Shane Warne was watching Australia’s Test cricketers take on Pakistan from his hotel room in Thailand on Friday evening before meeting friends for dinner when he suffered a heart attack in Thailand on Friday evening.
Many sporting fans will feel Warne’s final moments were fitting given the legacy he left in the sport.
James Erskine said the champion leg-spinner, 52, was discovered unconscious by his friend Andrew Neophitou, an executive producer on his recently released documentary, Shane, who had gone to Warne’s Thailand hotel room before a planned dinner.
He was found unconscious with the historic first Test match between Australia and Pakistan playing on the television.
Neophitou frantically began performing CPR on the Australian sporting legend before an ambulance arrived.
Warne, a father of three, was pronounced dead on arrival at the Thai International Hospital.
‘Neo (quickly) realised he (Warne) wasn’t well. He tried to give mouth-to-mouth, tried to resuscitate him, but he had no heartbeat,’ Erskine told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Australian sporting legend Shane Warne suffered a heart attack while watching Australia’s Test cricketers take on Pakistan from his hotel room in Thailand on Friday evening, his manager has confirmed
Warne’s manager James Erskine said the champion leg-spinner, 52, was discovered unconscious by his friend Andrew Neophitou, an executive producer on his recently released documentary, Shane
Warne’s three kids – Brooke, Summer and Jackson – were said to be shattered by the news of their father’s death (pictured, Shane and Jackson together at St Kilda Beach)
‘He (Warne) was on holiday, having a lie down, a siesta, he hadn’t been drinking. He’d been on this diet to lose weight… everyone thinks he’s a big boozer, but he’s not.’
Erskine also confirmed drugs were not involved as Warne ‘hated’ them.
Warne’s three kids – Brooke, Summer and Jackson – were said to be ‘shattered’ by the news of their father’s death, as tributes continue to roll in from all walks of life – including entertainment and politics.
Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger labelled the Australian the ‘greatest spin bowler ever’, while musician Ed Sheeran said he would bloody miss’ his ‘amazing friend’.
In a statement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Warne was ‘one of only a few that could approach the extraordinary achievements of the great (Sir) Don Bradman’ and that he was ‘one of our nation’s greatest characters.’
‘His humour, his passion, his irreverence, his approachability ensured he was loved by all. Australians loved him. We all did,’ Mr Morrison said.
Victorian premier Dan Andrews confirmed the MCG’s Great Southern Stand would be renamed the S.K. Warne Stand, as a ‘permanent tribute to an amazing Victorian.’
Warne has often admitted his life changed forever after his ‘ball of the century’ to England batsman Mike Gatting at Old Trafford in the 1993 Ashes series, a delivery which catapulted the leg-spinner into stardom.
‘Absolutely devastating and I just feel so sad for his family. It is a huge loss to many, many people,’ Gatting told Sky Sports News when asked about Warne’s shock passing.
‘Without a doubt, he is the number one ever. I should think there have been a lot of great cricketers, great spinners and great leg-spinners but Warnie will always be, certainly from my point of view, the number one.
‘He had all the things a cricketer needed, a lot of self-confidence, a lot of ability, the discipline, passion and desire.
‘Above all he had time to enjoy it. He had great fun playing cricket and resonated with a lot of youngsters.
‘The inspirational leg-spin he bowled I am sure inspired many, many guys to take up leg-spin bowling.’
During his career Warne gained a reputation as the blonde-haired, blue-eyed hero of the sport, a champion bowler on the pitch and a playboy off it, famed for his love of high profile women, beer and cigarettes
In news which has rocked the sport, Warne, 52, has died after a suspected heart attack in Koh Samui (pictured, with son Jackson)
A statement confirming Warne’s death from his management read: ‘Shane was found unresponsive in his villa and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived.’ Pictured is a photo of the complex where Warne was staying in Koh Samui
Shane Warne’s love of beautiful women added to his character in the eyes of many fans
Australian captain Pat Cummins also delivered a moving video tribute after the tragic news was confirmed.
‘We are all numbed by the news. Shane was a once-in-a-century cricketer and his achievements will stand for all time, but apart from the wickets he took and the games he helped Australia win, what he did was draw so many people to the sport,’ he said.
‘So many of us in the playing group grew up idolising him and fell in love with this great sport as a result, while many of our support staff either played with him or against him.
‘It has been a terrible couple of days for Australian cricket with the passing of Rod Marsh and now Shane. Our thoughts are with both families and, in Shane’s case, particularly with his parents Keith and Bridgette, his brother Jason and his children Jackson, Summer and Brooke.
‘The game of cricket was never the same after Shane emerged, and it will never be the same now he has gone. Rest in peace King.’