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Kylie Minogue, Elton John and Ed Sheeran lead celebrity tributes for ‘absolute rockstar’ cricketer Shane Warne at state memorial

Singer Kylie Minogue has said the "light will continue to burn forever" as she led celebrity tributes from stars including Elton John and Ed Sheeran at Shane Warne’s state memorial in Australia.

More than 50,000 spectators were at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), where tributes called Warne an "absolute rockstar" for the way he looked out for other people in his life.

Kylie said Warne had that "star quality and charisma that the world got to know and love" and that it "was the same on the doorstep" as it was on the cricket field.

‘He was such a great bloke’

In a recorded message from London, Ed Sheeran played Warne’s "favourite song" of his, Thinking Out Loud, and said: "Shane was an incredible human to me and every single person that he came across. I’ve just got such wonderful stories of him.

"People that he didn’t even know have wonderful stories of him – he gave so much of his time and energy and love to. He was such a great bloke."

Elton John said Warne was "probably one of the greatest sportsman ever" before he played his hit, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, in his memory.

Warne’s father, Keith, said his son was "always about putting smiles on people’s faces" during a speech at the ground.

He added when Warne died on 4 March, "it was the darkest day in our family’s life" and his son’s "feats on and off the cricket field will go down in history for all time".

Mr Warne said his son "loved life and lived for sport" and the family takes "comfort in knowing that Shane packed more in his life of 52 years, five months and 19 days than most people would in two lifetimes".

The Great Southern Stand was also named in Warne’s honour as part of the service.

The 52-year-old died of a suspected heart attack in Koh Samui, Thailand. An autopsy revealed his death was due to natural causes.

The MCG is the scene of many of Warne’s iconic bowling moments, including a hat-trick against England in 1994 and his 700th test wicket on Boxing Day in 2006.

‘You will always be with us, Dad’

The bowling legend’s daughter, Summer Warne, spoke of her last moments with her father shortly after the spectators at the MCG had listened to a clip of the Bryan Adams hit, Summer Of ’69.

She said: "That song, Summer Of ’69, was the song that played on Wednesday 2 March – two days before your passing and the last time I saw my dad.

"You were coming to pick up your bag you needed for Thailand. You came inside, you had your car door wide open blaring that song.

"You started dancing and singing with true happiness all around you with a smile that lit up the whole room.

"We both started dancing with not a care in the world and couldn’t stop laughing with each other.

"You will always be with us, Dad – just not in the way that we had hoped."

Former England cricket captain, Nasser Hussain, said Warne was the "king bowler but also the great sledger" while reflecting on the days they played against each other, adding: "We love you and we’ll miss you".

The service heard how "committed" Warne was to his charity work, particularly to helping children and "the need to give something back".

The Shane Warne Foundation helped projects and children across Australia as Warne "played the charity game with gusto".

Spectators also heard how "he raised most of the millions himself" and he was "unstoppable" in his efforts to help other people.

‘Chaos and Shane were good friends’

Actor Hugh Jackman, in a pre-recorded tribute, said: "There’s no one like you, Warney – and there never will be again."

Warne’s "great musical mate" from Coldplay, Chris Martin, composed some music which was played alongside further tributes to the Australian leg spinner’s charity projects.

In a video recorded in Central America, Martin also said "chaos and Shane were good friends" before he performed an acoustic version of the Coldplay hit, Yellow – finishing with "we’re gonna miss you".

Actor Eric Bana said Warne’s talents were "part magician, part showman – as he mesmerised fans as he did the best batsmen in the world" and added that kids wanted to be just like Warney".

Read more: Private funeral held for cricket star



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