Disturbing new details about death of popular footy coach

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Jake Ryan, pictured here before his tragic death.
Jake Ryan died in Italy after he was hit by a train. Image: Facebook

Jake Ryan’s mother has provided devastating new details about the circumstances surrounding his death after the popular Gold Coast footy coach died in Italy.

Ryan, who worked as a coach at the Gold Coast Suns academy from 2012-2016, died in Noto on the Italian island of Sicily after he was hit by a train.

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The 39-year-old was out for a run and was believed to be wearing headphones when he was struck.

The train driver reportedly got out and tried to provide assistance, but couldn’t save Ryan.

Ryan’s mother Leanne has now revealed more details about the tragic accident, saying her son was aware the train was coming but was clipped by some steps on the side of it.

“From what we understand, he was off the road and it wasn’t a tunnel or anything, it was under a road and it was quite normal to duck through there,” Mrs Ryan told Gold Coast radio station Hot Tomato on Wednesday.

Jake Ryan, pictured here in Italy before his tragic death.
Jake Ryan was on the trip of a lifetime around North America and Europe. Image: Facebook

“He was actually aware of the train and according to the train driver he was clear of the train except it had steps on the side and it was the steps that clipped him and threw him.

“He died, we believe almost instantaneously.

“The driver of the train stopped and the driver tried to render assistance but it was too late and we’re told he died of massive internal injuries.”

Mrs Ryan said a memorial service would be held but the repatriation of her son’s body had been delayed due to a shortage of flights from Europe to Australia.

Jake Ryan’s haunting post about Bali bombings

Ryan was on the trip of a lifetime around North America and Europe.

His tragic death occurred almost 18 years to the day since he survived the 2012 Bali bombings.

Just days before his death he had reflected on the terrorist attack that claimed 202 lives, including 88 Australians.

“Eighteen years … a lifetime ago … yet seems like yesterday,” he wrote on Facebook.

“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 every day, do as much as you can, and live as much of a life as you can.”

Jake Ryan's post on the 18-year anniversary of the Bali bombings, pictured here on Facebook.
Jake Ryan's post on the 18-year anniversary of the Bali bombings. Image: Facebook

Ryan was in Kuta with brother Mitch when the bombs went off, suffering severe injuries to his stomach and foot.

“It’s just so strange, I’ve never had this feeling before, I can’t really explain it,” Mitch told the Courier Mail about his brother’s death.

“I feel empty, lost, angry and sad. We’ve been bawling our eyes out but with smiles on our faces while telling stories about him.

“We’ll forever miss him and the world’s a sh**tier place without him. If I could, I’d paint the sky for him.”

A number of Ryan’s former footy clubs and friends have paid tribute in recent days.

“We are deeply saddened to hear that Jake Ryan has passed away,” the Southport Sharks wrote on Facebook.

“We would like to express our sincere condolences to Jake’s family and friends.”

The Surfers Paradise Demons said Ryan as a “great club man”.

“Sad day today as we lost one of the best! RIP great man Jake Ryan. Never met a bloke to live life harder or better than him,” Josh Willatt wrote on Facebook.

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