Fresh details have emerged about Shane Warne’s final days in Thailand, including one staggering final act of generosity for one of his great mates and the legend’s last meal.
Tom Hall was part of the group holidaying with Warne and was also staying at the Samujan resort on the island of Koh Samui.
Hall, who is the CEO of media website The Sporting News, paid tribute to Warne with a column showing just how caring and compassionate the king of spin was.
While watching the Australia v Pakistan Test, Warne told Hall he had a gift for him.
“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. Neo and Gaz were obviously aware of what was going on as Neo pulled out his camera.
“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.”
Hall and Warne then grabbed some dinner, which would turn out to be Warne’s final meal.
Throughout his career, Warne was known for his love of baked beans and Hawaiian pizzas, but it was another Aussie classic that he enjoyed on this night.
The choice of cuisine couldn’t have summed him up any better.
“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.”