Australian cricketing great Shane Warne died while holidaying in Thailand on Friday, 4th March. He was 52 years old. Tributes have flowed in from fellow cricketers, journalists, politicians and celebrities.
Several musicians posted online tributes to Warne, Australia’s all-time leading test wicket taker. The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger wrote, “I’m so saddened by the sudden death of Shane Warne. He brought such joy to the game and was the greatest spin bowler ever.”
Kylie Minogue posted on Twitter, “Vale Warney. Condolences to his family, friends and fans. The one and only King of Spin”.
Two days before his death, Warne posted an image of himself with Ed Sheeran and the late Michael Gudinski, marking one year since Gudinski’s death. Sheeran responded to Warne’s death by posting a photo of Warne and Gudinski and writing, “The world keeps taking incredible people away.”
He went on, “I spoke to Shane on the anniversary of Michael’s passing this week saying we were both raising a glass of 707 in his honour, and now this news comes out. 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 was such an amazing friend to me. I’ll bloody miss you mate. Absolutely gutted”.
Another of Gudinski’s close friends, Jimmy Barnes, had this to say: “Shane Warne was a champion. One of a kind. Every time he touched a ball, Australia had a chance. But I remember him as the guy who met my son Jackie once when Jackie was very young. Three years later he still remembered his name and made him feel special.”
Indie musician Dan Kelly offered a more ambivalent view of Warne’s life and personality: “This is a very bad omen in a time of bad omens,” Kelly wrote on Instagram. “Being constantly annoyed by Shane was an indelible part of summer.”
Kelly added, “I thought he’d be PM one day. Again which I would have whinged about endlessly. But it’s Warnie, the greatest, and I will miss him.”
“Rest easy Warney, what a character, far too young,” tweeted Yorta Yorta rapper Briggs. The innocuous statement provoked some nasty summaries of Warne’s character in the comments. Briggs responded by saying, “Man; Warnie wasn’t perfect but now isn’t the time to play moral judge. Let his fans and more importantly; his family celebrate his life and grieve for the dude.”