Wed. Jul 6th, 2022

Andrew Symonds spent his final 24 hours doing what he loved, fishing and catching up with buddies at his favorite sports club, before he died in a car accident three hours later on a remote road.

The cricket legend was still in his fishing gear when he arrived at the Brothers Leagues Club in Kirwan, about 16km west of Townsville in Far North Queensland, on Saturday afternoon.

‘I’d say he spent the morning fishing before he got to the pub,’ Justin Wilkins, the club CEO, told Daily Mail Australia.

‘He stayed there until about 8pm, and then he left.’

Symonds died almost three hours later when his ute veered off Hervey Range Road, about 14km west of the pub, and rolled up an embankment on his drive home from a mystery location.

Family are desperately trying to piece together where the cricketer went after leaving the pub at 8pm, collecting his dogs and suffering a fatal crash on the remote road, with his sister saying they ‘just don’t know’.

The cause of the smash is yet to be determined but Queensland Police said alcohol was not a factor, and Mr Wilkins said he did not think Symonds had much to drink.

Andrew Symonds (pictured) went fishing and went to the pub before he died on Saturday night, Daily Mail Australia can reveal

Andrew Symonds (pictured) went fishing and went to the pub before he died on Saturday night, Daily Mail Australia can reveal

Andrew Symonds went to Brothers League Club (pictured) on Friday, and then again on Saturday

Andrew Symonds went to Brothers League Club (pictured) on Friday, and then again on Saturday

Tire marks and torn-up grass are seen at the site where Symonds' 4X4 veered off the road

Tire marks and torn-up grass are seen at the site where Symonds’ 4X4 veered off the road

‘He was a big guy and he could put it away, but I do not think he drank a lot before he left on Saturday,’ Mr Wilkins said.

He also did not know where Symonds went between leaving the pub and hitting the embankment, but it is understood he went home to collect his two beloved blue heeler dogs before he left and drove west.

The cricketer’s home is a two-minute drive from the club in Kirwan. The site of the crash is about 15 minutes west of Kirwan, near Alice River Bridge.

Symonds’ beloved pets were in the back of the red 4X4, which had personalized ‘ROY’ number plates at the time of the accident.

It was the same vehicle the keen angler used to tow his boats on his many fishing trips.

The dogs survived the crash, with one refusing to leave Symonds’ body on the side of the road.

Townsville local Garry Clark shared a beer with Symonds at Brothers Leagues Club on Friday (pictured together)

Townsville local Garry Clark shared a beer with Symonds at Brothers Leagues Club on Friday (pictured together)

Symonds was the only person in the car but the former cricketer's two beloved blue heelers were also in the vehicle and survived the crash (pictured, Symonds with one of his dogs)

Symonds was the only person in the car but the former cricketer’s two beloved blue heelers were also in the vehicle and survived the crash (pictured, Symonds with one of his dogs)

Symonds went fishing in Townsville, before heading to Brothers Leagues Club. He then went home, collected his dogs, and drove west after 8pm

His best friend and former teammate Jimmy Maher told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday that Symonds was driving home when he veered off the road, but – like Mr Wilkins – he did not know where the former cricketer had been since leaving the pub.

Neither did his sister Louise when asked on Monday – ‘we just do not know,’ she said.

Townsville local Garry Clark shared a beer with Symonds at the same sports club on Friday night.

There, they both watched the PNG Hunters rugby league team defeat the Townsville Blackhawks.

‘I shook his hand and had a chat,’ Mr Clark said.

‘He was teasing me because his team the Broncos just beat my team Manly that night and we were having a laugh about it.’

‘I am in shock – what happened keeps popping into my head.’

On Tuesday afternoon, Jimmy Maher (pictured) choked back tears when he confirmed that that Symonds' daughter Chloe is turning 10 on Wednesday

On Tuesday afternoon, Jimmy Maher (pictured) choked back tears when he confirmed that that Symonds’ daughter Chloe is turning 10 on Wednesday

Andrew Symonds (left) and former Queensland / Australian teammate Jimmy Maher (right) were mates for 30 years before Symonds' life was tragically cut short

Andrew Symonds (left) and former Queensland / Australian teammate Jimmy Maher (right) were mates for 30 years before Symonds’ life was tragically cut short

Andrew Symonds' sister Louise also does not know where Symonds had been before he crashed.  Andrew Symonds is pictured far right in blue, and Louise is center in green

Andrew Symonds’ sister Louise also does not know where Symonds had been before he crashed. Andrew Symonds is pictured far right in blue, and Louise is center in green

Mr Wilkins also said it was tragic to see him alive and well at the club just hours before the crash.

