‘She was fighting demons none of us knew’: Tragedy as young sports star dies aged just 29 as tributes pour in for the AFLW player who also excelled at baseball and gridiron
- Tributes have poured in from devastated former teammates of Jacinda Barclay
- The AFLW, baseball and American football star died on Tuesday aged 29
- Barclay grew up in Perth playing AFL against the boys before turning to baseball
Tributes have poured in from devastated former teammates of AFLW star Jacinda Barclay, who died on Tuesday aged 29.
Barclay played a number of sports including Aussies Rules, baseball, and American football.
Kayla Lee, who played in the Legends Football League with Barclay, said she awoke on Wednesday to the ‘devastating news’ the sport had lost ‘one of the most vibrant, positive and spirited souls on this planet’.
‘Cinda has been one of my closest friends since we met seven years ago training and playing in the LFL. She was my quarterback and always had my back. We trained hard, laughed hard and sometimes partied hard together.
‘She was a naturally talented multi-sport athlete, who was driven, ambitious and a leader that was fighting demons none of us knew about. I am absolutely heartbroken and in complete shock.’
Barclay (right) grew up in Perth playing AFL before turning to baseball
Barclay played 23 games with the Greater Western Sydney Giants, who said her ‘infectious personality made her a popular and unforgettable’
Steph Mur, who played with Barclay at the Chicago Bliss, said her heart was breaking after hearing the news of her former teammate’s passing.
‘The news is devastating and our hearts are breaking,’ wrote Mur.
‘Jacinda lived a life that most people could only imagine. She was an elite multi-sport athlete constantly shredding boundaries around the world.
‘She was every coach and players’ dream- a fearless leader full of positivity, vast knowledge, eagerness to grow and dedication to every team member. More importantly, she was an all-round badass person.
‘I feel honoured to have played alongside you and more importantly to have known your beautiful energy and bubbly, comedic personality. Your brightness will never stop shining in our hearts. Rest easy Cinda!’
Barclay grew up in Perth playing AFL before turning to baseball.
She made her state baseball debut for Western Australia at the age of 15 at the 2006 national championships, and the following year was included in the national squad for the first time.
Barclay (second from right) played in the then-named Lingerie Football League in 2012
Tributes have poured in from devastated former teammates of AFLW star Jacinda Barclay (pictured), who died on Tuesday aged 29
Barclay began playing American football in 2012, while living in Chicago. Her initial attempts to win a contract in the Legends Football League were thwarted by visa issues.
She later signed with the New South Wales Surge for the inaugural 2013–14 season of LFL.
Barclay played 23 games with the Greater Western Sydney Giants, who released a statement on Wednesday morning about her shock death.
‘Jacinda was a much-loved member of the Giants family and we are all devastated by her passing,’ Giants Chief Executive David Matthews said.
‘Jacinda gave up a great deal to follow her sporting dreams around the world and we are grateful that she called our club home for four years.
‘As an inaugural Giants AFLW player, Jacinda was a vital part of our club. More than that though, Jacinda’s spirit and infectious personality made her a popular and unforgettable member of the Giants family. She will always be a part of our club.’
Former LFL teammate Deena Fagiano said her ‘goofy’ Australian friend would always be in her heart.
Barclay began playing American football in 2012, while living in Chicago. Her initial attempts to win a contract in the Legends Football League were thwarted by visa issues
‘Devastated, my heart is Broken. The world has lost the brightest light, most badass athlete, and amazing friend,’ Fagiano wrote.
‘I am honored to have had you in my life and play along side you. Your energy was Infectious and I will always be inspired by your determination.
‘Your bravery to travel around the world to lead a team you had never met always continues to impress me and I will always have incredible respect for you.’
Lifeline: 13 11 14, Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 and Headspace: 1800 650 890.