Symonds sister leaves poignant message
A man tried to revive former Australia cricketer Andrew Symonds after he crashed his car over the weekend, Australian media reported on Monday.
The all-rounder and twice World Cup winner died at 46 following the single-car accident late on Saturday near Townsville in Queensland. Local resident Waylon Townson told the Nine Network that he had heard the crash and was first at the scene.
“He was stuck in there, so I tried to pull him out,” he told Nine. “(I) started doing CPR and checked his pulse but I didn’t get much response from him.”
Emergency services also tried to revive Symonds, the sole occupant of the car, but he died of his injuries, police said in a statement on Sunday.
It was unclear why Symonds’ four-wheel drive vehicle veered off the road before rolling down an embankment.
“The forensic crash unit is investigating,” the police said. Early investigations suggested that Symonds’ car “left the roadway and rolled”. He was the only human in the vehicle, but his two blue heeler dogs were with him and survived.
One of them refused to leave his master’s side even after his death.
“When we got there we could see a car upside down with a man in it. One of them (dog) was very sensitive and didn’t want to leave him. It would just growl at you every time we tried to move him or go near him,” the witness was quoted as saying by Brisbane’s Courier Mail.
In an Instagram post from eight years ago, Symonds called his blue heeler puppy his “new best mate”.
“Think I have found my new best mate what u reckon,” he wrote. The post reeled in more than 500 likes, and some followers revisited it on Sunday following the news.
Adam Gilchrist wrote: “Think of your most loyal, fun, loving friend who would do anything for you. That’s Roy.”
Symonds’ sister visited the accident site and wrote that her heart is “broken”.
“Gone far too soon! Rest in peace Andrew. I wish we had one more day, one more phone call. My heart is broken. I will always love you my brother,” the note read.
“We are still in shock — I’m just thinking of the two kids,” Symonds’ tearful wife Laura said, referring to their young children. “He was the most laid-back person. Nothing stressed him out.”
Symonds’ death occurred with Australian cricket still coming to terms with the passing of all-time greats Rod Marsh and Shane Warne, who both died in March.
A swashbuckling batsman and brilliant fielder, Symonds played 238 Internationals, including 26 Tests, for Australia between 1998 and 2009.
His death triggered tributes from around the cricketing world, with former players remembering him as a rare talent and a maverick renowned for butting heads with team management over discipline issues.
“Roy (Symonds) was never perfect, that was for sure, and he never admitted that he was,” former Australia coach John Buchanan told ABC radio on Monday. “But the one thing about Roy — and one of the things that I think endeared him to most people — was that even though he made a mistake, he would openly admit that and try to rectify that.”