The friend who was holidaying with Shane Warne when he died in Thailand has opened up one of the cricket legend’s final acts – as well a perfect summary for what would be on his all-Aussie last meal.
Tom Hall was one of the few people to witness Warne’s death and he has since spoken about it at length.
When Hall met Warne at a charity poker tournament 15 years ago, they became friends and have been close ever since. In his article for The Sporting News, Hall pays tribute to one of their own who passed away too soon and goes into detail on what they last talked about moments before he died.
As he watched the Australia-Pakistan Test on TV, Hall said Warne told his mate that he had “bought you a present” and headed off excitedly to his room.
“You’re never quite sure what that means with Shane; it could be a bottle of his 708 gin, his fragrance, some book he thought I would enjoy or a random T-shirt,” Hall wrote. “He came back with an armful of clothes looking like he had been at a yard sale.”
“Shane had been working with me at The Sporting News for the past year or so and he presented me with his jumper from the 2005 Ashes Test, his 2008 IPL shirt and a one-day international shirt and cap to place in the TSN offices in Australia and the UK. Amazing gifts I knew the teams would love and cherish.
“As we went through the shirts and jumpers, more stories came out about the first IPL season and how he had inherited a team which had several unknown players in it. They lost their opening game, but Shane told (Rajasthan Royals owner) Manoj Badale, ‘Don’t worry mate, we’ll be OK’. They promptly won the rest of their games and the inaugural IPL title.”
Then it was time for a bite to eat and Warner’s final meal will come as no surprise to anybody aware of his love of an easy snack.
“I have dined with Shane in many fine establishments, but rather than sample some of the local Thai fare, we tuck into a plate of Vegemite on toast. Shane chomping away: ‘Geez, you can’t beat Vegemite with some butter, always great wherever you are in the world’.
“An Australian through and through — this was to turn out to be his last meal. Ever the caring father, as I was leaving, he headed up to his bedroom to call his kids.”
There’s nothing more Australian than Vegemite. What would you want your last meal to be?