Gawn switched from No.37 to No.11 over the pre-season after it became vacant following the departure of Mitch Clark to Geelong (for the record, Stynes also wore No.37 in his first senior match for Melbourne).
He said he couldn’t wait to wear the number made famous by the four-time Melbourne best and fairest winner and 1991 Brownlow Medallist.
“Jim Stynes obviously wore No.11 and he presented me the No.37 back when I first started and that was a big moment for me,” he told Dee TV.
“I remembered when I first got to the club there was a big induction over the road. There was Stynesy, Tom Scully and Jack Trengove and he said how excited he was for me, rather than the other two.
“It just hit me straight that the connection I had with him was super. If I can be half the player he was, I’m sure I’d be happy with myself.
“So to go from 37 to 11 would be the only number change I’d do and it was available this year. I thought I might need a little bit of Irish luck this season.”
Despite recognising the privilege of wearing No.11, Gawn said he wouldn’t let it weigh on him.
“It’s just a number, but I don’t find too much pressure with the number. I might’ve had the pressure with 37 in the first place, because 37 was his first [senior] number,” he said.
“There is not too much external stuff there.”