A much-loved Gold Coast man who survived the 2002 Bali bombings, has died while travelling in Europe.
Jake Ryan is understood to have been killed while out running in Italy on Tuesday.
Jake was a well known figure in Gold Coast AFL circles, having played for both the Southport Sharks and Surfers Paradise Demons.
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He later continued his AFL career in Victoria.
“We are deeply saddened to hear that Jake Ryan has passed away,” The Southport Sharks posted on Facebook.
The Surfers Paradise Demons described his death as ‘devastating’, saying he was a ‘great club man’.
“Our thoughts go out to the Ryan family. Rest in Peace Jake.”
The club has invited friends to the Benowa Tavern this afternoon to share a beer in Jake’s memory.
Jake was with other members of the Southport Sharks when terrorists targeted the Sari Club in 2002.
Teammate Billy Hardy was among those who died in the attack.
He reflected on the 2002 tragedy in a social media post on Monday, the 18th anniversary of the attack.
“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.
“‘Being on the trip I’m on at the moment is a perfect reminder of how lucky I am. Why you have to have a crack everyday, do as much as you can, and live as much of a life as you can for the ones who lost theirs.”
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18 years.. a lifetime ago.. yet seems like yesterday.. you see pics like this and 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.. Why you have to have a crack everyday, do as much as you can, and live as much of a life as you can for the ones who lost theirs..thinking of you all from over here and very lucky to be here with some special people today @nicholas_james84 @amytansmith #balibombings #bali #indonesia #goldcoast #queensland #australia #lucky #thankful ❤️🙏🏻
His brother Mitch says he is absolutely heartbroken, describing Jake as as ‘1st hero and 1st best mate.’
“He will be sorely missed. A great brother, a great son for Danny and Leanne, and a loving uncle to Ted. He lived life as big as he could, and did everything his way. I love you mate. I’m sure you’ll always still be there for me,” he wrote on Facebook.
We are deeply saddened to hear that Jake Ryan has passed away. Jake played for Southport Sharks in the early 2000s….
With the devastating news of the loss of a great club man and friend Jake Ryan we invite anyone who wants to be around…