Robbie Williams crushed his grand final pre-game performance, but it was his decision to dedicate a song to the late cricket great Shane Warne and send his love to another Aussie great that really got the crowd buzzing.
There was a decidedly Aussie flavor to Williams’ epic 20-minute show, with his dancers and band all Australian while Aussie darling Delta Goodrem later joined him on stage.
It was his dedication of hit song Angels to the late spin king that brought out a massive cheer.
“This next song is dedicated to one of Australia’s greatest rock stars, Shane Warne,” Williams told the crowd.
“Love you Warnie!”
The camera panned to show Warne’s three children in the stand for grand final day.
Williams was one of the entertainers who chose to perform at Warne’s memorial held back in March after the cricket legend’s shock death overseas.
At the time, Williams said he was devastated by the loss of the man he considered a friend.
“I mean this with a 1,000 per cent sincerity: There is a lot of tribalism in sports, it is what it is all about. Seldom does somebody transcend their sport and transcend that tribalism because it’s genetically encoded in us to hate the other lot,” he said.
“With Shane, he belonged to everybody.”
Williams then followed up Angels with an Australian classic – You’re the Voice by John Farnham, who is sadly battling oral cancer.
“I want everyone to sing along to this – the next song is the unofficial national anthem of Australia,” he said.
“Let’s all send our love to John and his family.”
With bagpipes brought out onto the field, Williams had everyone singing along to the classic.
Farnham was left in intensive care a month ago after surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in his mouth.
Williams’ beautiful moments to two Australian legends did not go unnoticed by footy fans, who hailed his performance “an absolute mic drop”.
Goodrem joined Williams on stage for the rendition of Kids, in place of Kylie Minogue, to see out the entertaining set.