While many families see Christmas as a time of joyful gathering, others are marking their first holiday season without the ones they love, one such family is that of the late cricket legend Shane Warne.
The “King of Spin” died in March 2022 of a suspected heart attack while holiday in Koh Samui, Thailand, he was 52.
Warne left behind three children, with his eldest daughter, Brooke, recently taking to social media to share a heartbreaking video of the “difficult” time her family faced as they spent their first Christmas without her father.
The 24-year-old had previously taken a break from social media in the weeks leading up to the holiday season before coming back on TikTok to share the emotional toll of not having her father around for Christmas.
@brookewarne1 Life update ???????? Thank you everyone for your continued ongoing support. #lifeupdate ♬ original sound – BrookeWarne
“Hello everyone, I just wanted to jump on here and say hi, and that I know I’ve been quiet on socials these last few weeks over Christmas and New Year,” she said.
“It’s been quite difficult without Dad this year, Christmas Eve wasn’t the same, we’d usually be spending Christmas Eve with Dad this year, waking up with him on Christmas Day and all of that.
“Boxing Day we’d usually be going to the cricket, well he’d be trying to get us to go to the cricket – last year I went and Jacko went as well but this year it was really hard.
“I just thought getting off my phone and getting off social media and just staying quiet and taking in everything for what it was would be helpful.
“But it’s been really weird without him by our side because this is when he’d be getting back from working, doing the Dunhill, being in the UK – he’s always here over the summertime, he’s always here to be commentating on the cricket.
“He’s always here to bring us round an icy pole, doing little Dad things in the summertime, coming to the beach with us and being down in Portsea, doing all those things that he just loved to do.
“It’s been really hard but we are so grateful for our family and our friends and our friends that are family, that have supported us and we’ve been able to go into the new year and have their ongoing support, we are just so grateful.”
Later in the video Brooke thanks the public for their endless support and for honouring her father at the Boxing Day Test by wearing his signature floppy hat, adding that the moment was bittersweet for the family.
“The tributes that everyone did on Boxing Day being the Shane Warne Test, and everyone wearing their floppy hats and I think he would be so incredibly touched as are we,” she said.
“But it was also really hard, as you know, it was a constant reminder that he wasn’t here. Because now things are starting to become real that he’s not here, and he’s not coming back from holiday.
“And I think the last couple of weeks, it’s really sort of started to sink in, and the emotions have been very real.”
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Last month, Brooke’s younger brother and Warne’s only son, Jackson, also took to social media to express his gratitude to the cricket community for their tribute to his father during the Boxing Day test at the MCG.
“I thought I’d just come on here because I wanted to firstly say I hope everyone had a good Christmas, spending time with your close friends and family,” he said.
“I know for some people it was their first time without partners or loved ones which would have been tough. But I hope you found a way to try and smile and enjoy the sun in the company that you were with.”
Warne was widely considered one of the greatest bowlers in cricket history. He played his first Test match in 1992 and took over 1,000 wickets in Tests and One-Day Internationals over the course of his career.
Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack recognised Shane’s incredible sporting achievements by naming him as one of its Five Cricketers of the Twentieth Century alongside fellow cricket icons Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Jack Hobbs and Sir Vivian Richards. He was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2013.