Melbourne Stops to Remember Jim Stynes
27 March 2012 at 11:51 am
Jim Stynes is farewelled at a state funeral at St Paul's cathedral in Melbourne. Photo courtesy ABC News 24 live coverage.
Thousands of mourners and well wishers have gathered in Melbourne for the state funeral of philanthropist and football legend Jim Stynes.
The Melbourne Football Club great and Founder of the Reach Foundation was farewelled at St Paul's Cathedral with thousands also watching the service on a giant television screen at Federation Square in central Melbourne.
Roads around the Cathedral were closed for what is being described as one of the biggest funerals Melbourne has seen.
Forty five year old Stynes died last week after a three-year battle with cancer.
As well as his football career he was remembered for his profound service to the community through his youth charity, the Reach Foundation.
Jim Stynes and Paul Currie established Reach in 1994, and since then the organisation says it has impacted the lives of over 500,000 young Australians.
“From all walks of life, young people are inspired by their peers to believe that, no matter what their circumstances, they can achieve,” the Reach website says.
Thousands lined Melbourne's Fed Square to pay tribute to Jim Stynes. Photo courtesy ABC News 24 live coverage.
A message from his Reach colleagues and co-workers said: “Those of us who knew Jim will honour his legacy with the passion, honesty, courage and purpose that he inspired in us.”
Stynes came from Ireland as a Gaelic footballer in 1984 to Melbourne to try out Australian rules. He won the 1991 Brownlow Medal, four Melbourne best-and-fairest awards and was twice named in the All-Australian team.
Stynes' coffin was draped in an Australian flag and covered in cream roses. Stynes will be cremated and his ashes will be spread in Ireland.