Shane Warne, widely dubbed one of the greatest cricketers of all time, died of a suspected heart attack aged 52 on Friday, March 4. The legendary leg-spinner was on holiday in Thailand with three friends, at the start of a three-month lay-off after covering the 2021-22 Ashes series for Fox Sports.
Less than two months before his tragic and unexpected death, bowling Shane opened up about the “lowest point” in his life, and how he was working to overcome it.
Speaking to Fox Cricket following the release of his documentary Shane, a “candid and raw” Shane opened up about his personal struggles and how they played out in the public eye.
Shane, who divorced wife Simone Callahan in 2005, spoke of ruthless chants from English crowds just a week after the split in the UK.
Shane spoke of how difficult he found the divorce, particularly as “it was my fault, so I have to live with that for the rest of my life”.
Shane and Simone, who had three children together, split after reports emerged that he has been pursuing other women, which he admitted and said he regretted.
They reunited in 2009, but split again in 2010 for good after he allegedly inadvertently sent her a message intended for another woman.
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Shane said: “[We broke up] a week before the Ashes series…and [I had to] drag myself off the canvas to get out there and play, in 2005, against a quality England side.
“To have the Barmy Army for six hours a day – not just 10 minutes – singing songs, saying ‘Where’s your missus gone?’
“I’m sitting there worrying about my children, with who I was hoping to spend three months of the Ashes series with.
“And because of my own doing, they had to turn around and find a flight, so I was devastated about that.
“That was the lowest point in my life, and I had to go out and play an Ashes series. That was really tough.”
He admitted that, after his children left on the eve of the 2005 Ashes, he was left alone, totally devastated.
In the recent documentary, he said spent that evening in a bad way: “I was on my own on the hotel room floor, crying ‘you d***head’.”
Through it all, however, Shane maintained a huge support base from his fans, and managed to retain a stellar reputation right to the end.
He attributed this to “honesty”, telling Fox Cricket: “I was a cricketer, I played an unbelievable era of Australian cricket. I did some pretty special things myself and I’m very grateful for that and the opportunity I had.
“I’m glad that the public, I think, still like me, because I’ve always been honest. I’ve owned my mistakes.
“I think that’s the problem with some sportsmen these days, they get into trouble when they try to be something they’re not. “
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He had reportedly retired to his room on Friday afternoon to watch the coverage of the Australia-Pakistan test with plans to meet again that night for drinks and dinner.
His final Instagram message was to wish “good night” to his followers from the Samujana Villas with an image of the island an infinity pool.
His friends reportedly found him unresponsive when he failed to answer their knocks, and his business manager, Andrew Neophitou, was attempting CPR when medics arrived.
Thai police confirmed his death shortly after he arrived at hospital.