SHANE Warne’s devastated children have described their dad as their “best friend” in emotional tributes as his body is set to be flown home to Australia.
The cricket legend, 52, died in Thailand on Friday from natural causes, an autopsy confirmed.
Shane Warne with his three children, Jackson, Summer and BrookeCredit: shanewarne23/Instagram
A photo Shane Warne’s daughter shared on Instagram in 2019 has been flooded with tributesCredit: Instagram
His three children – Brooke, Jackson and Summer – have today told of their grief as they said they will “miss him forever”.
His youngest daughter Summer, 20, said their time together was “robbed”
“Dad, I miss you so much already. I wish I could’ve hugged you tighter in what I didn’t know were my final moments with you. And your final breaths were only moments away,” she said.
“I wish I could’ve told you that everything was going to be okay and hold your hand. You are the best Dad someone could ever ask for.”
“Our time was robbed. I want more holidays with you, more laughs where your smile lights up the whole room, more ‘goodnight I love you SJ, I’ll see you in the morning’, more talks about how our days were and just to feel safe when you would hug me and you would let me know how proud you are of me and how much you love me.
“You haven’t died Dad, you’ve just moved to a different place, and that is in our heart.”
And the Aussie hero’s eldest daughter Brooke, 24, and her brother Jackson, 22, hailed their dad the “best father”.
Brooke said: “We were so similar in so many ways and I always used to joke that I got your genes and about how much that annoyed me!
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“Well now I couldn’t be happier and prouder that I have your genes. I am lucky and will forever be so proud to call you my Dad forever. I love you to infinity and back and I will miss you forever.”
Jackson added: “Sitting at the poker table, walking around the golf course, watching the Saints and eating pizza is never going to be the same.
“But I know all you ever wanted for me is to be happy, no matter what. You just wanted me to be happy, that’s it.
“So that’s what I’m going to do, try and be happy. I am going to miss you so much Dad and you were truly the best father and mate anyone could’ve asked for.”
It comes as his family prepare to fly his body home for a state funeral in Australia.
His body is due to be driven from Surat Thani to Bangkok tonight, before being flown back to Oz tomorrow.
Following the cricket star’s sudden death, a throwback photo Warne’s daughter posted of the pair beaming together has been flooded with touching tributes following the cricket star’s sudden death.
Summer shared the black and white snap in January 2019 with the caption “cute flick with the father @shanewarne23” alongside a heart emoji.
Despite being posted more than three years ago, devastated fans have commented below the photo to send their best wishes to Warne’s family.
One wrote: “Your father was every Aussie kid’s and my hero growing up”.
Another said: “All too hard to believe. One in a million.”
A third commented: “I’m so sorry for your loss honey, your father was such a special soul”.
‘MOUNTAIN OF HAPPY MEMORIES’
Warne’s grieving parents, brother Jason and ex-wife Simone Callahan have all also paid tribute to the “much loved” cricket ace.
His parents Keith and Brigette said: “The night of the 4th of March 2022 is when a never-ending nightmare began for our family, for that is the date we lost our much loved and admired son, father, brother and Uncle, Shane Keith Warne’ a tragedy we will never come to terms with.
“To find words to adequately express our sadness is an impossible task for us and looking to a future without Shane is inconceivable, hopefully the mountain of happy memories we all have will help us cope with our ongoing grief.”
Warne’s former wife Simone said: “Who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone the light remains.”
And Warne’s brother Jason said he will miss their “fierce competition”.
“The world has lost someone extremely special to them, who has made a positive influence on their lives and it is incredibly touching to see the outflow of emotion and the amazing tributes to him by friends, teammates, opponents and media,” he said.
“Personally, I have lost my nemesis in all sports as a child, the person who smeared vegemite under my nose while he pinned me down giving me the typewriter, my big brother, my mate.
“Life will forever have a massive hole in it. I will miss our fierce competition on the golf course, poker table and the sledging, seeing who could put the other on tilt first.”
Warne was found collapsed in his room at 5pm last Friday by his business manager at a luxury villa on the island of Koh Samui.
He was declared dead from a suspected heart attack after paramedics battled in vain to revive the cricket legend as his friends shouted: “Come on, Shane.”
Friends and Australian officials were on board with the ambulance carrying his body as the ferry made a 90-minute trip to the mainland.
He was taken to Surat Thani Hospital in the southern city where doctors performed the post mortem to pinpoint the cause of death.
Warne’s family have accepted the offer of a state funeral with Melbourne Cricket Ground, his home turf – suggested as the “most fitting” venue.
‘FULL OF ENERGY’
It comes as his tailor revealed he was was “buzzing with excitement” before he died at the start of his break in Thailand — and ate a Vegemite sandwich just hours earlier.
Parsuram Panday, 44, said the leg-spin bowling hero, who had called in for a suit fitting at midday last Friday, was relishing the prospect of relaxing on the island of Koh Samui.
He said Warne was was “full of energy” when he arrived for a five-day beach villa holiday following a stint commentating on cricket in Australia.
Parsuram said: “I love cricket and Shane Warne was a hero of mine. It was a great privilege to make his suits.
“He was due to collect his clothes on Saturday or Sunday so when I saw the news that he had died, I was shocked. I was devastated.
“When he came into the shop he was so happy, strong and full of life and energy.”
After leaving Parsuram’s shop, smoker Warne — who took 708 wickets in 145 Tests over 15 years — lunched on favourite Oz spread Vegemite on toast with a friend who lives on the island.
Warne was later found unresponsive in his room by pal Andrew Neophitou at the luxury villa they were staying on Friday.
Thai police have since confirmed they have ruled out any suspicious circumstances.
His manager James Erskine shed light on the sportsman’s final moments in Fox Sport special, Remembering Shane Warne.
He said the group were due to go for drinks at 5pm when his pal knocked on his door and realised “something was wrong”.
James added: “He went in there and said ‘come on, you’re going to be late’ and then realised something was wrong.
“And he turned him over and gave him CPR and mouth to mouth, which lasted about 20 minutes and then the ambulance came.
Shane Warne died last Friday in ThailandCredit: Getty
“They took him to the hospital, which was about a 20-minute drive and I got a phone call about 45 minutes later saying he was pronounced dead.”
Warne had spent the day watching Australia’s Test cricketers take on Pakistan from bedroom before the tragedy unfolded.
He was given a Thai massage at the village at around 4pm and “looked lively and happy” when it was finished.