Stars turn out to farewell Newman’s wife Amanda
Friends and family have rallied around Sam Newman after the funeral for his wife Amanda Brown was held on Thursday.
The former The Footy Show host was comforted at a wake in Albert Park following the private service in Brighton for Brown, 50, who died on May 1 in their Docklands apartment.
Among those who gathered were Newman's three sons Jack, Geordan and Max, underworld figure Mick Gatto and his former TV and radio colleagues Garry Lyon, James Brayshaw, Rebecca Maddern, Brian Taylor, Rex Hunt, Eddie McGuire and Craig Hutchison.
Other friends supporting the 75-year-old included Ann Peacock, Grant Thomas, who previously co-hosted a podcast with Newman, plus long-time footy and business mates.
A heartbroken Newman told last week how he spent 20 minutes performing CPR on his wife of six months after finding her unconscious.
Disclosing tragic details of her sudden death, Newman said he had returned home from a day working on a boat with a friend to find her collapsed on the floor near the laundry of their Docklands apartment.
He had tried to call her six times in the hours before he made the shocking discovery, wondering why she had not picked up the phone.
Newman revealed on his You Cannot Be Serious podcast he and his mate were getting fish and chips for dinner and he thought he would ring his wife to see if she wanted to join them.
"I'd rung her six times. We were sitting around eating the fish and chips and I said, 'I wonder where Amanda is'," he said.
"We were joking about she might be at the pub or out with the girls, or doing something, and I said: 'She is probably lying dead up in the flat' - just as, you know, as an aside. They said, 'She could have been in an accident'.
"So I get home and I walk in the door and the television is on in the bedroom and so I look down there and she is lying there on the tiles outside the laundry. As soon as I saw her I knew she was dead."
The Geelong footy legend immediately called triple-0.
Newman said Ms Brown - his partner for almost two decades - "caught my heart" and he'd never been happier than over the past decade.
He said nothing had prepared him for the grief he had experienced and he had been overwhelmed by people, including Neale Daniher, reaching out to offer their condolences.
In his hours of grief while trying to sleep he penned a long tribute to his wife, and he read it out for listeners to the podcast, his voice halting at times.
He and Ms Brown were married by Perfect Match host Greg Evans.
"It's been 24 hours since I arrived home and found dear Amanda, lying on her side on the tiles beside the laundry,'' he said.
"I'd presumed she'd got up to grab a bite or go to the bathroom. She looked so gentle and calm and innocent, but somehow I knew instantly she was dead.
"For the last 15 years we lived together and had not one verbal or physical confrontation. Some strong words occasionally for sure, but she had the knack of not prolonging rifts due to her innate nature of compromise.
"I never felt any pressure to conform or adhere to the tacit universal rules of cohabitation, and therein lies the contradiction. Put no tension on a relationship and calmness prevails.
"I have never been happier in the last decade and arriving home was such a genuinely pleasant thing I looked forward to, as there was never any harbouring angst pent up in either of us.
"She was loyal and loving, concerned and protective, astute and as strong-willed as any person I have ever met.
"I will always love her for what she was and who she was.
"Now this is it, I'm finishing now … an adage I've cited when people face adversity: 'Never cry over things that can't cry over you'.
"I've cried a lot over Amanda Newman … and finally another adage I value: 'There are many things in life that catch your eye but only a few things catch your heart'.
"Pursue those. Amanda Newman certainly caught my eye, and above all she caught my heart."
Originally published as Stars turn out to farewell Newman's wife Amanda