Brother of Gold Coast man Jake Ryan pleads for Qld Government to lift cap on funerals

The brother of Gold Coast man Jake Ryan, who was killed in a tragic accident in Italy, is pleading for the Queensland Government to increase the number of people who can attend funerals in the state.

Jake Ryan, who survived the 2002 Bali bombings, died after being hit by a train while out jogging in Noto on October 13.

Metricon Stadium has offered to host the funeral for the much-loved former Southport Sharks and Surfers Paradise Demons AFL player, but his devastated family said under the current COVID-19 restrictions only 100 people would be allowed to attend, despite the size of the stadium.


“Last week, Metricon Stadium reached out to the funeral director and offered us to use the stadium as a funeral venue which was fantastic, and we couldn’t have been happier,” Brother Mitch Ryan told Weekend Sunrise.

He said the family reached out to Queensland Health to request an exemption to have more than 100 people, but were refused.

“Unfortunately, we got a message coming back saying no, you can have the funeral at the stadium but you can only have 100 people.”

Mr Ryan said he was left shattered by the response, considering more than 30,000 people were allowed to gather at The Gabba for the AFL grand final.

“We thought that was a bit strange considering we had 30,000 people at The Gabba to watch the grand final last weekend,” he said.

“We have a stadium of similar size and we just want 500 people there that can easily socially distance… But the response is no, it’s a funeral, 100 people, bad luck.”

Mr Ryan said he is simply asking “for a bit of common sense”.

“Not just for us, for other families in Queensland who are mourning and going through loss who have venues that can have more than 100 people but have been told no, it makes no sense,” he said.

“I’ve reached out to our Premier via social media and have not had a response… I’ve been ignored.

“We really just want to see some common sense. It’s 500 people in a stadium to farewell a much loved man in the community “.