The late, great Jim Stynes has been immortalised in a statue outside the MCG.

Family members, including Stynes’ father Brian, brother David and son Tiernan, joined fellow Melbourne legend Garry Lyon in unveiling a one-and-a-half times life-sized bronzed sculpture of the champion ruckman.

At a ceremony earlier in the day, Lyon paid tribute to his friend and former teammate, who he commended for his work both on and off the football field.

“Jimmy was a man of great dignity, a man who was selfless in what he achieved, who gave so much back to not only football… It’s a remarkable story,” Lyon said.

“Now to have a statue of Jimmy here at the best sporting ground in the world, I think it’s an unbelievable story.”

Stynes, who passed away in March 2012 following a long battle with cancer, forged one of the AFL/VFL’s most noteworthy careers over 264 games.

The Irishman arrived at the Melbourne Football Club as an 18 year old in 1984 as part of an international recruiting program that later became known as the “Irish Experiment.”

Stynes made his senior debut with Melbourne in 1987 and from Round 18 of that year, didn’t miss a senior game until his retirement in 1998, racking up an AFL record of 244 consecutive matches.

In 1991, he became the first player born outside of Australia to win a Brownlow Medal, along with securing his first Keith ‘Bluey’ Truscott Memorial Trophy as club champion.

Stynes won four best and fairest awards across his career, including a hat-trick between 1995 and 1997, and was named in Melbourne’s Team of the Century in 2000.

A two-time All-Australian (1991, 1993), Stynes played 10 State of Origin matches for Victoria and represented both Australia (five times) and Ireland (three times) in the International Rules series.

Following his retirement, Stynes maintained his involvement in the Melbourne Football Club, initially as an assistant coach (2000 – 2002) and later as club president (2008-2012.)

Outside of football, he was heavily involved in youth work and in 1994, he co-founded the Reach Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation which works with young people through a range of workshops and programs.

Stynes’ accomplishments were recognised with Victorian of the Year (1991, 1993) and a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2007.

Stynes joins Norm Smith as Melbourne Football Club legends to have statues, by sculptor Lis Johnson, featuring in the Australia Post Avenue of Legends, which begins at the MCC members’ entrance and extends through Yarra Park.