Shane Warne’s sudden death last month at the age of 52 sent shockwaves through not only Australia, but the world.

The decorated sports star and influential personality died unexpectedly on March 4 from a suspected heart attack whilst on holiday in Ko Samui, Thailand. The ‘King of Spin’ took 708 Test wickets throughout his illustrious 16-year international career and is widely regarded as one of the best bowlers the game of cricket has ever seen.

The leg-spinner, proudly from Upper Ferntree Gully in Victoria, originally only wanted to be a footballer for the St Kilda Saints, but when that opportunity came, cricket fell into his lap.

In the history books, the legend of Shane Keith Warne will not only be told for his achievements on the sporting field, but the way he became an icon of Australian culture through his larrikinism and distinct relationships he formed with all he met.

Warne was honoured with a state memorial service at the Melbourne Cricket Ground last Wednesday night, 30 March, with sporting stars as well as global celebrities offering their condolences and recounting classic stories.

Worldwide musicians and friends of Shane, Ed Sheeran, Elton John, Chris Martin and Robbie Williams all honoured Warne at the state memorial service, as well as cricketing greats such as Ian Healy, Mark Taylor, Merv Hughes, Brian Lara and Nasser Hussain.

Shane Warne will forever be honoured at his home ground, the MCG, after the Great Southern Stand was renamed the Shane Warne Stand, joining the statue of Shane which already sits out the front of the stadium. Regular Australian’s thought Shane was an athlete who embraced the laidback, average-joe personality that all could relate too, and Warne just thought he was a regular Aussie, who too liked to smoke, drink, and gamble.

Warne touched and entertained so many people throughout the world, not only with his cricketing abilities but his charisma as well.

There hasn’t been a more publicised or influential death in Australian pop-culture in recent history, and not since Steve Irwin’s tragic death in 2006 has one shocked our nation’s people so much.

The King of Spin, the man who provided the globe with so many iconic cricketing moments, such as the ‘ball of the century’ to Mike Gatting on his very first delivery on an Ashes tour in England, famously being dismissed on 99 in Perth, and the first player to 700 Test wickets.

Warne also has a long list of sensational off-field stories that would best be saved for another time.

Rest in peace, Warnie.

Tim Warren