Saturday 17 March 2018

Aussies want Croke Park match in tribute to Stynes

MELBOURNE wants to honour Jim Stynes with a tribute game in Croke Park.

Officials at Melbourne Football Club are keen to strengthen links with Ireland -- and believe that Jim Stynes' memory is the way to do this.

A proposal is now expected to be tabled in the coming weeks for a one-off international rules match that could be split between Dublin and Australia.

Melbourne president Don McLardy said there was support for the two-match series.

"There has been some talk about it. There is nothing formal about it yet,'' he said.

"But it's certainly one of the things that has been floated and it has got some merit. We have a couple of Irish guys that want to do something to commemorate Jim over there.''

The Australian Football League has yet to be consulted about the idea but sources here say that the GAA would be extremely interested.

The next scheduled international rules game is not until 2013 meaning that any tribute match is unlikely to be played before then.

"It's maybe a possibility this year but I think it would be too hard. It needs a lot of discussion,'' Mr McLardy said.

It's understood the AFL is considering naming an annual award after Mr Stynes for the player or players that do the most work in the community.

Mr Stynes' death from cancer last Tuesday has caused a public show of sympathy in Australia. There have also been calls to rename the Brownlow Medal -- the award for the best and fairest AFL player of the year which Mr Stynes himself won -- after the Dubliner.

Other ideas for tributes include erecting a statue on the Avenue of Legends at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds and even the renaming of Melbourne's West Gate Bridge.

The city is set to come to standstill tomorrow for the football legend's state funeral.

Dublin marked Mr Stynes' passing with a tribute before their league game with Donegal in Croke Park on Saturday.


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