The death has taken place of Sean Wight, who played on the Kerry team that lost to Dublin in the 1982 All Ireland minor football final.
A noted high fielder, the Glasgow-born Listowel player went on to forge a career in Aussie Rules with the Melbourne Demons.
The first player to move to Australia as part of the ‘Irish experiment’, he played alongside Jim Stynes, blazing a trail for other Irish Gaelic Footballers to switch codes and move down under.
He played 150 times for Melbourne before retiring in 1995, and died at the age of 47 after a short battle with cancer.
Stynes, who is now President of Melbourne Demons and undergoing a personal battle with cancer himself, said, ‘It’s very sad. We’ve just lost a great man and a great teammate and a brother, son and a good friend.’
‘He is probably the most competitive and probably the greatest athlete that I played football with. He could have been anything, but he chose football. ‘He could have been a professional soccer player or he could have been a rugby player. There are so many sports that he was just an all-round athlete at’’ added Stynes before adding,
‘He could just do everything. Unfortunately, he had a body, and he did a knee when he was 19. In those days, when you did a knee, it was tough to get back from and most players never played again.’ ‘But he just kept putting himself out there and he accomplished great things.’
Melbourne CEO Cameron Schwab said: ‘This is a very sad time for Sean’s family and the Melbourne Football Club. To lose a great champion, a true pioneer, and a man of great courage at such a young age is both tragic and a great shock. ‘Our love and support go to his mother Peggy and sisters Fiona and Gwen. Theirs is the saddest loss.’