He was the Australian spin bowling wizard who was such a magical player that English fans loved him too. Shane Warne’s private life also made numerous headlines.
Millions of people felt they knew the gaming giant who wore his heart on his sleeve. He died yesterday of a suspected heart attack at the age of 52.
Warne was on vacation with three friends at a villa in Koh Samui, Thailand, when they discovered he was unresponsive.
The friends performed CPR before an ambulance took him to the hospital. He could not be revived. An autopsy is to be carried out.
Cricket legend Sir Ian Botham, 66, said: “I’ve lost a great friend on and off the pitch. One of the best.”
Commentator Henry Blofeld, 82, said: “Shane Warne greatest bowler of all time taught me to drink Jagerbombs.”
Pop star Ed Sheeran, 31, said: “Shane was the kindest heart and always went above and beyond to make people feel welcome and special. Such a gentleman.
“He gave so many hours and years of his life to bring joy to others and he was such a great friend to me. I’m gonna fucking miss you buddy. Absolutely disappointed.”
England players and staff observed a minute’s silence to commemorate Warne while on tour in the West Indies.
As an athlete, pundit, and professional poker player, his life burned brightly. There were scandals and a soap opera lifestyle—including headlines about womanizing and an engagement to actress Liz Hurley.
Despite fame and escapades, there was always an honesty about him that never failed to charm him.
“I live in the moment, sometimes you don’t think about the consequences and that was probably the most of my problems,” he once looked back on his roller coaster life.
“I’m not proud of all my decisions. I’ve made some terrible mistakes and choices with things.
“But I was always true to myself and I’m proud of that today.”
He was born in 1969 to German-born mother Bridgette and father Keith in suburban Melbourne.
Warne always had that sparkle. Describes himself as “impish” but never “nasty”. He recalled his principal saying before the caning, “Bend over, warn, it’s time to practice my golf swing.”
Warne wasn’t an academic, instead he loved the beach and thrived in the sport. His goal was to become an Australian Rules Footballer. He once said: ‘I only played cricket because my buddies did.’ But as cricket’s luck would have it, his first love didn’t work out.
He played for the reserves of professional Aussie Rules Club St Kilda but was sacked aged 19 and then began to take cricket more seriously while taking odd jobs delivering beds and pizzas.
In 1990 he coached at the Australian Cricket Academy and then joined Accrington Cricket Club in Lancashire. In late 1991 he was playing first-class cricket in Australia.
A year later, the leg spinner had made his debut for the national team.
And by the end of his 15-year international career in 2007, he had won 708 Test wickets – surpassed only by fellow Muttiah Muralitharan – and scored more than 3,000 Test runs.
He is best known to some for the ball of the century – his first ball in Ashes cricket when he caught England batsman Mike Gatting by surprise in 1993 with a shot that hit the stump after turning nearly square.
Much like his hair, which was gelled in a variety of spiky styles, Warne would never be a player to drag the line.
His antics included staring at crowds.
In 1994 he was accused of giving match information to a bookmaker, which Warne said was unintentional. However, he admitted to having been “stupid and naive”.
Popper photo via Getty Images)
In 2003, Warne was suspended for 12 months when it was discovered he had been taking a banned diuretic. The devastated cricketer said it was given to him by his mum to help him lose weight after he “gained a few pounds”.
He added, “That was a pretty innocent mistake and something I paid a lot for.”
And then there were the women.
In 2005, his 10-year marriage to Simone Callahan, mother of his three children Brooke, 24, Summer, 20, and son Jackson, 22, broke down very publicly when Warne’s numerous infidelities were exposed.
Warne, whose favorite film was American Pie and who loved a cigarette and a pint, had just welcomed his wife and children to the UK for the launch of the Ashes series when she discovered he had been chasing after other women.
She packed up and went with the children. In a recent Amazon documentary, Warne talked about hitting rock bottom. “I think that was the lowest value,” he said. “The impact on my kids, they wouldn’t see me and that was my fault.
“I would go back and raid the minibar. I was alone on the hotel room floor shouting ‘You idiot’.” The Barmy Army sang “Where’s your wife gone?”.
The following year, there was a two-model threesome. Photos ended up in the press showing Warne in his Playboy underwear.
He later wrote, “I’m not a criminal… yes, I do like women, which has cost me massively time and time again.” In 2010, his love life made headlines again when he and British star Liz Hurley, 56, got together.
Their engagement lasted until 2013. Warne lost weight and is said to have tried Botox.
He has been open about insecurities about his appearance, particularly his baldness, for which he underwent treatment and advertised hair loss treatment company Advanced Hair Studio.
He described his time with Liz as “the happiest years of my life”.
In recent years, according to friends, he was considered single, but actively dated Tinder.
But for all the circus, the loveable Aussie will always remain an icon for his achievements on the cricket ground.
Described as a “genius” by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the bowler will always be the bowling wizard who made batsmen cry.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/inside-mischievous-shane-warnes-turbulent-26391665 Glimpses into the tumultuous life of mischievous Shane Warne, which made headlines on and off the pitch