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‘A shining comet that soared’: Family’s heart-breaking tribute after Jacinda Barclay’s sudden death

Jacinda Barclay’s family has released a heart-breaking statement, saying the cross-code pioneer will be remembered as a “shining comet” and a “beacon for all women in high profile sports”.
Jacinda Barclay’s family has released a heart-breaking statement, saying the cross-code pioneer will be remembered as a “shining comet” and a “beacon for all women in high profile sports”.

Tributes from across the globe flowed on Wednesday for Barclay, who this week passed away at the age of 29.

A long-time Australian baseball representative and a championship-winning quarterback in America’s Legends Football League, Barclay then linked up with the Giants for the inaugural AFLW season.

After being drafted out of the UNSW-ES Bulldogs with Pick 65 in 2016, Barclay kicked 11 goals from 23 games across four seasons for the Giants.

Preliminary Final

In a statement, the Barclay family said Jacinda inspired many to be great while staying “humble and proud”.

Jacinda Barclay was a foundation Giants player. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Jacinda Barclay was a foundation Giants player. Picture: Phil HillyardSource: News Corp Australia

“It is with deep regret and sadness that the Barclay Whanau (family) announces the passing of our beautiful and beloved daughter, Jacinda Hannah Barclay,” the statement read.

“She was a shining comet that soared through this world casting her radiant light of love on all she met.

“Though that comet has now shattered into a million pieces, the memory of it will remain a beacon for all women in high profile sports to strive to excel, to dare to be great while staying humble and proud.

“The Whanau request that your respect out privacy at this sad time.”

The Giants also paid tribute to Barclay, saying her “spirit and infectious personality” made her one of the club’s most popular players.

“Jacinda was a much-loved member of the Giants family and we are all devastated by her passing,” Giants chief executive Dave Matthews said.

Jacinda Barclay was drafted by the GWS Giants in 2016. Picture: Mark Evans
Jacinda Barclay was drafted by the GWS Giants in 2016. Picture: Mark EvansSource: News Corp Australia

“Jacinda gave up a great deal to follow her sporting dreams around the world and we are grateful that she called our club home for four years.

“As an inaugural Giants AFLW player, Jacinda was a vital part of our club. More than that though, Jacinda’s spirit and infectious personality made her a popular and unforgettable member of the Giants family. She will always be a part of our club.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with Jacinda’s family and friends during this extremely tough time.”

AFL head of women’s football Nicole Livingstone said she and the league were deeply saddened to hear of Barclay’s passing.

Jacinda Barclay was drafted by the GWS Giants. Picture: Mark Evans
Jacinda Barclay was drafted by the GWS Giants. Picture: Mark EvansSource: News Corp Australia

“There are few words that we can express at this time, other than to convey our sadness and sincerest condolences to the Barclay family,” Livingstone said.

“Jacinda’s loss will be taken very hard by so many people within our game across all levels.

“On behalf of the AFL, I would like to express my deepest compassion to the Barclay family, friends and colleagues.”

Former Giant Phoebe McWilliams, who shared the same forward 50 with Barclay, said her teammate was “such a character”.

“Unpredictable, funny and a teammate who always had your back. She had a heart of gold and was always smiling and making you laugh. I’m so sad to hear she is no longer with us. Thinking of her family and friends and everyone at the @GWSGIANTS,” McWilliams wrote on Twitter.

Cinda was such a character. Unpredictable, funny and a teammate who always had your back. She had a heart of gold and was always smiling and making you laugh. I’m so sad to hear she is no longer with us. Thinking of her family and friends and everyone at the @GWSGIANTS

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