‘Genius player. Grand company. Loyal friend’: celebrities react to Shane Warne’s death

Actors Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe are among the celebrities who have paid tribute to the sporting star

Former cricketer and commentator Shane Warne was a larger-than-life character who is regarded as one of the finest leg-spin bowlers of all time. EPA
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Celebrities from around the world have been sharing tributes to cricketing legend Shane Warne, who has died at the age of 52 from a suspected heart attack while holidaying in Thailand.

“Shane was found unresponsive in his villa and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived. The family requests privacy at this time and will provide further details in due course,” read a statement from his management company, MPC Entertainment.

Warne was a larger-than-life character who is regarded as one of the finest leg-spin bowlers of all time. In addition to sporting figures from around the world, celebrities from all fields and walks of life have been sharing memories of the sporting star.

Former girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley took to Instagram to express her grief. "I feel like the sun has gone behind a cloud forever. RIP my beloved Lionheart," she wrote.

Fellow Australian Hugh Jackman posted a touching tribute on Twitter, calling Warne a “once in a generation talent”. The actor said he was grateful to have known Warne and signed off with the words, “Rest well Shane”.

Actor Russell Crowe summed up the sentiments being expressed by many others in his Twitter tribute, which referred to Warne as: “A genius player. Grand company. Loyal friend.” He said that he was having a hard time accepting the “devastating news”.

Musician Mick Jagger also expressed his sorrow at Warne’s death, highlighting the sense of fun that the cricketer injected into the sport. “I’m so saddened by the sudden death of Shane Warne,” Jagger wrote. “He brought such joy to the game and was the greatest spin bowler ever.

Piers Morgan highlighted Warne’s standing not only as a sportsman, but as an entertainer and all-round “fantastic bloke”, in his tribute. “Absolutely devastated to hear that @ShaneWarne has died from a heart attack aged just 52. He was a genius cricketer, a supreme entertainer, a fantastic bloke and a great loyal friend for many years. Just gutting news. RIP Warnie, I loved every minute in your company.”

Pop star Ed Sheeran revealed that he had spoken to Warne a few days ago. The friends called each other on the anniversary of the death of Australian music promoter Michael Gudinski on March 1.

“The world keeps taking incredible people away,” Sheeran posted on Instagram, with a photo of Warne and Gudinski. “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 miss you mate. Absolutely gutted.”

Updated: March 05, 2022, 1:38 PM