3.9k Share this
There were emotional scenes at the Marvel Stadium on Friday night as St Kilda remembered Shane Warne ahead of their season opener against Collingwood.
Warne, 52, died earlier this month after suffering a suspected heart attack in Thailand and the sporting world has come together to remember the cricketing great with his state funeral scheduled for March 30.
On Friday night, Warne’s beloved St Kilda kicked off their 2022 season against the Pies at Marvel Stadium, the first time the Saints have played a competitive game since the spinner’s death.
And the St Kilda stars commemorated Warne before the bounce, wearing ‘Warne 23’ training tops as they were put through their paces. The footy club tweeted an image of the players in their shirts with the caption: ‘In honour of the king’.
Warne’s son, Jackson, tossed the coin before the bounce, and all didn’t go according to plan as the 23-year-old had to do the pre-match honours a second time – with sister Brooke seeing the funny side of things at Marvel Stadium.
Warne will receive a state send off at the MCG on March 30, but his family have also planned an intimate ceremony for Sunday to say goodbye without the global fanfare.
Jackson Warne tossed the coin ahead of St Kilda’s season opener against Collingwood
The 23-year-old wore a Saints scarf and did the pre-match honours at Marvel Stadium
Shane Warne’s children Jackson (left) and Brooke (right) were all smiles ahead of the bounce
St Kilda players warmed up in ‘Warne 23’ training tops ahead of their AFL season opener
The cricket legend adored the Saints and the club are paying tribute following his death
St Kilda kick off their AFL season against the Pies with Jackson Warne set to toss the coin
Invitations have been sent out to cricketers, former teammates, poker buddies, media colleagues and mates from the St Kilda AFL club.
Warne played under-19s and reserves for St Kilda before devoting himself to cricket and remained a committed Saints fans, cheering his club on from the stands and former a friendship with club legend Nick Riewoldt.
‘Warnie was a great Saints man who loved this footy club,’ St Kilda captain Jack Steele said ahead of the game.
‘It’s a privilege to be able to represent Shane on-field and I hope we do him and all Saints fans proud.’
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed he will attend the public service on March 30 – the night after the federal budget is handed down.
Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and singer Ed Sheeran are expected to send video messages to be played on big screens.
Warne’s former fiancée, actress Elizabeth Hurley will likely fly out from the UK.
The state memorial will be ticketed and live-streamed for those who can’t attend, with tickets to be made available to the public soon.
Around 100,000 people are expected to attend the twilight service at the MCG; the scene of Warne’s famous Ashes hat-trick in 1994 and 700th Test wicket on Boxing Day in 2006.
More to follow.