Shane Warne's three children have delivered a heartbreaking, yet beautiful final goodbye to the beloved cricket great, during a memorial service for the 52-year-old at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday night.
About 55,000 people flocked to the MCG for the service after the spin king's shock death from a suspected heart attack in Thailand on March 4.
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Warne's father Keith and brother Jason were among the family members to pay tribute to the cricket great, while music giants Elton John and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin also performed songs in the cricket great's memory.
Perhaps the most stirring and emotional tributes of the night came from Warne's three children - Brooke, Summer and Jackson - who all shared stories of a devoted and one-of-a-kind father.
Warne's youngest daughter Summer remembered dancing to Bryan Adams' hit Summer of '69 two days before his death, when he came to pick up a travel bag.
Choking back tears, she thanked her late father for helping her cope through the difficult days in her young life.
"I never thought one's voice to bring such comfort until I can no longer hear it."
Summer, Jackson and Brooke Warne have delivered brave eulogies about an Australian cricket legend, who to them was simply their father. #ShaneWarne pic.twitter.com/3CqHdmMAlK
— 10 News First (@10NewsFirst) March 30, 2022
“There is comfort in knowing how loved around the world he was and still is. How he inspired so many of you to play cricket and bowl leg spin. He touched so many people’s lives and always wanted to help and support people in any way he could.
“When I was struggling, and I didn’t know how to go on with life because I was dealing with my own demons, you showed me how I could fall in love with life again. You told me that I could either live with these demons or fight with them and come out stronger at the end.
“I really am going to miss you Dad. It has been exactly 26 days since you went to heaven and I miss you more than anything in the whole world.
“I would do anything just to have one more you have your cuddles and to hear your voice tell me how proud of me you were and how much you loved me.
“I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that you won’t be able to walk down the aisle on my special day. You’re not going to meet your grandchildren that you’re going to have some day, but instead you will be someone I will tell my kids about and how much of an amazing father you were to me. How good of a you would have made and how they would have loved and adored you just like I do.
“You will always live forever inside my heart Dad, and I will continue your legacy. Forever my Dad, no matter where you are. May you now rest in eternal paradise.”
Warne's son Jackson spoke of the "best Dad anyone could have asked for" and his "best friend".
“Time with you went way too fast. It feels just like yesterday that we were looking at each others cards playing poker, eating pizza while watching the Saints.
“You were so proud of me. Although I didn’t go down the cricket path, you didn’t mind. You just wanted the best for me.”
There wasn't a dry eye in the stadium as Warne's eldest daughter Brooke finished off by sharing her devastation at the realisation that she will never do all the little things with her father, that made their relationship so special.
“I will miss grabbing your big wrists and feeling your hands and saying that I have big fat fingers just like you. I will miss our chats just about how big our double chins are and how big our bellies are looking especially after we’ve just eaten our body weight in cheese, pizza and pasta.
'Nothing will be more upsetting about how much I already miss you, dad' 💔
A touching tribute by Brooke Warne.
📝 Live Blog: https://t.co/3YN6OSsA0I
📺 Watch the #ShaneWarne memorial on @foxtel
CH 501 or stream on @kayosports: https://t.co/ESpheFH5uB pic.twitter.com/jDV5c3tjdk
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) March 30, 2022
“I will miss our chats about life and about my plans and goals and I will miss hearing about all your exciting things you have planned and have coming up. I will miss seeing how excited you get over our achievements and your achievements.
“I have to come to the fact that my Dad will never get to see me grow up or Jackson or Summer or see us get married one day, have kids and get the promotion I was going for. I could go on forever about what we’re going to miss out on, but nothing would be more upsetting about how much I already miss you.
“But what makes me the saddest is, I will never get to wrap my arms around you and give you the biggest hug and rest my chin on your chest. Dad was our shining star in life and now he’s shining down on all of us. We will do you so proud, Dad.”
Shane Warne’s children are first class human beings.
Summer, Jackson and Brooke - you’re a credit to both of your parents - Simone and Shane.
The character you displayed tonight was as strong as anything I’ve seen at the MCG.
Your dad would be so ridiculously proud.
— Ben Fordham (@BenFordham) March 30, 2022
The tributes from #ShaneWarne kids are exactly what any parent can or should hope for once we are gone. The Warne children are three loving, respectful and kind young adults. He and Simone have done a brilliant job at raising them #ShaneWarneMemorial
— Dr Kirstin Ferguson (@kirstinferguson) March 30, 2022
Shane Warne admitted to making a lot of mistakes in life but always prided himself in being an amazing father. These incredible speeches from his three brave children is testament to that.
— Derek Alberts (@derekalberts1) March 30, 2022
To all who put tonight together at the MCG how very beautiful it was. Vale Shane Warne.
To hear from his Dad, brother and ending with his three children was so moving and wonderful.
— Karen Tighe (@karentighe) March 30, 2022
Absolutely beautiful words from Shane Warne’s children, his father & brother. ❤️
— Alison Mitchell (@AlisonMitchell) March 30, 2022
Massive credit to Shane Warne’s children and family for how they held it together during the memorial. As someone who has lost their father it was damn hard to hold it together around just family but to do it with the eyes of the world watching takes something else. Huge love❤️❤️
— Erika Morris (@ErikaMorris79) March 30, 2022
Shane Warne Stand officially unveiled at the MCG
Warne's three children also took part in the official unveiling of the new Shane Warne Stand at the MCG.
The new stand replaces what was previously known as the Great Southern Stand and served as a closing moment for a beautiful memorial.
"He went from being a wide-eyed boy with dreams to be a citizen of the world and left no one behind. He was a champion in every way. And now, every time we look into the great southern stand we will think of Shane," MC of the event Eddie McGuire said.
Once again, chants of "Warnie" could be heard from the crowd as devastated fans from around the world bid their last goodbyes to the one-of-a-kind cricket legend.
The 'Shane Warne Stand’ is unveiled at the MCG by his children – Brooke, Jackson, and Summer – during the state memorial service for the Australia legend ✨ pic.twitter.com/mhMb8W3Vck
— ICC (@ICC) March 30, 2022
As well as the video performances from Elton John and Chris Martin, fellow singer Robbie Williams also performed a stirring in-studio version of Angels.
Australian actor Hugh Jackman added his voice to the chorus of a virtual tributes, saying Warne made the most of every second in his 52 years.
"Man, he sucked the marrow out of life. There was no one like you, Warnie, and never will be again," he said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese were in attendance, while Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews could not attend after contracting COVID-19.
Others at the MCG, the site of Warne's hat-trick in 1994 and 700th Test wicket in 2006, included former Australian captain Allan Border, ex-English skipper Nasser Hussain and West Indian great Brian Lara.
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