Tears flow as Shane Warne remembered in star-studded memorial

Source: 1News

Shane Warne, one of history's greatest cricketers and sporting personalities, has been remembered by family, friends and tens of thousands of fans in a public memorial held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday night.

The legendary Australian legspinner died while holidaying in Thailand on March 4, aged 52.

In an emotional speech, Warne's father Keith said March 4 was the "darkest day in our family's life".

"Looking forward to a future without Shane is inconceivable but we take comfort that Shane packed all into his 52 years as most do in two lifetimes.

"Your mother and I can’t imagine life without you. You were taken too soon, our hearts are broken," Keith said.

Warne's children Summer, Jackson and Brooke remembered their father for his kindness and wanting the best for everyone around him.

"His infectious smile and love is something I am going to forever miss," Summer said.

"The kindness he forever showed, the reassurance you needed if you were doubting yourself, the humour he had without even trying to be funny and most of all he was so thoughtful and one of the happiest people I ever knew.

"I miss you more than anything in the world."

Jackson described his father as his "best mate".

"You did everything with so much passion. I looked up to you as my hero and I admire how hard you worked. I was so proud of everything you do, I’m so proud that you were my Dad."

Brooke held back tears as she paid tribute to Warne.

"Dad was our shining star in life and now he’s shining down on us," she said.

The blonde kid who turned the gentile game of cricket on its head and then turned into one of the greats.

Warne's aura as an otherworldly personality was accentuated as some of the globe's biggest entertainers, including Elton John, Hugh Jackman and Kylie Minogue, paid tribute to the cricketing great.

"He was mesmerising, brilliant and loved to play cricket, and loved life," John said.

"There was no one like you, Warnie and never will be again. We will miss you," Jackman said.

Musical tributes also came from Warne's longtime friend and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, rock star Robbie Williams, Ed Sheeran and a live rendition of INXS' Never Tear Us Apart performed by the band, led by former frontman, New Zealand singer Jon Stevens.

Cricketing greats Allan Border, Brian Lara, Mark Taylor, Merv Hughes and Nasser Hussain remembered Warne as a player and person whose talent and charisma was unequalled.

Border was emotional as he remarked Warne helped revitalise his captaincy near the end of his own career, while Hussain described Warne as the greatest bowler he ever saw.

The ceremony finished with Warne's children unveiling the newly-named Shane Warne stand at the MCG, the cricket ground that held so many of his greatest memories throughout his distinguished career.