Elizabeth Hurley pays tribute to ‘my beloved Lionheart’ Shane Warne

Elizabeth Hurley with her then fiance Shane Warne in 2012
Elizabeth Hurley with her then fiance Shane Warne in 2012

The actress and model was engaged to the Australian until they split in December 2013

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Elizabeth Hurley has paid tribute to Shane Warne as her “beloved Lionheart”, following the cricketer’s death aged 52.

The actress and model, 56, was engaged to the Australian 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 them 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.”

The record-breaking Australian cricketer could not be revived after being found unresponsive in his Thailand villa on Friday, following a suspected heart attack.

Many celebrity friends of Warne have since paid tribute, recalling fond memories and remembering him as a “true cricket legend”.

Sir Elton John shared a photo of himself with Warne and Hurley, and he referenced the death of Rod Marsh, the Australian cricketer who also died on Friday.

He wrote: “A tragic day for Australian cricket. Two legends passing is heartbreaking. I knew them both and played cricket with Rod in Perth. A very special and fearless man.

“Shane was a magical bowler and such huge fun. They were both Australians through and through, which made them so endearing.

“My sympathies to their families and loved ones.”

Hurley was among those who liked his post.

Ed Sheeran said he had spoken to Warne on the phone this week to mark the anniversary of the death last year of music mogul Michael Gudinski.

The singer-songwriter shared a photo of Warne and Gudinski together on Instagram and wrote: “The world keeps taking incredible people away.

“I spoke to Shane on the anniversary of Michael’s passing this week saying we were both raising a glass of 707 in his honour, and now this news comes out.

“Shane was the kindest heart, and always went above and beyond to make people feel welcome and special. Such a gentleman.

“He gave so many hours and years of his life to bring joy to others, and was such an amazing friend to me. Il bloody miss you mate. Absolutely gutted.”

Rolling Stones frontman Sir Mick Jagger shared a black and white photo of Warne on Twitter while recalling his cricketing talent.

He wrote: “I’m so saddened by the sudden death of Shane Warne. He brought such joy to the game and was the greatest spin bowler ever.”

Australian pop star Kylie Minogue also paid her respects, writing: “Vale Warney. Condolences to his family, friends and fans. The one and only King of Spin, #ShaneWarne.”

Her sister and fellow pop star Dannii tweeted: “I am devastated to wake up to the news that Shane Warne has passed. My heart breaks for his family and friends.

“He was such a light and energy in the room. He was always lovely to my whole family.”

TV presenter Lizzie Cundy, socialite Jemima Goldsmith and BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker were also among those sharing their memories of Warne.

In 2016, Warne took part in the Australian version of the TV programme I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.

Warne was the joint-leading wicket-taker as Australia won the 1999 World Cup and finished with 293 one-day dismissals in 194 matches. He ended his illustrious 15-year international career in 2007.