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Shane Warne eulogy: Dad Keith Warne’s speech at MCG state funeral, full transcript


Shane Warne’s father Keith has delivered a moving eulogy before he was overcome with emotion when saying his final farewell.

Shane Warne’s father Keith has delivered an emotional eulogy at the cricket legend’s state memorial at the MCG on Wednesday night.

He described the day Warne died as “the darkest day in our family’s life”.

“It was a day that our son, Shane Keith Warne, was tragically and suddenly taken from us,” he said.

“Our family lost a loved son, a loving brother to Jason and a devoted father to Brooke, Jackson and Summer. And the world lost a much-loved cricketing legend whose feats on and off the cricket field will go down in history for all time.

“Looking forward to a future without Shane is inconceivable. We do take comfort in knowing that Shane packed more in his life of 52 years, five months and 19 days than most people would in two lifetimes. Shane loved life and lived for sport.”

Keith Warne became emotional when saying his final farewell.

“Mate, your mother and I can’t imagine a life without you,” he said.

“You have been taken too soon and our hearts are broken. Thank you for all you did for us.

“And for being such a loving and caring son. Rest in peace, mate. Love you, Mum and Dad.”

A crowd of more than 50,000 has gathered at the MCG tonight to farewell the cricket legend.

Kylie Minogue and Hugh Jackson paid tribute to the cricket icon with video messages while Elton John performed an emotional rendition of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” from the United States.

The service also included a moment where the iconic venue’s Great Southern Stand was unveiled as the “Shane Warne Stand” with new signage and branding.

Full transcript of Shane Warne’s dad Keith Warne’s eulogy

“On behalf of the Warne family, I’d like to convey our thanks and express our immense gratitude to the many people and authorities who were involved in Shane’s repatriation to Australia and for this state funeral.

“We thank the Australian Government and the Thai Government for their valuable assistance in bringing Shane home to us. To Tom Hall and Gareth Andrews, thank you for incredible efforts in Thailand and all you’ve done for the family and Shane. To the Victorian Government, Premier Daniel Andrews, the MCG Trust, the MCC, Cricket Australia, Australian Cricket Association and Cricket Victoria, thank you all for all you’ve done to make tonight a reality.

“To Eddie McGuire and the awesome team at Jam TV, Matt Gudinski, you have all been amazing in creating this unbelievable events to honour Shane’s life. We thank you, one and all.

“Friday March 4, 2022, the darkest day in our family’s life. It was a day that our son, Shane Keith Warne, was tragically and suddenly taken from us. Our family loss of a loved son, a loving brother to Jason and a devoted father to Brooke, Jackson and Summer. And the world lost a much-loved cricketing legend whose feats on and off the cricket field will go down in history for all time.

“Looking forward to a future without Shane is inconceivable. We do take comfort in knowing that Shane packed more in his life of 52 years, five months and 19 days than most people would in two lifetimes. Shane loved life and lived for sport.

“When he was younger, our role as parents were always centred around getting him to training and wherever he was playing, whether it was playing athletics, basketball, tennis, football or crick.

“We marvelled at his hand eye co-ordination and his natural talent was tempering his will to win at any cost. At the same time not wanting to blunt the incredible competitive spirit he’s become so well known for. Looking back on that send-off that Shane gave to Andrew Hudson in Johannesburg in 1994, it may not have been his finest moment but he had certainly retained the fiery competitiveness.

“In his early days, Shane honed his sport and love of outwitting an opponent with his poor unsuspecting younger brother, Jason. For instance, he would tell Jason how quick he was and as he was so much quicker than Shane, why doesn’t he run up the local shop and get him a chocolate bar and Coke. You’re so fast, Shane would say. Young Jason fell for it every time and off to the shop he would go. It felt like no time at all before we went from watching Shane play local grades of cricket with his mates, to watching him nervously walk out on to the SCG for his test debut in 1993.

“As he did, the words congratulations Shane Warne on being a 350th Australian test cricketer lit up on the big screen. It then dawned on me in over 100 years of Australian cricket, there’s only ever 350 cricketers to achieve that honour. How proud we were. It wasn’t sunny but a few pair of sunglasses might have come out.

“From there it felt like one outstanding achievement after another. Among them, the claiming of his one and only hat-trick in 1994 and getting his 700th wicket in 2006, both here at his beloved G. They were two of his all-time favourites, as I’m sure they are for many of you here tonight. What Shane achieved was unimaginable but for his mother and I it was the things Shane did and the things he did away from the cricket field we will hold up as his finest achievements.

“He was a doting father who loved and adored his children. He was a loving and caring son and brother. He was a sports hero who happily handed out autographs and stood for photos, sometimes for hours on end. It was a man who would be prince or pauper and give you same undivided attention — warmth and respect. He was a person that would make everybody feel very special.

“What the world didn’t always see that Shane spent a lot of his time helping kids, especially sick and underprivileged kids. It was always about putting smiles back on young people’s faces. Kids loved him and he loved kids. This was never more evident than when he visited King Lake in Victoria after many lives were lost and the town had been devastated by bushfires back in February 2009. Shane appreciated how horrific the situation was. He was hoping his visit would help lift the community spirit.

“On one of many occasions he and his footballer cricket mates took a load of sports equipment to the region and spent the day playing all sorts of sports with the children and the families. Brightening up their lives just a little bit in those dark days. This was Shane. Leading with infectious energy, his giving spirit and that beaming smile. He somehow could always manage to make someone stay that little bit better. Even in the most dire of times.

“I remember I picked Shane up at Melbourne Airport when he arrived home after an extensive overseas test series. He asked me, “What’s been happening, Dad?” As soon as I mentioned a little boy who had terminal cancer had been hanging on, hoping to meet Shane, he had me contact the father and see if it was OK for him to pop in and say hello. We got the OK and went directly to the boy’s home. Shane stayed until the lad was starting to fall asleep which was a good two hours later. Then I drove Shane home to see his own children. This is who he was. This summed up Shane’s character as a man who took great responsibility in using his profile and privilege to bring good into the lives of people less fortunate than himself.

“We are grateful the world loved our son as we did and thankfully touched so many lives in so many ways.

“Of course people will remember Shane in their own way but for us it will be his unconditional love for family and friends. His generosity and loyalty which knew no bounds. And a joy he brought to so many people along the way who will forever bring us in Shane’s typical humble manner, Shane said of himself, ‘I smoked, I drank, and I played a little cricket.’

“Mate, your mother and I can’t imagine a life without you. You have been taken too soon and our hearts are broken. Thank you for all you did for us. And for being such a loving and caring son. Rest in peace, mate. Love you, Mum and Dad.”



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