 2007, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his work with youth and contribution to Australian rules football.
Stynes was named Melbournian of the Year for 2010 for his Reach Foundation work.He was named a Doctor of the University by the Australian Catholic University in recognition of his social work.
On 2 July 2009, Stynes held a media conference to inform the public that he had developed cancer. A lump in his back was shown to be melanoma and tests revealed that his cancer had metastasised, i.e. spread to other regions in his body.Stynes intended to make clear that he was not stepping down from his role as President of the Melbourne Football Club but instead just taking a break to seek treatment.
On 4 April 2010 it was revealed that his condition had worsened and three days later he had surgery for brain metastasis.He continued to work during his treatment and participated in the filming of a television documentary about his life and his battle with cancer "Every Heart Beats True" produced by friends Jules Lund and Reach co-founder Paul Currie which aired on 19 September 2010 on the Nine Network.
Stynes died at his home in St Kilda on 20 March 2012, aged 45.He was cremated, and his ashes were scattered at a "treasured spot" he chose before he died.
Ted Baillieu, the Premier of Victoria described Stynes as "an exceptional Victorian", and later offered a state funeral to Stynes' family, which was accepted.
The memorial was held at St Paul's Cathedral (an Anglican cathedral, although Stynes was Roman Catholic) in central Melbourne on 27 March 2012, with the service shown on screen at Federation Square.
Former teammate and captain Garry Lyon gave an emotional tribute to Stynes on The Footy Show saying "Jimmy refused to let the game define who he was. It was just a part of him and it allowed us to marvel at his determination, unwavering self-belief, resilience, strength, skill, endurance and courage" and that his good friend "was secure enough to know that displaying vulnerability can be a strength and not a weakness".
A moment of silence was observed at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the day of Stynes' death, and both the Melbourne Football Club and the Casey Scorpions, its VFL - affiliate plan to commemorate Stynes at their first home games in 2012.
At the launch of the 2012 Australian Football League season, both Stynes' replacement as president of the Melbourne Football Club, Don McLardy, and the AFL's chief executive officer, Andrew Demetriou, acknowledged his contribution to football in Australia.
A minute's silence was observed before the season-opening Sydney Derby between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and Sydney Swans.
A commemoration was held prior to Dublin's NFL match against Donegal,both of which were held on the Saturday after Stynes' death.
The Jim Stynes Achievement Scholarships, a $3 million AUD 5-year partnership with the Australian government, Reach Foundation and Australian Football League for children of indigenous or multicultural backgrounds, or from disadvantaged backgrounds was announced following Stynes' death.
Stynes' family has a strong history in Gaelic football. His uncle Joe Stynes was an All-Ireland Gaelic footballer with Dublin (1923).His younger brother Brian won an All-Ireland with Dublin (1995). Jim played against Brian in the International Rules Series against Ireland many times. Brian followed Jim to play professional Australian Rules at Melbourne; however, he returned to Ireland having played just 2 senior games in 1992.
Another younger brother, David, also played both Gaelic football and Australian rules, albeit at an amateur level, having played in the Ireland national Australian rules football team. He was the first player to win the cup twice, being a member of the winning team in the 2002 International Cup and 2011 International Cup.His cousin, Chris Stynes, is a former Major League Baseball utility player.
Jim Stynes and his wife Samantha had a daughter, Matisse, and a son, Tiernan.
James Albert Hird is a former professional Australian rules football player and the former senior coach of the Essendon Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL).
Ronald Dale Barassi Jr. is a retired Australian rules football player and coach. During a long and decorated career, Barassi has been one of the most important figures in the history of Australian football. His father Ron Barassi Sr., also a prominent Australian rules footballer, was killed at Tobruk during World War II. The young Barassi spent his latter teenage years living with Norm Smith, coach of the Melbourne Football Club and a former teammate of his father.
Jeffrey Newman "Jeff" White is an Australian rules footballer who had a distinguished career in the Australian Football League (AFL) spanning 14 years. He played most recently and notably for the Melbourne Football Club, following a move from the Fremantle Dockers at the end of 1997. He was Melbourne's first-choice ruckman for a decade, relying on his key attributes of athleticism and durability. He was an All-Australian in 2004, and was selected for Victoria several times. He was an important member of the Melbourne sides which made the 2000 AFL Grand Final and qualified for six finals series from 1998 to 2006.
Matthew James Lloyd is a former professional Australian rules footballer, who played for the Essendon Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL).
Brent Harvey, often known by his nickname "Boomer", is a former Australian rules footballer who played for the North Melbourne Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). He holds the record for most matches played by an individual in VFL/AFL history, breaking Michael Tuck's previous VFL/AFL record in 2016.
