Andrew Symonds may have been best known for his contributions to Australian cricket, but it was life off the pitch that was “his paradise”.
Andrew Symonds may have been best known as an Australian cricket legend, but it was his life with his wife Laura and their two children that was “his heaven”.
The 46-year-old was killed overnight in a car accident outside Townsville, where the family of four lived, when his vehicle left the road and rolled over. Paramedics tried to rescue him but failed.
Symonds’ family confirmed the devastating news this morning, with Laura sharing it The Postal Courier: “We’re still in shock, I’m just thinking about the two guys.”
“He was such a great person and there is so much of him in his children,” he added.
“He was the most relaxed person. Nothing stresses him. He was an extremely cold operator. So practical.
“He was never good with the phone, but he always had time for everyone.”
Laura, their daughter Chloe and son Billy flew from Sydney to Townsville this morning after being informed of Symonds’ death.
‘It’s his paradise’
Symonds married Laura in 2014, 12 months after their son was born.
The couple met when she was studying a Bachelor of Exercise and Movement Science at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and in 2004 she was assigned work experience with the Queensland Bulls strength and conditioning department.
They were both in a relationship at the time but formed a friendship and on Melbourne Cup Day in 2009, Symonds texted Laura asking if she had a tip. When the horse won and Symonds cleaned up accordingly, he asked her to have dinner at her home in Brisbane to celebrate.
“He had caught these crabs and fish and set the table with all this wonderful fish, and I wasn’t eating seafood at the time. I thought, oh no, how am I going to get through all of this? ”Laura recalled in a 2016 interview with The Postal Courier.
He conquered it, though, and the two have been together ever since.
When Laura was pregnant with her daughter – and was due to give birth during the sixth IPL season – Symonds chose to retire.
“He was out of the game at the time,” said Laura. “Not his teammates, but politics and negativity. He had to come back here (to Townsville). She has everything she needs to be happy up here. It’s her paradise. ”
In the same interview, Symonds said the couple had “moved on to the next stage in our life”.
“We have a good set-up here, two ripper guys,” he said.
Speaking to the Nine Network this morning, former Australian captain Allan Border said the all-around great player “loved” his life out of the spotlight.
“People liked his very relaxed style. He lived in Townsville. When I spoke to him, I think he still had a hundred head of cattle to herd, “he said.
“Simmo away from the cameras and away from the spotlight, he loved, I think, a bit of solitude and that’s why he loved his fishing. She loved his time. ”
Symonds “never met” her birth parents
Born in England on June 9, 1975, Symonds moved to Australia with his adoptive parents, English teachers Ken and Barbara Symonds, when he was only 18 months old.
“I’m an adopted child, right, so I don’t really know my birth parents. I’ve never met them, “he said The Brett Lee podcast of its adoption late last month.
“But when I was six weeks old, my mother and father went to the clinic and asked to adopt a child. And so the way things worked back then was that they took me home for a week and put me on trial. A test ride.
“And I remember mom telling the story they took me home for the week and I played and cried and I was terrible, so they went back to the clinic and they were asked, ‘How did it go?’ and she says, ‘You know, he was an angel. Hey, he was perfect. We would like to keep it. ‘
“So they signed all the paperwork and I became Andrew Symonds, returning home with Kenneth Walter Symonds and Barbara Symonds as their son.”
Listen to Andrew Symonds in his latest interview by searching for The Brett Lee Podcast wherever he listens to podcasts, or hit play here:
It was during his childhood that he earned the long-standing nickname “Roy”, given to him by a junior sports coach for his resemblance to basketball player Leroy Loggins.
The family settled on the Gold Coast in 1988, when Symonds’ father Ken was appointed deputy principal of All Saints.
Marriage to childhood sweetheart Brooke Marshall
The Anglican School was where Symonds met his childhood sweetheart, Brooke Marshall, whom he married 11 years later on April 24, 2004 in St John’s Anglican Cathedral in Brisbane.
“It’s number 1 and it makes me feel that way too,” Ms. Marshall said at the time of the wedding.
“He may have a rough look, but on the inside he’s tender and he knows how to take care of his girlfriend.”
But it wasn’t meant to last: the couple separated a little over a year later, in September 2005.
In his 2006 book, Roy: Go brokeSymonds revealed that he was on the verge of giving up cricket in an attempt to save his marriage.
“I have seriously considered resigning and cricket altogether. My reasoning was that if there was any chance of rebuilding my marriage, then maybe I was better off without cricket, “she wrote.
“I spoke at length with Brooke and (psychologist) Phil Jauncey, and Phil said that while giving up cricket would prove commitment, I had to wonder if I was ready to lose the two things I loved, because if things weren’t training with Brooke I would have nothing.
“I decided that if we made the most of a second chance it would have to involve cricket because it was one of the few things I could rely on to give us a future.”
Symonds concluded that he was “sorry Brooke had to go through what she did and if I had my time again I would do things differently, but I believe you learn a lot more from your mistakes than your successes and I have emerged as a changed person “.
Originally published as Inside Andrew Symonds’ “paradise” life with his wife Laura and their two children