Aussie sport rocked by death of Jacinda Barclay, aged 29

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Seen here, Jacinda Barclay in action for GWS in the AFLW.
Jacinda Barclay's death has rocked Australian sport. Pic: Getty

The Australian sporting community has been left shocked and saddened by news of Jacinda Barclay's death at the age of 29.

The extremely talented star played in a remarkable five World Cups for the Australian women's baseball team, before making the move to the AFLW.

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Barclay was described as the "Sonny Bill Williams" of women's sport when she was signed for the Greater Western Sydney Giants.

She made her debut for GWS in 2017 and played 23 games for the footy club.

The Giants paid tribute to the 29-year-old on their social media account, saying the club is "deeply saddened" by her passing.

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A host of her AFLW counterparts took to social media with tributes while GWS CEO David Matthews said Barclay would "always be a part of our club".

"Jacinda was a much-loved member of the Giants family and we are all devastated by her passing," Matthews said in a statement on Wednesday.

"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... 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.

It was in baseball that the multi-talented Barclay really shined, however, with Barclay making her debut for Australia as a 17-year-old for the 2008 World Cup in Japan.

A right-armed pitcher, Barclay won silver with Australia at the 2010 Women's World Cup in Venezuela.

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She was also part of the Aussie sides in the three proceeding editions of the tournament in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

Barclay also had a brief but successful stint in American football after visa issues hampered her participation in the Lingerie Football League.

Her American football career included spells with the NSW Surge for the inaugural 2013-14 season of LFL Australia and as a quarterback led them to a title in the competition's lone campaign.

In 2016, Barclay was scouted by the Chicago Bliss for America's Legends Football League and won a championship in her first season.

She returned to Australian Rules football when the AFLW began.

Former teammates of the much-loved star have been left heartbroken by news of her death, the cause of which has not been reported.

Pictured here Jacinda Barclay playing baseball as well as AFLW for the Giants.
Barclay was a baseball star for Australia before making a switch to the AFLW. Pic: Instagram/Getty

Tributes flow for much-loved star

"The news is devastating and our hearts are breaking,” Steph Mur - a former teammate of Barclay's at the Chicago Bliss - wrote.

"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!”

Tributes have also been pouring in on social media as the sporting world comes to terms with Barclay's tragic passing.

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Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

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