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Jim Stynes comes home as wife Sam recalls battle with cancer

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Jim Stynes with his wife Sam

Jim Stynes with his wife Sam

Jim Stynes with his wife Sam and children Matisse and Tiernan

Jim Stynes with his wife Sam and children Matisse and Tiernan

Jim Stynes with his wife Sam and children Matisse and Tiernan

Jim Stynes with his wife Sam and children Matisse and Tiernan

Jim Stynes with his wife Sam

Jim Stynes with his wife Sam

Jim Stynes with daughter Matisse as he receives chemotherapy

Jim Stynes with daughter Matisse as he receives chemotherapy

Jim Stynes and his brother Brian, left, during  the National Anthems at the International Rules series in Melbourne in October 2011

Jim Stynes and his brother Brian, left, during the National Anthems at the International Rules series in Melbourne in October 2011

Jim Stynes gets applauded by Melbourne fans before at the Melbourne Cricket Ground

Jim Stynes gets applauded by Melbourne fans before at the Melbourne Cricket Ground

Jim Stynes
pictured with
Lance
Armstrong. The
cycling star
paid tribute to
the Dubliner
following his
death

Jim Stynes pictured with Lance Armstrong. The cycling star paid tribute to the Dubliner following his death

19 August 1984; Jim Stynes, Dublin. All-Ireland Minor Football Championship Semi-Final, Dublin v Derry, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

19 August 1984; Jim Stynes, Dublin. All-Ireland Minor Football Championship Semi-Final, Dublin v Derry, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Ray McManus

Jim Stynes (centre of back row) in a 1983 school basketball team photo

Jim Stynes (centre of back row) in a 1983 school basketball team photo

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27:  Melbourne players, wearing the club blazers that Stynes had presented to them only days before he died, form a guard of honour as the hearse drives down Swanston Street during the State Funeral held for former AFL player Jim Stynes at St Paul's Cathedral on March 27, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27: Melbourne players, wearing the club blazers that Stynes had presented to them only days before he died, form a guard of honour as the hearse drives down Swanston Street during the State Funeral held for former AFL player Jim Stynes at St Paul's Cathedral on March 27, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Scott Barbour

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27:  A woman looks on as she watches the television broadcast outside of the State Funeral held for former AFL player Jim Stynes at St Paul's Cathedral on March 27, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27: A woman looks on as she watches the television broadcast outside of the State Funeral held for former AFL player Jim Stynes at St Paul's Cathedral on March 27, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Scott Barbour

26/3/12 Memorial mass for Jim Stynes who died last week following his battle against cancer, at Ballyroan, Dublin. Picture:Arthur Carron/Collins

26/3/12 Memorial mass for Jim Stynes who died last week following his battle against cancer, at Ballyroan, Dublin. Picture:Arthur Carron/Collins

Sam, Matisse, and Tiernan Stynes leave St Paul’s catherderal Melbourne where his funeral mass was held

Sam, Matisse, and Tiernan Stynes leave St Paul’s catherderal Melbourne where his funeral mass was held

The decorated altar at the service for Jim Stynes in Dublin

The decorated altar at the service for Jim Stynes in Dublin

A tribute to Jim Stynes is played at the Croke Park after his death

A tribute to Jim Stynes is played at the Croke Park after his death

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Jim Stynes with his wife Sam

THE wife of Aussie Rules football legend Jim Stynes has told how they scattered his ashes in a beautiful ceremony in the mountains near his Dublin home.

Mr Stynes (45), who started out with the Dublin Minors in the 1980s, died after a public two-and-a-half year battle with cancer in Melbourne earlier this year.

His wife, Sam, and the couple’s two children, Matisse and Tiernan, along with Mr Styne’s family brought his ashes to the Sally Gap in the Wicklow Mountains at the weekend.

"They were scattered at Sally's Gap, every year when Jim would come home, he would run about 10km from where he lived in Rathfarnham up through there and then his mom Tess would pick him up,” Mrs Stynes said.

"It probably sounds a bit crazy but when we got in the car to come to the airport and the ashes were taken into the car and the luggage. It almost felt him happily leave, it is like I felt him leave and to bring him back it just all felt right. It was really quite beautiful. I think he'd be quite thrilled. Set free over his home,” she said in an interview on RTE’s John Murray Show.

Mrs Stynes said the ceremony had felt “so right” but had a humour to it that her late husband would have loved. “We walked down the side of the hill in all the long grass the bog, I said to Jim's dad and his brother we'd need a screwdriver to open the ashes,” she explained.

“Along came a Swiss army knife, and then Pops (Jim’s Dad) 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.”

She added: “The sun was out, it was very beautiful.”

Mrs Stynes said she had thanked everyone there “for helping shape the man that he was”.

They then marked the occasion at Ballyboden Football Club surrounded by the footballer’s close family and friends.

Mrs Stynes said it made her realise the youth foundation, Reach, her husband had set up in Australia was really an extension of the “human connection and support and enthusiasm” he had received in Ireland growing up.

Mr Stynes started out with an All-Ireland minor title with Dublin in 1984. After emigrating at the age of 18, he went on to play 264 games for Melbourne in a most impressive career in Australian Rules Football.