Jobe Watson is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Essendon Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). Watson, the son of three-time Essendon premiership champion Tim Watson, was drafted by Essendon under the father–son rule in the 2002 national draft, and went on to become one of the best midfielders of the modern era. A dual All-Australian and three-time Crichton Medallist, he captained Essendon from 2010 to 2015, and was the face of the Essendon playing group during the most turbulent period in the club's history.
The Keith 'Bluey' Truscott Trophy is an Australian rules football award presented annually to the player(s) adjudged the best and fairest at the Melbourne Football Club throughout the Victorian Football League/Australian Football League (VFL/AFL) season. The Melbourne Football Club was established in 1858 and was a foundation member of the Victorian Football Association, playing in the league from 1877 to 1896. After the formation of the Victorian Football League in 1896, Melbourne joined the league as a foundation club the next year and has competed in the league ever since. The inaugural Melbourne best and fairest winner was Allan La Fontaine in 1935, and he retained it the following season. The award was known as the Melbourne best and fairest until it was renamed in 1943 in honour of Keith 'Bluey' Truscott, a former dual premiership player and World War II fighter ace killed in service in 1943.
Dane Swan is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Collingwood Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). Swan was drafted with pick 58 in the 2001 AFL draft, and made his debut in his second season. Despite having a slow start to his career, being unable to hold down a spot in the side for the bulk of his first three seasons, Swan has since become recognised as one of the greatest midfielders in the modern era. Since his breakout season in 2007, Swan has become a premiership player, a Brownlow Medallist, a three-time Copeland Trophy recipient, and a five-time All-Australian, and in 2010, won the Leigh Matthews Trophy as the league's most valuable player. Known as a prolific ball-winner, Swan averaged almost 27 disposals per game over his career. Swan was runner-up in the 2017 I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, on Network Ten. In 2021, Swan joined Jase & PJ radio show as a weekly guest contributor.
Beau Waters is a former professional Australian rules footballer and vice-captain of the West Coast Eagles in the Australian Football League (AFL). Originally from the Happy Valley Football Club, South Australia, he played for the West Adelaide Football Club in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) before being recruited to West Coast with the 11th pick overall in the 2003 National Draft. Waters made his senior debut in 2004, and has played a total of 120 games for the club, mainly as a defender, including the 2006 premiership. He was also in the All-Australian team in 2012, on a half-back flank. Waters' career has been plagued by injury.
Samuel Mitchell is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Hawthorn Football Club and the West Coast Eagles in the Australian Football League (AFL). He is currently serving as the head of development with the Hawthorn Football Club and head coach of Hawthorn's VFL affiliate team, the Box Hill Hawks.
The International Rules Series is a senior men's international rules football competition between the Australia international rules football team and the Ireland international rules football team.
The Irish Experiment is the popular name for the interest, primarily from VFL/AFL clubs, in bringing Irish Gaelic footballers to Australia to play Australian rules football professionally. The AFL's focus on Gaelic footballers is due to the similarities between the sports.
Michael Quinn is a Gaelic footballer for the Killoe Young Emmets club and the Longford county team, and is also a former professional Australian rules footballer with Essendon Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL).
Nathan Fyfe is a professional Australian rules footballer playing for the Fremantle Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). He received a nomination for the 2010 AFL Rising Star award in round 9 of the 2010 season. Fyfe is a dual Brownlow Medallist, dual Leigh Matthews Trophy recipient, three-time All-Australian and three-time Doig Medallist. He has served as Fremantle captain since the 2017 season.
Zach Tuohy is a professional Australian rules footballer playing for the Geelong Football Club in the Australian Football League. He previously played for the Carlton Football Club from 2010 to 2016. Tuohy grew up in Ireland and played Gaelic football before making a code switch to Australian rules football.
Max Gawn is a professional Australian rules footballer playing for the Melbourne Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). A ruckman, 2.08 metres tall and weighing 109 kilograms (240 lb), Gawn is capable of contributing in both the ruck and forward line. A basketballer and rugby union player at a young age, he pursued his career in Australian rules football and was drafted to the Melbourne Football Club with the thirty-fourth selection in the 2009 AFL draft. He made his AFL debut in the 2011 AFL season. Knee and hamstring injuries hampered his first four seasons in the AFL before he moved into the number one ruck position at Melbourne in 2015 along with All-Australian selection in 2016. Gawn was named as Melbourne's captain at the start of the 2020 AFL season.
David Stynes is a former Gaelic footballer and Australian rules footballer.
The 2008 Melbourne Football Club season was the club's 109th year in the VFL/AFL.
The 2013 Australian Football League season was the 117th season of the elite Australian rules football competition and the 24th under the name 'Australian Football League', having switched from 'Victorian Football League' after 1989.
The 2014 Australian Football League season was the 118th season of the elite Australian rules football competition and the 25th under the name 'Australian Football League', having switched from 'Victorian Football League' after 1989.
He has a cousin, Jim Stynes, who plays for Melbourne
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jim Stynes .|