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Shane Warne Farewelled At Private Funeral

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Family and friends have farewelled the late cricket legend at a private memorial service held at St Kilda Football Club on Sunday.

Around 80 of Shane Warne’s closest family and friends gathered. Among them, former teammates, opponents, former England captain Michael Vaughan, Aaron Hamill and Steven Baker who are associated with Warnies beloved St Kilda AFL club, and high-profile media personnel Sam Newman and Eddie McGuire, with McGuire hosting the funeral and delivering the eulogy.

McGuire described Warne as being a superman. “He did the things you dreamt of doing as a kid. He took the hat-trick, he took the 700. He had the Gatting ball. He did the things we all sort of thought. ‘wow, wonder what it would be like if you were a playboy in London society.’

“He was that sort of person. He brought together so many things, but what was the magic part about Shane Warne is he sprinkled his gold dust everywhere he went. He wasn’t one of those people who then became a hermit and forgot about his friends. He brought his friends into everything in his life.”

Pallbearers carried Warne’s wooden coffin from the service down to Moorabbin oval to commence a lap of honour, among them, his son Jackson. Draped over the late greats coffin were two Saints scarves, which were also given to everyone in attendance in memory of the cricket legend.

As the lap of honour ended, a small group of family gathered on the ground and stood by the hearse, waiting for its departure. Warne’s son Jackson, daughters Brooke and Summer, his parents Bigitte and Keith, took turns to lay their hands on the coffin, in an emotionally affectionate last goodbye, until the hearse drove out to the sound of applause, as Tina Turners epic anthem The Best played throughout.

Jackson and his grandfather took their time to return to the assembled mourners, walking back in an embrace, and being the last to step off the grass.

McGuire spoke fondly of Warne’s character during the service, saying “he had an amazing charisma that took this black Rock kid, Black Rock bogan if you like, who would go to three-star Michelin restaurants and order pizza in, and could walk with kings and the greatest names in world sport but at the same time never forgot those he walked with around the streets of Melbourne. That’s why everyone loved him and that’s why we’re grieving so badly today.”

Coldplay leading man Chris Martin sent in a musical tribute that was played during the intimate private service, with photos of Shane Warne with family and friends playing to Frank Sinatra’s My Way and Ed Sheeran, McGuire admitting it was quite emotional for him. Attending mourners also heard Yellow, a “favourite of Shanes” by Coldplay, as well as an instrumental piece, The Eulogy, which was described as “unique and original.”

Following the service, an emotional Sam Newman described the private funeral as a “beautiful tribute” and expressed his hopes that the public memorial at the end of March would be a fitting tribute to the cricketing great.

“It was just a great look at Shane, and the family and his close friends… I don’t know how they did it honestly, but they held themselves together.” Said Newman.

“The funeral was about as good as you can get under the circumstances. I hope there’s a hell of a lot of people that come and pay their respects [ at the public memorial ] I hope they pack out the MCG – it would be a fitting tribute to a great man.”

While former lover Elizabeth Hurley couldn’t physically make it to Australia for the private memorial due to filming schedules, she led tributes from overseas, expressing her heartache in a post on instagram, where she shared pictures of the pairs engagement in 2013. After they parted ways, they remained close.

“It still hasn’t really sunk in that he’s gone. It seems too cruel that all the people who loved him will never have another lion hug, but our memories will live forever.”
“RIP Lionheart.” She wrote.

It is estimated that Warne will be honoured at a state memorial in front of at least 50,000 fans as well as celebrity friends on March 30, with Eddie McGuire again to play a key role in organising he event.

This will be a free event, with a public ballot to be held to secure a ticket and seating. The online system is still currently being fine tuned but is expected to be ready this week, potentially as early as Wednesday. According to officials, the event is expected to begin at 7pm. 

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1 COMMENT

  1. I am not a cricket fan but I liked the man, he always appeared to be happy and curteous to everyone. It is a dark day for australian politicians who are still lying to the people about he death jabs. This is unforgivable. Stop the mass killing.

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