CELEBRITY

Trevor Marmalade: “Shane Warne opened doors for everyone”

Opportunities were aplenty for Shane's inner circle of friends
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Whether he was playing high-stakes poker with him in Las Vegas or watching him serve up a fastball to Plucka Duck, comedian and presenter Trevor Marmalade tells New Idea that spending time with his mate Shane Warne was always an unforgettable experience.

“Doors opened for you when you were with Warnie,” says Trev, who’ll deeply miss his friendship with the late cricketing legend, which was formed “years ago” through their mutual love of footy.

Watch: Simone Callahan’s tribute video to Shane Warne

“I’m in shock he’s gone. I woke up to a message with the bad news and I just lay in bed until midday – I just didn’t want to get up.”

Living and working in Melbourne’s inner suburbs and both being young dads at the same time, it was sport, a few beers, the love of the punt and lots of laughs that bonded Shane and Trev.

The larrikin pair also shared screen time on Hey Hey It’s Saturday and The Footy Show when Shane was a star guest.

“Our kids are good friends and there were plenty of private poker games at Warnie’s place over the years,” says Trev, who is still feeling “numb” with his own grief.

shae warne
Living and working in Melbourne’s inner suburbs and both being young dads at the same time, it was sport, a few beers, the love of the punt and lots of laughs that bonded Shane and Trev. (Credit: Getty Images)

Having seen the collective outpouring of international love for the ‘King of Spin’, who died suddenly of a heart attack on Thailand’s island of Koh Samui on March 4, Trev says he’s unsurprised by the world’s reaction.

“He was a man of the people, in the truest sense,” says Trev. “He was the greatest bowler of all time. He was just a bloke who was equally at home on a superyacht in the French Riviera as he was leaning on the bar at the local footy club … and he’d probably prefer the local bar. He never really lost his inner bogan,” he laughs.

Trev believes it was this “everyman” spirit that endeared Shane to rock stars, princes and the public alike.

“Wherever he went in the world, people knew him and would do anything for him,” Trev explains. “One night in 2004 I was in London, backstage with The Footy Show, and in walked Shane with this bloke called Rod, who turned out to be the promoter for Elton John, Madonna and Pearl Jam.

Warnie said they were off to Vienna the next day to go backstage at Bon Jovi. They asked me if I wanted to tag along.”

Trev turned down the offer because he was going to Paris to watch the Grand Prix with Sam Newman, but he happened to mention he was disappointed not to be seeing Madonna in concert while he was there.

shane warne
Trev believes it was this “everyman” spirit that endeared Shane to rock stars, princes and the public alike. (Credit: Getty Images)

“The next morning Warnie rings and tells me to go to Gate 5a at the Paris stadium and the tickets will be waiting for me,” says Trev, who was seated front row and centre at Madonna’s Re-Invention Tour thanks to his old mate’s connections.

And when Trev decided to try his hand at playing professional poker in the USA, the doors suddenly swung open in Las Vegas when casino bosses realised he knew Warnie, who was in the same tournament.

Then there was the time the Aussie cricket team was touring the UK, and Hey Hey It’s Saturday’s resident bad bird, Plucka Duck, invaded the pitch to face a fastball from Warnie.

“We’ve never laughed so hard,” he says.

But it was the simple joys that Shane enjoyed the most, Trev explains. His love for his kids, his family and his friends were always first and foremost.

One day at a function at Melbourne’s Junction Oval, Trev recalls bowling practise balls to his then 6-year-old son, Lucas, when along came Shane asking for a turn.

“The fact he wanted to bowl a few up to my kid, well that was just typical Warnie,” says Trev. “It didn’t matter who you were or what you did, Warnie had time to listen to your story. I will miss that and him.”

Read more in this week’s New Idea, on sale now. 

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