Australian cricketing greats have gathered at a private service in Townsville to celebrate the life of Andrew Symonds with a fitting dress code of ‘definitely no jacket and tie required’.
Symonds’ wife and two children arrived at Riverway Stadium on Friday, along with former teammates Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson who were among a plethora of cricketing royalty to see off the proud North Queenslander who died in a car crash on May 14.
At the morning’s private service, hats, flowers, a crab pot and a bat – items symbolic of the many facets of Symonds’ life – were placed at the foot of his coffin.
There was also a picture of Symonds wearing an Akubra hat, with a smile that fans of the allrounder will remember fondly.
His larrikin nature and true Australian character resonated with cricket lovers across the country during his 227-match first-class career.
It was that personality that ensured he was admired for his bullish nature with the bat and arrow-like precision on the field for Queensland and Australia.
The public celebrated the life of Symonds at a memorial service from 2.30-4pm (AEST).
Former Queensland and Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy MC-ed the tribute with Ponting, Gilchrist and Darren Lehman among the speakers.
Matthew Mott and Jimmy Maher also spoke, before poet Rupert McCall delivered a poem in celebration of his good friend’s life.
The gathering of Australia’s cricketing elite is a fitting tribute for Symonds, who captivated audiences around the globe.