The late Andrew Symonds had reportedly separated from his wife more than a year before last week’s tragic car crash.
Former Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds had separated from his wife more than a year before his tragic death, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Last week, the 46-year-old was killed in a single-car accident outside Townsville, where the Queenslander lived. He was the only person travelling in the car, but his two dogs survived.
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Symonds’ second wife Laura Vidmar told The Courier-Mail: “We are still in shock – I’m just thinking of the two kids.”
“He was such a big person and there is just so much of him in his kids,” she added.
“He was the most laid back person. Nothing stressed him out. He was an extremely chilled operator. So practical.
“He was never good with his phone but he always had time for everyone.”
However, The Daily Telegraph reports the couple had separated in late 2020, with Vidmar moving to Sydney with daughter Chloe and son Billy the following year.
Vidmar and the two children flew to Townsville last week after being informed of Symonds’ death.
According to the News Corp report, Symonds had been seeing television publicist Stefanie Rezzara in the months before his death.
Symonds and Vidmar married in 2014, 12 months after Billy’s birth.
The couple met while she was studying a Bachelor of Exercise and Movement Science at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), and was assigned work experience with the Queensland Bulls’ strength and conditioning department in 2004.
Both were in relationships at the time, but struck up a friendship and on Melbourne Cup Day in 2009, Symonds texted Vidmar asking if she had a tip. When the horse won and Symonds cleaned up as a result, he asked her to his Brisbane home for dinner to celebrate.
“He’d caught these crabs and fish and laid the table with all this beautiful seafood, and I didn’t eat seafood at the time. I thought, ‘Oh no, how am I going to get through this?’,” Vidmar recalled in a 2016 interview with The Courier-Mail.
He won her over, though.
When Laura was pregnant with their daughter – and was set to give birth during the sixth IPL season – Symonds chose to retire.
“He was over the game at the time,” Vidmar said.
“Not his teammates, but the politics and the negativity. He needed to get back up here (to Townsville). He has everything he needs to be happy up here. It’s his paradise.”
In the same interview, Symonds said the couple had “moved to the next stage in our lives”.
“We’ve got a good set-up here, two ripper kids,” he said.
Symonds’ passing comes after the shock deaths of fellow Australian cricket greats Shane Warne and Rod Marsh earlier this year.
The all-rounder was a devastating batter who could bowl either medium pace or off-spin, depending on the situation of the game. He was a key member of Australia’s ODI teams that won World Cups in 2003 and 2007, playing 198 times in the 50-over format, scoring 5088 runs and taking 133 wickets.