Like most of you here tonight, I too have memories of Shane. When I was eight years old, I was at the MCG test with my grandfather.
I was sitting in the members’ section where the Aussies would run down the race. We were batting at the time and we had a rare batting collapse. When it was Warnie’s turn to bat, I remember him walking past me.
His batting stint, though, was quicker than the walkout to the ground. But what happened when he got back was just amazing. It was dead silent, as Warnie walked up the race.
I stood up on my chair and within ear shot I said: “Well batted, Warnie.” The crowd giggled. Warnie came up to me, rubbed my hair and said, “Cheers, little man.” Warnie came back down 10 minutes later and asked me how would I like to spend the rest of the day with the team.
Of course I said yes. That was an experience that I’ll never forget. But that wasn’t the best part. For the next two years, Warne would write me letters for nothing other than just to see how I’m going.
This man was an outright rock star. For him to do that just goes to show no matter who you are, no matter what you’ve achieved in your life, it’s important to always stay humble and care for everyone. This is life lessons I’ve carried ever since that moment.
So I just want to say thank you to Warnie. In conclusion, I’d like to say I wish to welcome you all from the tops of the trees and the roots in the ground and I truly believe if we look after this country it will look after us. Thank you. Rest easy, King.