Shane Warne’s grieving ex-wife Simone Callahan lit up with joy as her children unveiled the Shane Warne Stand banner at his state memorial service at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
In a fitting end to the service, Warne’s three children, Brooke, 24, Jackson, 22 and Summer, 20, were given the honor of unveiling the new sign at the stadium’s famous Great Southern Stand, which will now be known as the Shane Warne stand.
Callahan clapped and smiled, while My Way by Frank Sinatra blared across the stadium, proudly watching on as her three children revealed the new sign.
Callahan, a former model, was married to the late cricketer from 1995 to 2005.
Images show Shane Warne’s grieving ex-wife Simone Callahan beaming as her three children unveiled the newly-named Shane Warne Stand at the MCG
Shane Warne’s three children proudly unveiled the Shane Warne Stand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in front of more than 50,000 mourners
Shane Warne, the sun-bleached blond icon of the sport, of Australia, has gone forever, but a stand at the MCG will now bear his name and ensure it lives on in the hearts of every fan
Callahan took out her iPhone to take photos of the historic moment
Shane Warne and Simone Callahan were married between 1995 and 2005
A Who’s Who of Australian society and the global A-list joined more than 50,000 fans in farewelling Warne on Wednesday, almost four weeks after the King of Spin died from a heart attack, age 52, on a boys’ trip to Thailand.
Elton John dedicated a recorded version of ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me’ to Warne’s three children Brooke, 24, Jackson, 22, and Summer, 20, while Kylie Minogue and Hugh Jackman also paid tributes to their friend.
Warne’s youngest daughter Summer led the tributes with a devastating speech where she shared her grief at how her father would never walk her down the aisle on her wedding day or meet his grandchildren.
‘I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that you won’t be able to walk down the aisle on my special day,’ she said.
‘You’re never going to meet your grandchildren that you’re going to have some day, but instead you will be someone I will tell my kids about.
‘They would have loved and adored you just like I do.’
Summer said her father – as famous for his scandals off the pitch as his talents on it – ‘lived 100 lives, never took anything for granted and lived every day to the fullest.’
She recalled how she would come home from school to find the cricket legend waiting behind the kitchen counter, eating his favourite spaghetti bolognaise.
‘I would do anything to go back to that,’ Summer said.
Summer said: ‘You will always be with us dad, just not in the ways we have hoped.’
‘You saved me dad, you really did.’
At the MCG, the silence was broken only by sobs. ‘We love you,’ someone shouted, as Summer poured her heart out.
Summer Warne, 20, crushed the toughest heart as she recalled singing and dancing with her dad ‘without a care in the world – and we couldn’t stop laughing at each other’
Jackson, looking every inch his father’s son, confidently wowed the MCG with his poise. Daughter Brooke, who was the last of Warne’s children to speak, managed to end on a high note.
Her touching tales brought chuckles from the crowd even as she tearfully described all of the reasons why she would miss her father.
Through tears, Brooke said: ‘I will miss grabbing your big wrists and feeling your hands and saying that I have big fat fingers just like you.
‘I will miss our chats just about how big our double chins are and how big our bellies are looking especially after we’ve just eaten our body weight in cheese, pizza and pasta.
Jackson Warne, 23, looking every inch his father’s son, confidently wowed the MCG with his poise as he talked about his hero who was taken too soon
‘I have to come to the fact that my Dad will never get to see me grow up or Jackson or Summer or see us get married one day, have kids and get the promotion I was going for.
‘But what makes me the saddest is, I will never get to wrap my arms around you and give you the biggest hug and rest my chin on your chest. Dad was our shining star in life and now he’s shining down on all of us.
‘We will do you so proud, Dad and we are so proud of everything you have achieved. We’re going to do what you always told us – try our best and we will try our best to live in a world without you. I love you always, Dad.’
Daughter Brooke Warne, 24, the last of Shane’s children to speak, managed to end on a high note