Andrew Symonds’ wife has spoken of her family’s grief at the cricket great’s sudden death as his devastated niece reveals she is ‘lost for words’.
The retired all-rounder died at about 10.30pm on Saturday in Hervey Range, 50km west of Townsville in far north Queensland, when his vehicle left the road and rolled.
The 46-year-old is survived by his wife Laura and their two children Chloe and Billy, who flew from Sydney to Townsville upon hearing the devastating news.
‘We are still in shock – I’m just thinking of the two kids,’ Laura told News Corp on Sunday morning.
‘He was such a big person and there is just so much of him in his kids.’
The 46-year-old is survived by his wife Laura (left) and their two children Chloe and Billy (centre), who flew from Sydney to Townsville upon hearing of the devastating news
His niece Abby posted a series of images to Instagram, writing she is ‘devastated and lost beyond words’ for the loss of the cricket legend
She described Symonds as ‘the most laid back person’ and a deeply loyal friend.
‘Nothing stressed him out. He was an extremely chilled operator. So practical,’ his wife said.
‘He was never good with his phone but he always had time for everyone.’
The pair met while Laura was studying at the Queensland University of Technology and did work experience with Symonds’ Queensland Bulls.
They were in relationships with other people at the time, but became friends over their love for horse racing.
In 2009 Symonds messaged Laura on Melbourne Cup Day asking if she had a tip. Her advice paid off, and the cricketer invited her over for dinner as a thanks for the money he’d won.
“He’d caught these crabs and fish and laid the table with all this beautiful seafood, and I didn’t eat seafood at the time. I thought, oh no, how am I going to get through this?” Laura said in a 2016 interview.
They have been together ever since.
She spoke of his decision to leave the game, growing tired of the off-field things and decided to retire on the eve of the IPL to be with his pregnant wife.
“He was over the game at the time. Not his teammates, but the politics and the negativity. He needed to get back up here (to Townsville). He has everything he needs to be happy up here. It’s his paradise,’ Laura said.
Symonds’ niece said he was like a ‘dad to her’ and promised to keep making him proud
‘We are still in shock – I’m just thinking of the two kids,’ Symonds’ wife Laura (pictured) said on Sunday morning
His niece Abby posted a series of images to Instagram, writing she is ‘devastated and lost beyond words’ for the loss of the cricket legend.
‘I wish this was all a bad dream, you were like a dad to me, May you rest in peace uncle Roy you were 1 in a million and had my back like no other I will forever miss you n love you with my whole heart,’ she captioned the post.
‘Don’t run too much of a muck up there big fella, I’ll keep doing you proud I promise.’
Shane Warne’s daughter Brooke, along with teammates, also expressed their sympathy. Warne and Symonds had been close friends as well as teammates.
‘We are still in shock – I’m just thinking of the two kids,’ Ms Symonds said on Sunday morning.
‘He was such a big person and there is just so much of him in his kids.’
She and children Chloe and Billy flew from Sydney to Townsville on Sunday morning after being told of Symonds’ death.
‘He was the most laid back person. Nothing stressed him out. He was an extremely chilled operator. So practical,’ Ms Symonds told News Corp.
She said the retired all-rounder was ‘extremely self-conscious about his intellect and would say “I didn’t go to Uni and don’t have degrees”, but he was so practical and really intelligent in his own way’.
Brooke Warne posted a picture of Shane Warne with two of his children, including Brooke, with Andrew Symonds to social media, saying ‘Rest in Peace Roy’. Symonds was known as Roy to many
‘Emergency services attempted to revive the 46-year-old driver and sole occupant, however, he died of his injuries,’ Queensland Police said on Sunday morning.
The accident is under investigation.
Police believe Symonds was on Hervey Range Road near Alice River Bridge when the accident occurred, and said he was removed from the vehicle to be treated by paramedics, who were on the scene when officers arrived.
He was the only person in the car but the keen hunter’s pig dogs were also in the vehicle. Photos obtained by the Courier Mail show skid marks at the scene of the crash.
Inspector Gavin Oates told the publication there is no suggestion alcohol was involved, and said nearby residents were at the scene.
‘I think they provided the assistance they could at the time and called 000 and emergency services,’ he added.
Shane Warne’s daughter Brooke posted a picture to social media of her with her dad’s friend Andrew Symonds
Brooke Warne posted a picture of father Shane and two of his children, including her, with Symonds to social media, saying ‘Rest in Peace Roy’. Symonds was known as Roy to many.
‘Heaven has gained another Angel,’ she added.
Ms Warne also posted a seperate picture of her with Symonds online.
Two months ago, Symonds expressed his shock at the death of Warne.
‘I’m hoping this is all a bad dream I just can’t get my head around never seeing you again,’ he wrote.
‘Love to all the Warne family I’m speechless.’
The close mates spent last New Year’s Eve together at The Esplanade Hotel in St Kilda, Melbourne, along with their former teammate Michael Hussey.
Australian cricket legend Andrew Symonds (pictured) has died in a car crash in Queensland
Andrew Symonds (left) arrives for the State Memorial Service for cricket legend Shane Warne at the MCG in Melbourne on Wednesday, March 30, 2022. Symonds was killed in a car crash on Saturday night
Shocked teammates have also paid tribute after the sudden death of their colleague.
‘This really hurts,’ said former Australian captain Adam Gilchrist on social media.
Former England player Michael Vaughan wrote: ‘Simmo .. This doesn’t feel real.’
Both included the letters RIP – rest in peace – in their messages, as did Jason Gillespie, who said it was ‘horrendous news to wake up to’.
He added that he was ‘utterly devastated. We are all gonna miss you mate.’
Former Australian cricketer Mark Taylor paid tribute to Symonds on Channel 9.
‘Symo. He was an adventurer,’ he said. ‘I can’t quite believe it. Another tragic day for cricket.
‘Bad things do happen in threes – Rod Marsh earlier this year, not long after that obviously Shane Warne and now Simmo. Another terrible day for cricket,’ said Taylor.
He said that Symonds loved outdoor adventures such as fishing, hiking and camping.
Former Australian captain Adam Gilchrist was among those paying tribute to Andrew Symonds on social media (pictured)
Jason Gillespie also paid tribute to Symonds in a Twitter message (pictured) on Sunday morning
‘I took Symo out one day fishing here on Sydney Harbour with The Cricket Show many years ago and just watching him flow a fly lure around boats was great to watch.
‘He was entertainer with the bat when it came to cricket, and as you say he was an imposing guy.’
Taylor said Symonds was earmarked as a white ball player. ‘He wanted to prove to the world he could play Test cricket and he did that way.
‘He was just an entertainer. In an era where professionalism really is a throwaway word that we use probably too often. Symo was the older sort of guy.