‘It’s really sad,’ he said.

‘He was a top bloke and he’ll be missed.’

Craig ‘Macca’ McGown, who hosts the travel TV series What’s Up Down Under, had organized a fishing and hunting trip with Symonds.

‘Literally yesterday, I was talking to a mate of mine,’ he said on social media on Sunday.

‘He said, “no more talk, let’s do it, get up here, we’re going fishing, crabbing and hunting pigs” – I said “righto, I’ll be there when I finish my next job”.

‘Today my mate is no longer with us. No more crabbing, no more fishing, no more chasing pigs. ‘

He encouraged his followers to connect with friends and family while they have the opportunity.

Craig 'Macca' McGown had organized a fishing and hunting trip with Symonds before he died (pictured together)

Craig ‘Macca’ McGown had organized a fishing and hunting trip with Symonds before he died (pictured together)

'Literally yesterday, I was talking to a mate of mine,' Macca said on social media on Sunday (pictured) referring to Symonds

‘Literally yesterday, I was talking to a mate of mine,’ Macca said on social media on Sunday (pictured) referring to Symonds

On Tuesday afternoon, Maher choked back tears when he confirmed that that Symonds’ daughter Chloe is turning 10 on Wednesday – marking her first birthday without her dad.

‘The family are struggling, as you’d expect, but they’re also holding up,’ Maher said.

‘It’s difficult for young kids to comprehend such a loss as the magnitude as the loss of your father.

‘You have to try and keep them busy and ease their little minds and thoughts when you get the chance.’

Locals Babetha Neliman and her boyfriend Waylon Townson were on the scene just two minutes after the crash.

The couple found the cricket great hanging partially out of the vehicle on the passenger side and said it was still running and playing country music.

'The family are struggling, as you'd expect, but they're also holding up,' Jimmy Maher said.  Symonds is pictured with Laura - who Daily Mail Australia revealed he recently split from - and his two kids, Chloe and Billy

‘The family are struggling, as you’d expect, but they’re also holding up,’ Jimmy Maher said. Symonds is pictured with Laura – who Daily Mail Australia revealed he recently split from – and his two kids, Chloe and Billy

The scene of the crash was still a tragic tangle of shrubs, dirt and debris on Tuesday (Andrew Symonds pictured)

The scene of the crash was still a tragic tangle of shrubs, dirt and debris on Tuesday (Andrew Symonds pictured)

‘One of them was very sensitive and did not want to leave him,’ Neliman said. ‘It would just growl at you every time we tried to move him or go near him.

‘My partner tried to get (Symonds) out of the car, to put him on to his back.

‘He was unconscious, not responsive and had no pulse.’

It is understood Symonds and his wife Laura remained close despite being in the middle of a separation and living apart in the months before his death – she lived in Sydney with their children, Chloe and Billy, while he remained in Townsville.

Laura and two young children arrived at the cricketer’s home on Monday morning, and close friends who drove the family to the property said they were all in shock.

The scene of the crash was still a tragic tangle of shrubs, dirt and debris on Tuesday.

A shattered window could be seen where Symonds’ 4WD hit the embankment, with the contents of his car strewn in the weeds.

She delivered a tribute to her estranged husband earlier this week, saying there was ‘so much of him in the kids’.

TIMELINE: ANDREW SYMONDS FINAL HOURS

Friday

Townsville local Garry Clark shared a beer with Symonds at Brothers Leagues Club in Kirwan on Friday night.

There, they both watched the PNG Hunters rugby league team defeat the Townsville Blackhawks.

Saturday

Organized a hunting and fishing trip with Craig ‘Macca’ McGown.

Believed to have gone fishing in the morning, before heading to Brothers Leagues Club in the afternoon

Drank beer and chatted with friends. Club CEO Justin Wilkins said Symonds did not drink a lot.

Left the pub at 8pm and made the two-minute drive home to collect his blue heeler dogs.

Drove to a mystery location, west of his home in Kirwan.

Veered off the road at about 10.30pm near Alice River Bridge on the way home and died. He was only 15 minutes away.

Locals Babetha Neliman and her boyfriend Waylon Townson were on the scene just two minutes after the crash.

The couple found the cricket great hanging partially out of the vehicle on the passenger side and said it was still running and playing country music.

Friends, family and shocked locals visited the scene throughout the day on Monday to leave trinkets and tributes.

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