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My Journey : A Biography of an AFL Legend - Jim Stynes

My Journey

A Biography of an AFL Legend

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Published: 22nd August 2012
Format: ePUB

Unflinching in its honesty, My Journey is the extraordinary memoir of Jim Stynes: Irishman, footballer, Brownlow Medallist, Reach co-founder and former president of Melbourne Football Club whose very public battle with cancer touched the lives of everyone who knew him.

When Jim was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 43, he was given nine months to live. The diagnosis caught him by surprise – and he didn't have time for illness. He was a busy father, husband, brother, mentor and businessman.

Jim Stynes never took the easy road, on or off the field. He loved a challenge. He pushed himself, and worked hard to help others realise their potential. The same could be said about his cancer journey. Knowing his odds weren't good, Jim gave his all to trying to beat the disease. He embraced life, and made his journey public. His ability to use mind over matter, to never give in, to overcome pain, to believe in himself and his will to succeed gave him two extra years on the prognosis.

He worked hard to keep hope alive for himself and his family, and for other cancer sufferers too, defying expectations time and time again. Jim died on 27 March 2012, a month shy of his forty-sixth birthday. A state funeral was held at St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne, with thousands of mourners watching from Federation Square. A memorial service was also held at his local Ballyroan parish church in Dublin.

Jim kept diary notes throughout his battle with cancer, and spent many months talking about his life with his long-time friend, journalist Warwick Green. My Journey celebrates the legacy of Jim Stynes, offering an intimate portrait of a man learning to face his fears and get the most out of every single day.

'If you don't have cancer, cherish life. If you do, cherish it even more.' – Jim Stynes, My Journey

About the Authors

Jim Stynes grew up in Dublin playing Gaelic football, and was recruited by Melbourne at the end of 1984 as part of the 'Irish Experiment''. He would go on to win the game's highest individual award, the Brownlow Medal, in 1991, as well as four Melbourne best-and-fairest awards. His 264-game career included a record streak of 244 consecutive matches. Jim was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia, and was twice named Victorian of the Year for his work with Reach, a foundation he established to help young people fulfil their potential. He took over the presidency of the Melbourne Football Club in 2008. Jim died in March 2012 after a very public journey with cancer that lasted almost three years.

Warwick Green became a mate of Jim Stynes when they were studying at teachers' college together in 1985. Warwick played a handful of games for St Kilda. Warwick is a sports journalist with the Herald Sun, and has been sports editor of the Sunday Age, The Age and the Sunday Herald Sun. He lives in Melbourne with his wife and three children.




Very happy

Barham, NSW


My Journey Jim Styne


Inspiring read about courage, strength and love, highly recommended and I am definitely not a footy fan.

Pleasant Hills NSW


My Journey

4.5 2


A Note from the Writer

I first met Jim Stynes when we were both 18-year-old students at the now defunct teachers' college in Glenferrie Road, Melbourne. There must have been shared lectures along the way, but most of the memories from those days are of playing pool, table tennis matches, kicking the footy on the college lawn, organising parties and talking about girls.

We were both playing football in the VFL under-19s at the time – Jim was with Melbourne, I was with St Kilda – and one day we lined up against each other in the ruck. We had to look away at centre bounces because we kept wanting to burst into laughter.

One of my fondest memories is of travelling to Dublin and celebrating my 23rd birthday with the Stynes family, before driving through the north and west of the country with Jim, his brother Brian and friends. We became great mates. I was a groomsman at his wedding and he was godfather to my two oldest children.

When Jim was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, his family and friends were stunned but we all felt certain that he would overcome the disease, just like he had met every other challenge in his remarkable life. Jim knew that the media would be fascinated with how he dealt with cancer and decided to make that journey very public, but on his terms. He hoped that his story might help others who had cancer, particularly those who did not have the support or the resources or the resolve that he did.

Months later on a bleak and wintry afternoon, Jim became emotional as he lay in a darkened room in Epworth Hospital and spoke about the diary notes he had been diligently keeping on his laptop. He hoped to publish the story of his journey and wanted to know if I could help him turn those notes into a book.

After that, we tried to catch up once a week, sometimes discussing life and its meaning, other times just hanging out and talking sparingly because his health was poor or his memory failing. As was Jim's way, he would push and prod to make sure the book was the best it could be. To that end, Jim's family, friends and medical team were gracious and generous in making sure the whole story emerged.

I feel blessed to have spent that time with Jim.

Warwick Green

ISBN: 9781921901140
ISBN-10: 1921901144
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 22nd August 2012
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.8 x 16.3  x 3.5
Weight (kg): 0.74
Edition Number: 1