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Jim's family pilgrimage home with star's ashes

THE family of the late Jim Stynes will travel to Ireland after his funeral to spread his ashes in his hometown.

THE Australian Rules legend (45) died on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer and his wife Sam is expected make the trip to Dublin along with her children Matisse and Tiernan.

According to reports in Australia, Mr Stynes requested his ashes be scattered in Rathfarnham, Dublin, the area he left as an 18 year old in 1985.

A memorial Mass will be held for him in Ballyroan Parish Church in Dublin on Monday.

Mr Stynes started his glittering sporting career in 1984, winning an All-Ireland Minor medal with Dublin before playing 264 games for Melbourne in the AFL.

GAA President Christy Cooney and the captain of the 1984 All-Ireland winning minor team, Paul Clarke, will attend the funeral in Melbourne, which takes place at midnight Irish time on Monday.

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a series of scholarships in Jim Stynes' name.

In partnership with the AFL, there will be 37 Jim Stynes scholarships each year, corresponding with the number the Aussie Rules legend wore on his back during his playing days.


"We're holding up 37 scholarships a year for young kids who come from indigenous or multicultural backgrounds or suffer from disadvantage and need a leg up in life," Ms Gillard said.

"These scholarships will build on the remarkable work that is done at Reach by helping each recipient achieve their education, community or sporting goal."

Meanwhile, the Aussie Rules star who was sacked after attacking Jim Stynes on Australian radio, might also be dropped by his club.

Jason Akermanis said Mr Stynes was "a nasty man in his day" and questioned whether he deserved a state funeral.

Mr Akermanis subsequently apologised but has faced a massive backlash following his ill-timed comments. He has been sacked from his job as a pundit on a Queensland radio station.

Now it has emerged that the Aussie Rules team he plays for are considering dropping him from their opening game this weekend. Akermanis (35) was due to line out for Moonee Valley AFC but sponsors are discussing whether to axe the ageing star.