Australian football legend Jim Stynes ashes scattered in Wicklow
Anyone who has read Australian football superstar Jim Stynes’ new book, My Journey, will know the significance that the Wicklow Mountains held for him.
Melbourne FC reports Last Sunday, Jim’s family made the trek back to the Wicklow Mountains to scatter Jim’s ashes.
Sam Stynes and their two children, Matisse and Tiernan, were joined by family and friends for the ceremony.
“It was really quite beautiful. I think he'd be quite thrilled. Set free over his home,” Sam Stynes said in a radio interview .
Jim spoke of a particular run up the Wicklow Mountains to Sally Gap, where he had decided he would run until he knew what his limit was.
In My Journey, he describes his most memorable experience in the Wicklow Mountains, “I resolved to find my limit. It was a personal challenge, me against me. How much further could I run? My body might be exhausted by my mind could tell me to keep going.
“Our home was in Rathfarnham, near the foot of the Wicklow Mountains where winter would deliver bone-chilling temperatures and buffering icy winds.
“Realising my body was hurting; I would focus my mind on the next little target, the next small shrub or rock by the roadside.
Tricking the mind, maintaining the surrender. When you’re confronted with an overwhelming challenge, it can be broken down into small triumphs like that.”
The scattering of Jim’s ashes took place in an emotional ceremony, which surprisingly had a comedic twist.
"We walked down the side of the hill in all the long grass ... I said to Jim's dad and his brother we'd need a screwdriver to open the ashes,” Sam Stynes said.
"Along came a Swiss army knife, and then Pops (Jim’s father Brian) within 30 seconds had cut his finger, so there was blood everywhere and then Brian Jnr said I'll do it and took the knife - and almost cut the top of his finger off.
"So by that stage there is blood all over the container. Eventually we get the lid off, and the kids start scattering the ashes and a big gust of wind came and then the ashes blew back on everyone."
Club President Don McLardy, who was also present at the ceremony, laughed when telling Sam: "This is so Irish."
During his 264-game career with the Melbourne Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL) between 1987 and 1998, Stynes become the only non-Australian-born VFL/AFL player to win the prestigious Brownlow Medal, which he achieved in 1991. After his retirement he was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.