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‘Lost one of the best’: Devastation as former Suns academy coach dies in tragic holiday accident

Tributes have begun flowing after footballer Jake Ryan passed away in a tragic accident while on holiday in Europe earlier this week.
Tributes have begun flowing after footballer Jake Ryan passed away in a tragic accident while on holiday in Europe earlier this week.

The former Gold Coast Suns academy coach survived the 2002 Bali bombings, before passing nearly 18 years to the day of the traumatic event.

Ryan was out jogging in Italy when he was tragically hit by a train. The driver attempted to revive the 39-year-old but he died at the scene.

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Ryan, a talented footballer, played on the Gold Coast and represented Southport – but also featured in the VFL and in the WAFL.

“We are deeply saddened to hear that Jake Ryan has passed away,” Southport Sharks wrote on Facebook.

“We would like to express our sincere condolences to Jake’s family and friends.”

Ryan was a coach of the Gold Coast Suns Academy between 2012 and 2016.

On October 12, Ryan reflected on the Bali tragedy on Facebook, declaring he was “forever thankful” he was one of the lucky people to survive the incident.

A Facebook post written just days ago by Gold Coast Bali bombing survivor Jake Ryan.
A Facebook post written just days ago by Gold Coast Bali bombing survivor Jake Ryan.Source: Supplied

“Eighteen years ... a lifetime ago ... yet seems like yesterday,” he said.

“You reflect back and I just think how lucky we were to get home. Some weren’t.

“Our love, prayers, thoughts and support with you and your families today.

“For us lucky ones that got home ... forever thankful.

“Being on the trip I’m on at the moment is a perfect reminder of how lucky I am.”

Surfers Paradise held a get together on Wednesday afternoon to remember a “great club man and friend”.

“RIP to my friend Jake Ryan. Bali bombing survivor, footballer, man who lived his time to the fullest. His story was amazing. Lots of bro love for this guy and many big nights at the events we did together. Life cut too short,” Chris Helder wrote on Facebook.

“Sad day today as we lost one of the best! RIP great man Jake Ryan. Never met a bloke to live life harder or better than him,” Josh Willatt added.

Damn it all. More heavy hearts in football after the death of former Sandringham and Geelong VFL player Jake Ryan (the nephew of the great Sandy administrator Gerry Ryan). Jake had survived the Bali bombings. He died while holidaying in Italy, aged 39.

— Paul Amy (@PaulAmy375) October 14, 2020

Saddened to hear of the passing of Jake Ryan. An opponent on the field but a brilliant guy off the field. 2020 just gets worse and worse. RIP mate

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