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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Warne tells: My great mate Terry Jenner

Shane Warne has written his own tribute to his coach and mentor,Terry Jenner, who died this week.

This is what he had to say on his website:

"I first met Terrence James Jenner (TJ) at the cricket academy in Adelaide 1990.

The great man had just been released from prison and was doing it pretty tough.

I was a spiky blonde haired 20 y.o Mexican (Victorian) who thought he knew a bit about leg spin - amongst other things, like we all did at that age.

TJ, like his fellow players of that era are very straight and also very blunt - the best way to be in all aspects of life - no bull shit or fluffy rubbish.

But, you did need a thick skin - mine was luckily - or shall we say had to develop very quickly, which looking back now and reflecting - has held me in good stead for all my life situations not just cricket.

Underneath the ample frame and all that bravado was a very charming, caring, loving family man who was a giver to cricket and life.

I think we met at exactly the right time in each others lives, we where good for each other - maybe all the stars and moons where aligned, because we clicked instantly.

I got his coaching style straight away and his sense of humour - I suppose he saw something in me that he liked - well I spun the ball, lets keep it at that.

We spent so much time together in those early days - bowling out on Adelaide's number 2 oval, indoor cricket nets and at his house chatting, he gave me so much time which I will be forever grateful.

I remember after my horrible debut at 99kg for Australia in Sydney, then following it up with another shocker in Adelaide against the wristy Indians, TJ saying to me - you bowled beautifully and the signs look good.

You serious mate? Ive been hammered, he said sometimes the way you bowl is not always reflected in your figures - we have a chance he said - great advice.

MMMMMMM - silly old fool I thought - yep 20 y.o knows best - not the spin doctor (aptly named by Mr Ian Healy).

Anyway, it was 1992 heading into winter in Melbourne; I packed my car and drove to Adelaide.

I was hungry to learn as much as I could and for that matter as fast as I could too, I was just picked to go to Sri Lanka with Australian team.

I stopped my car via a bottle shop - bought a slab of VB's - knocked on TJ's door and said gidday mate - he said come in.

Well the next 4-5 hours where life changing - I went to get 2 beers and he said what are you doing? I said as usual a few beers together!

He said listen - you are so lucky to be selected to tour again and represent Australia, why don't you get serious, I said like how? Im working hard!

Rubbish he bellowed out, your fat, drink way to much beer and smoke like a chimney and have never had to sacrifice anything- bit rich I thought coming from TJ as he sucked back a beer and took a massive puff on his cigar!!!!

Ok then - what do I need to do you think?

To start with give up drinking excessively every night get fit, drop weight and at least look like a sportsman.

Wow I thought, cop that! I said ok I will, you wait and see.

The rest of the chat was an old fashioned honest heart to heart about life.

I woke up feeling energised and started training hard. Every Day I ran , did push ups, sit ups, ate properly and bowled for hours. Fast forward 3 to 4 months and I weighed 79kg, I had managed to lose 20kg's and was ready for Sri Lanka I thought!

I left Adelaide - gave TJ a bottle of red to say thank you for his time, patience and effort, he said - I will open this at the right time - we will both know when that is, mmmmmm ok!

I wont go into how SL all turned out - but it went ok thanks to TJ.

Things from there moved very quickly and our friendship grew stronger and stronger - we would talk so much, I will really miss our chats.

TJ became my Dr Phil on all matters and levels - wherever I was around the world we would call and chat - we would plan to bring down the opposition batsmen, laugh and I would hang up feeling good.

His knowledge of the game, not just spin bowling was amazing - he understood so much and was happy to share his knowledge to whoever wanted to listen, he always had the game of cricket at heart.

TJ was a fighter till the end - a person who always found a way to look at the positive side of anyone or the situation, never ever did he whinge about his lot he was given in life, he was there for you - unconditionally.

He worked tirelessly as well for so many charitys, especially his test brekkies in Adelaide - they where a great way to start a test match, he always had time for people and the battler in the far cricket net too.

TJ was such a great story teller, you could listen to him for hours and I did - being entertained too - he would have you in stitches of laughter regularly.

I could go on for hours about TJ and all his wonderful traits, I will keep some to myself and will always look back with a smile about a great friend and person.

Sometimes in the latter years we wouldn't talk as often as we should have but whenever we did chat it was like we had spoken the day before.

When I spoke to TJ on the phone a few weeks ago - we Said goodbye to each other - it was a very difficult thing to do and chat as it was so unlike all our others - this was it for the last time after 20 odd years..

We both didn't say too much as we both didn't need too - we just knew..

I did thank him though for everything he had done for me and tried to express how much his patience, advice, love and above all his friendship has meant to me and my family...

We both shed a bit of a tear and said goodbye... Not easy!

To Ann, youre an absolute trooper. TJ loved you so much and you were great for him , you always kept him honest - I loved that.

Your love and support to him was nothing short of amazing, we are all thinking of you very much and are here if you need us, please don't hesitate to ask.

Once again to Ann, his daughter, Trudianne, and granddaughter, Ashlea, and all other family members we all pass on our condolences at your loss and our thoughts are with you at this tough time.

We will all miss you TJ. As we raise a glass in your honour and, most likely, shed a tear or 2, we smile and think of you often.

We will all miss the wonderful and amazing TJ, he was the best mentor anyone could ever have and the best friend at the same time. Thank you for your support, love and above all your friendship.

Cricket has lost a true character and champion - the world is a lesser place without Terrence James Jenner!

Mate I will miss you so much."

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