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Aussies have rushed to score free tickets to Shane Warne‘s state memorial at the MCG where tens of thousands of fans will farewell the cricketer for the last time.
The highly-anticipated funeral will be held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 30, nearly a month after the Aussie icon died of a heart attack on March 4.
Tickets for the memorial were made available at 3pm on Tuesday, prompting tens of thousands to jump online and claim their spot at the send-off.
More than 30,000 tickets were snapped up in less than three hours for seats on the venue’s northern grandstand that overlooks the Great Southern Stand, due to be renamed in honour of the cricket great.
Aussies are rushing to score free tickets to Shane Warne’s state memorial at the MCG where tens of thousands of fans will farewell the cricket great (pictured in 2019) for the last time
The highly-anticipated funeral will be held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (pictured) on March 30, nearly a month after the Aussie icon died of a heart attack on March 4
Organisers have reassured fans more tickets will become available in the lead-up to the service which can be attended by over 100,000 people.
At least 50,000 fans will join Warne’s family, friends, dignitaries and invited guests, which will include former and current cricketers at the MCG, the scene of Warne’s famous Ashes hat-trick in 1994 and 700th Test wicket on Boxing Day in 2006.
The memorial is scheduled to start at 7pm on March 30, with doors opening at 5:30pm, and is expected to last at least two hours.
Victoria’s deputy premier James Merlino said the state government was looking to get as many people into the cricket ground as possible.
Premier Daniel Andrews also reassured fans there would be no density limits placed on the event which will farewell Warnie for the final time.
He said the service would be an ‘incredibly special event’ for both the cricketer’s family and the Australian community.
Attendees are required to be fully vaccinated to enter the cricket ground with Covid-safe protocols to remain in place during the event.
Those who can’t physically attend the service will be invited to tune in to a live-stream on a website dedicated to broadcasting the memorial.
It is expected musicians who were close to Warne, like Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Ed Sheeran, (pictured with the cricketer) will send personalised videos to be played at the MCG
It is also understood Elizabeth Hurley, (left) who was formerly engaged to the cricketer, (right) is considering making the trip from England
It is expected musicians who were close to Warne, like Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Ed Sheeran, will send personalised videos to be played at the MCG.
It is also understood Elizabeth Hurley, who was formerly engaged to the cricketer, is considering making the trip from England, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Mourners are asked to make a donation to The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in lieu of flowers at the request of Warne’s family,
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed he will attend the public service – the night after the Federal Budget is handed down.
The new details comes just days after about 80 of the Warne’s close friends and family attended an intimate funeral at the St Kilda Football Club.
Emotions ran high as mourners congregated to remember the icon on Sunday at the fitting setting where Warne earned a spot in the under-19s side before being elevated to reserve grade – one tier below the top level.
Close friend and TV host Eddie McGuire (pictured with Warne in December 2014) delivered the eulogy at an intimate funeral attended by 80 of the cricketer’s close friends and family
Tickets for the cricketer’s state memorial were made available at 3pm on Tuesday, prompting tens of thousands of fans jump to claim their spot (pictured, crowds at the MCG in 2006)
Close friend and TV host Eddie McGuire delivered the eulogy at the funeral and Coldplay singer Chris Martin performed a musical tribute called ‘The Eulogy’.
McGuire gave a live cross to Channel 9 before heading inside the service.
He spoke of Warne’s jovial and happy-go-lucky nature, noting he was a ‘friend of The Footy Show’ and loved his life.
‘The reason why he was so loved is because he was fallible, he was Superman. He did the things you dreamt of doing as a kid,’ McGuire said in a moving tribute.
Mourners also heard the song Yellow by Coldplay, which was one of Warne’s favourite tracks, along with Frank Sinatra’s My Way.
Emotional lyrics from the Coldplay song include ‘lights will guide you home’ and ‘tears stream down your face when you lose something you cannot replace’.
During the outdoor part of the service Fix You by Coldplay was played and finally, as Warne’s body was driven away for a final time, Simply The Best by Tina Turner.
Warne’s three children, daughters Brooke, 24, and Summer, 21, and son Jackson, 22, filed out after the procession looking grief stricken.
Jackson was accompanied by his girlfriend Kiah Broadsmith, 21.
‘The reason why he was so loved is because he was fallible, he was Superman. He did the things you dreamt of doing as a kid,’ McGuire said of Warne in a moving tribute on Sunday
Warne’s son Jackson kissed his dad’s coffin as close friends of his father watched on from the stands (he is pictured here carrying the coffin at the private service on Sunday)
The hearse drove a final lap of honour around the football oval, with club scarves draped over his coffin. Warne’s son Jackson kissed his dad’s coffin as close friends of his father watched on from the stands.
The invitation-only mourners included sporting friends, old school mates, his partners from late night poker games. They were all given St Kilda scarves as they walked in for the sombre service.
Others mourners included Michael Clarke, Merv Hughes, Allan Border, Mark Taylor, Ian Healy, Glenn McGrath and former England captain Michael Vaughan, racehorse owner Lloyd Williams.
Also in attendance were football figures Aaron Hamill, Steven Baker, Campbell Brown and Sam Newman, and friends Dannii Minogue, Ann Peacock and Warne’s long-time personal assistant Helen Nolan.
Guests, wearing their matching Saints scarves, were instructed to put their glasses ‘high to the sky’ for one final farewell.
Warne’s three children, daughters Brooke, 24, and Summer, 21, and son Jackson, 22, filed out after the procession looking grief stricken (pictured, the cricketer in November 1999)
Warne was found unresponsive in his luxury villa at the Samujana resort on Koh Samui, Thailand, on March 4 after suffering a heart attack (pictured, fans father outside the MCG)
Warne’s former fiancee, actress Elizabeth Hurley, revealed overnight she would not be able to attend.
‘My heart aches that I can’t be in Australia tomorrow for Shane’s funeral,’ she wrote in an emotional Instagram post.
‘I was filming last night and, with the time jump, physically can’t get there.’
Warne was found unresponsive in his luxury villa at the Samujana resort on Koh Samui, Thailand, about 5pm on Friday, March 4 after suffering a heart attack.
His close friend Andrew Neophitou performed CPR on Warne for up to 20 minutes before first responders arrived and took over, but could not save him.