Shane Warne, Australian cricket legend, spin bowling wizard and father of three, passed away from a suspected heart attack on Friday. The King Of Spin was in Thailand in a resort with friends. He reportedly had complained of chest pains previously to his family.
Warne had also recently suggested on Instagram he was trying to get back into shape, writing 10 days ago: “Operation shred has started (10 days in) & the goal by July is to get back to this shape from a few years ago!” alongside a photo of himself from a couple of years back.
The 52-year-old had reportedly been on a 14-day juice fast shortly before suffering the suspected heart attack in his resort room on the island of Koh Samui. He had just finished the fast and his last meal was vegemite on toast, Warne’s friend (and CEO of Sporting News) Tom Hall has said.
Warne, who was known for his cheeky attitude, and his pinchant for cheese toasties, baked beans and Hawaiian pizzas, and who was often photographed with iconic Aussie beers like VB (although his manager has said the media-fuelled stereotypes he was a big drinker are false), is now being mourned by a nation (and internationally).
Many cricket fans have been shaken by the news, taking to Twitter to share their thoughts and memories.
Put your smokes out for Shane.
— Simeon (@s1cox) March 4, 2022
While the exact cause of Shane Warne’s death remains under investigation, the sudden and premature nature of his passing has many middle aged Australians (particularly men) thinking about the health of their own heart. pic.twitter.com/I8bL3p9D9R
— Aussie Nurse (@FrontlineRN22) March 5, 2022
As someone else observed when the news first broke, on a Venn diagram of factors that could cause a man in his 50s to have a fatal heart attack, Warnie intersected a lot of them. (Smoking, unhealthy diet, drug use, crash dieting, drinking, covid, etc.)
Start small, work up
— Sarah (@SarahEHoll) March 7, 2022
One Twitter user, @TheUpshot, wrote: “The first page of Warnie’s autobiography is world class.” The user then includes a photo of a parody of Shane Warne’s autobiography, apparently written by an Aussie betting company a few years ago.
The fake fist page supposedly reveals the moment Warnie realised he had made it as a cricketer (which, the parody writers, pretending to be Warne, say is “the question I’m most commonly asked” even more regularly than “how does it feel” to be the greatest leg spinner there will ever be?” and “how did a simple lad from Upper Fern tree Gulley become the world’s foremost heterosexual lovemaker”).
The first page of Shane Warne’s autobiography is world class pic.twitter.com/7TDtopNBt2
— The Upshot (@UpshotTowers) March 6, 2022
Fake Warnie then goes on to describe a moment of sublime bliss, in a three-star UK hotel chain called Forte Posthouse.
“They got a bad rap but I didn’t mind them. The minbars were always full of England’s only valuable contributions to society post 1950: those big cans of Carling Black Label lager, the Double-Decker choccie bar and pickled onion Monster Munch. Add to that the as-standard double-sized ashtrays and I was in heaven. What more could a man want for in 1994?”
He continued: “I remember lying on my bed the night before my Trent Bridge debut, nibbling on the extraordinary puffed potato of my monster munch, and sipping on a tin of Carling. The Bill was on TV (for mine still the greatest police drama of all time – give me PC Reg Hollis over detective Jimmy McNulty any day), which was a year ahead of the episodes we had back home. I thought, ‘F*ck me swinging Shane, you’ve made it mate.’ I felt inescapably content.”
Though that might have been an entertaining read at the time, in the wake of his passing, we suggest reading Shane Warne’s real autobiography, No Spin. In fact, in No SpinShane Warne goes into how the kind of exaggerating of his personality in the media (like that seen in the parody of his autobiography above) affected him.
Some choice quotes from the first few pages of No Spin include: “Believe it or not I’d take the quiet life over the red carpet any day. The trouble is I haven’t always portrayed myself as anything but a good time boy, hunting down something different every week of the year.”
“Kerry Packer once told me, ‘Sell the blue Ferrari son, and lie low for a little while,’ so I did as I was told, and bought a silver one.”
“I have lived in the moment and ignored the consequences. This has served me both well and painfully, depending on which moment. I’ve tried to live up to the legend, or the myth in my view, which has been a mistake because I’ve let life off the field become as public as my life on it. In my defence, I’ve never pretended to be someone or something I’m not.”
Though Warnie was known as a bit of a rockstar, many people have come in over the last couple of days to shut down any kind of ugly rumours in the wake of his passing.
Former Aussie captain Greg Chappell told Sky News: “I’ve read a couple things and heard a couple things about what Warnie might have been doing in Thailand and particularly around drugs.”
“He hated drugs, he didn’t need drugs, he was high on life.”
“He was a doting father, he loved his kids, he talked about them whenever he got the opportunity.
“He was a quintessential Australian larrikin.”
Warne’s long-time manager James Erskine also dismissed any suggestions that drugs were involved.
“He was on holiday, having a lie down, siesta, he hadn’t been drinking, he’d been on this diet to lose weight,” Erskine told Fox Cricket.
“He didn’t drink much. Everyone thinks he’s a big boozer but he’s not a big boozer at all.”
“I sent him a crate of wine, 10 years later it’s still there. He doesn’t drink, never took drugs, ever. He hated drugs so nothing untoward.”
He also told Nine: “He did go on these ridiculous sorts of diets, and he was just finished with one.”
“It was a bit all or nothing. It was either white buns with butter and lasagna stuffed in the middle or he would be having black and green juices.”
“He obviously smoked most of his life. I don’t know. I think it was just a massive heart attack.”