Friends, family, and former teammates pay tribute to Jake Ryan as more details emerge of his tragic vacation death.
The popular foot figure from Gold Coast was jogging in the Italian town of Noto on the island of Sicily when he was fatally struck by a train.
His death on Tuesday came nearly 18 years to the day he survived the 2002 Bali bombings.
“He was on a run,” his brother Mitch told 7NEWS.
“He did what he loved, stayed fit, ran around and traveled the world.”
It has been reported from Italy that Jake was wearing headphones during his morning run, which could have prevented him from hearing the train.
The train driver reportedly attempted to resuscitate the 39-year-old but his injuries were too severe.
Ryan, 39, who made headlines when he yelled at one of the Bali bombers in court, is now paying tribute.
Kimberly Driedger shared her heartbreak on Wednesday, saying Jake “showed her how to love again” while the couple toured Europe and North America together for two months.
“How do I say goodbye … see your face and hear your voice every day for the last 2 months … how do we come back to that?” Driedger wrote on Instagram.
“We should have so much more time together … to play another game of Go Fish. Spending Christmas together in Portugal. Laugh together and smile again.
“Mi Amor, please come back. I need you so that I can smile again. So that we can fulfill all the beautiful things that we talked about together.
“You were the sweetest, most considerate, and truest gentleman of all. You were so special
“You showed me how to love again. I miss you. My double rainbow. Thank you for blessing my soul with your love. They don’t do many of you. “
Meanwhile, his brother said Jake had enjoyed his life to the full.
“His whole life has been about squeezing every drop of the lemon,” Ryan told 7NEWS.
“And there was nothing left in it. He pressed everything. He did everything he wanted. “
Jake coached the Gold Coast Suns AFL club’s academy between 2012 and 2016 and was a prominent figure in the Australian Gold Coast rules football community.
Two of his former football clubs shared heartfelt messages on Wednesday evening.
“We are deeply sad to hear that Jake Ryan has passed away,” wrote his former club Southport Sharks on Facebook.
“We’d like to express our condolences to Jake’s family and friends.”
The Surfers Paradise Demons now called him a “great club man” and held a meeting for former teammates to remember their boyfriend.
Meanwhile, friends and former teammates flooded social media with emotional messages on Wednesday night, remembering Ryan as a champion who was enjoying life to the full.
“Sad day today when we lost one of the best! RIP big man Jake Ryan. I’ve never met a guy who has a harder or better life than him, ”wrote Josh Willatt on Facebook.
“RIP to my friend Jake Ryan. Survivor of the Bali bombing, footballer, man who enjoyed his time to the full. His story was incredible. Lots of love for this guy and lots of great nights at the events we did together. Life is too short, ”wrote Chris Helder.
“It’s sad to hear from Jake Ryan. An opponent on the field but a brilliant guy off the field. 2020 is getting worse and worse. RIP buddy, ”Leigh Hughes wrote on Twitter.
“Shocked to hear that we lost one of the most beautiful guys in the world today. You have enjoyed life to the fullest, you have been an inspiration to us all. We will miss you buddy !! “Nathan Partridge said.
Jake recently published another tribute on October 12, the anniversary of the attack, to the victims of the Bali bombing, from which he escaped with foot and splinter wounds.
“18 years ago – one life ago – seems like yesterday,” Jake wrote in the Post.
“You think back and I just think how lucky we were to get home.
“Our love, prayers, thoughts and support with you and your families today.
“Being on the journey I’m on right now is a perfect reminder of how lucky I am.”
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