Shane Warne had experienced chest pains and seen a doctor about his heart before his sudden death at the age of 52, Thai Police have revealed.
Police said Warne also had a history of asthma and heart issues and his family had held concerns about his health before he left Australia.
Warne’s former fiancé, Elizabeth Hurley, joined the flood of tributes overnight, sharing an emotional post on Instagram almost 24 hours after news first broke that the Australian cricket legend had died of a suspected heart attack while on holiday in Thailand.
Warne was found unresponsive in his luxury villa on the island of Koh Samui on Friday after he was late to meet friends for an afternoon drink.
Police superintendent on the island, Yuttana Sirisomba, told reporters late Saturday local time, he had been given Warne’s medical information from Warne’s family.
He said Warne’s body would be transferred from the island to the Thai mainland on Sunday to undergo an autopsy before being repatriated to Australia.
Australian Ambassador to Thailand Allan McKinnon was at the media conference with police and thanked authorities on behalf of the family.
“I’m here on behalf of Shane Warne’s family and his travelling companions to thank Superintendent Yutthana and his team here at the Bo Phun Police Station and the hospital in Koh Samui for facilitating this process and getting Shane Warne back to Australia as quickly as possible,” he said.
“They have been very compassionate, very efficient, and very understanding.”
Long-time manager James Erskine earlier said Warne was sober and alone, watching cricket, when he suffered a suspected fatal heart attack.
He was just days into a three-month spell from work, and had embarked on his latest heath kick when he died at the resort.
Mr Erskine, who said Warne detested and never took drugs, was found by friends who were holidaying with him and who tried desperately to revive him.
“Shane had sort of decided he was going to have three months off,” Erskine told Fox Cricket.
“In fact, he wanted a year off and I said: ‘there’s no way you can have a year off, they would’ve forgotten you by a year’.
“So he decided to have three months off.
“This was just the start of it and they’d only arrived the day or night before.”
Erskine said Warne’s friend and business manager Andrew Neophitou, staying in the same villa, had gone to Warne’s room.
“They were going to have a drink at 5pm (Friday, local time) or go and meet someone to go out and have a drink at 5pm,” he said.
“And Neo knocked on his door at 5.15pm because Warnie is always on time.
“He went in there and said ‘come on, you’re going to be late’ and then realised something was wrong.
“And he turned him over and gave him CPR and mouth-to-mouth, which lasted about 20 minutes and then the ambulance came.
“They took him to the hospital, which was about a 20-minute drive, and I got a phone call about 45 minutes later saying he was pronounced dead.”
Hurley breaks silence
Hurley paid tribute to Warne as her “beloved Lionheart” following the news of his death.
Hurley, 56, was engaged to Warne from September 2011 until they split in December 2013, with their relationship attracting significant media attention.
Hurley posted a series of photos on Instagram of herself and Warne together, including one of them kissing on a beach.
Another shows them smiling and holding hands at a charity cricket match.
Hurley, best known for starring in the Austin Powers and Bedazzled films, wrote: “I feel like the sun has gone behind a cloud forever. RIP my beloved Lionheart @shanewarne23.”
Warne could not be revived after being found unresponsive in his Thailand villa on Friday following a suspected heart attack.
Former teammates, sporting opponents, celebrities and friends have since paid tribute, recalling fond memories and remembering him as a “true cricket legend”.
Fans laid flowers at a statue of Shane Warne outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground, while Australia joined other international cricket teams in observing a minute’s silence before the start of play in the second day of their test against Pakistan overnight.