Thursday night came the news that the former Australian football player Jake Ryan had passed away after being hit by a train on the Italian island of Sicily. Ryan turned 39 years old.
He and his girlfriend were on holiday on the island, when he was going out for a walk. On the trip, he allegedly wore headphones and did not hear a train coming when he passed a track.
According to the Australian website News, the driver tried to stop the train when he saw Ryan coming running – without success. The driver ran out to perform first aid, but his life could not be saved.
After the incident, an entire sports world is in shock. Ryan’s girlfriend, Kimberly Driedger, posted a heartbreaking goodbye on her Facebook profile to honor her late boyfriend.
– You were the sweetest, most caring, the truest gentleman of them all. You were so special. You showed me how to love again. I miss you. Thank you for blessing my soul with your love. They do not make many of your type, she wrote.
Ryan was one of the survivors of the horrific terrorist attack in Bali in 2002 – where he and his brother were trapped in the chaos. Several bombs went off in the city of Kuta and 202 people lost their lives.
Ryan was a beloved person in the Australian football community. He played in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia. In retrospect, he has worked as a coach at the Gold Coast Suns’ academy.
For the record, he played Australian football, ie the Rugby-like sport which in Australian folklore is called aussie rules «AFL» or footy.