AFL great Sam Newman has bid an emotional farewell to his ‘loyal and loving’ wife Amanda Brown, 12 days after he found her dead on the floor of their Melbourne unit.
About 20 guests joined the 300-game Geelong legend in saying goodbye to Ms Brown, 50, at a small chapel in Brighton East on Thursday morning.
Newman, a father-of-three, watched with his good friend, the former Perfect Match host Greg Evans, as his wife’s coffin was loaded into the back of a hearse by four pallbearers.
The 75-year-old appeared to snap a photo of the scene on his phone for posterity, before spending an emotional moment with the coffin and then looking up toward the sky.
The exact cause of Ms Brown’s sudden death at the couple’s apartment on May 1 remains unclear but it is believed she may have succumbed to a stroke or heart attack.
Goodbye, my love: TV personality Sam Newman said a tearful farewell to his wife Amanda Brown along with 20 guests at a small chapel in Brighton East, in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, on Thursday
Newman was joined by a handful of friends including Perfect Match host Greg Evans (above) in farewelling Amanda. Ms Brown and Newman were in a relationship for 20 years and married on November 27 last year
Four pallbearers escorted Ms Brown’s casket to a waiting hearse, a bouquet of flowers resting on top, and her husband close behind
Newman was flanked by Evans as he watched the casket being wheeled away. Evans officiating over their wedding at their Docklands apartment last November
Ms Brown was something of an enigma. She and Newman pair were in a relationship for 20 years but Ms Brown had little interest in sharing her husband’s very public profile.
The pair married last November in their Docklands apartment in front of just three people.
Newman has been remarkably candid about his wife’s death, taking to his popular podcast You Cannot Be Serious to detail the lead-up to his grim discovery.
Newman was having fish and chips with his mates that Saturday afternoon when a thought popped into his head: Amanda could be dead.
‘We get down to where we were going, Kippers in Werribee, and I tried to ring her,’ Newman said. ‘I’d rang her six times.
‘We got down there and we were sitting around eating the fish and chips and I said ‘I wonder where Amanda is?’
‘We were joking about she might be out at a venue, or 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, ‘oh 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.’
Newman called Triple-0 and was instructed to perform CPR.
He did so for about 20 minutes even though, he said, his wife was clearly gone.
Newman is seen gazing over at Evans and loved ones before moving over to spend a moment with his late wife’s coffin
After her coffin was placed in the back of the waiting vehicle, Newman appeared to snap a photo on his phone for posterity
Newman approached the coffin and was comforted by a White Lady funeral attendant before stepping back and taking a moment to himself
Two funeral attendants carefully pushed the casket into the back of the hearse while Newman closed his eyes
Newman then spent a brief moment gazing up at the sky before rejoining loved ones
Newman told his listeners that he wanted to speak out publicly losing his wife.
The pair had married just last November after a 20-year relationship.
Close friend Evans has previously described on Newman’s podcast how he presided over the pair’s wedding at their apartment.
‘She (Amanda) opened the door and said, “What are you doing here?” and I said “I have come to wish you a happy birthday,” because it was said bride’s birthday,’ Evans told the podcast.
‘Then Sam said, “Well, Amanda, happy birthday and I was wondering if for your birthday you would like to marry me?”.’
Mr Evans said Ms Brown’s hands and knees started shaking and she said yes four times.
‘It was just a beautiful moment in her life, in Sam’s life and in my life.
‘I was privileged to be there,’ he said.
The ceremony was small, with the only attendees being the couple, Evans, Newman’s best friend Kevin King as best man and Newman’s son Jack acting as photographer.
Sam Newman’s wife Amanda Brown (left) was found dead in their Docklands apartment aged 50. She had enjoyed a wonderful day out on Port Phillip Bay with Newman in 2019
In the heartbreaking days after Amanda’s death, Newman told his podcast listeners that he found himself crawling into her side of the bed to feel close to her.
‘When I got home after the coroner and the police had been and the ambulance, I got into bed,’ he said.
‘Now here’s the interesting thing … I sleep on the left-hand side of the bed and my partner Amanda sleeps on the right-hand side.
‘And when I got in after the ambulance had been and the police and the coroner, I didn’t think about this, I just instinctively got into her side of the bed.
Newman said he was ‘just devastated’ following her death
‘I was lying there for about half an hour and I thought, “What am I doing on this side of the bed?”
‘I tried to go to sleep. The coroner left at about one in the morning and at about half-past two I thought I’d have a crack at going to sleep, and of course I couldn’t.’
Following the shock announcement of her passing, Newman, who had three previous marriages, said he was ‘just devastated’.
Newman played 300 games for Geelong Football Club in the 1960s and 70s, winning the club’s best and fairest medal twice.
He was named in the club’s team of the century and is also in the club’s Hall of Fame. He retired in 1980 and immediately began working in the media, commentating for radio station 3AW and Channel 7.
Newman was one of the faces of the AFL Footy Show from 1994 until 2018 where he became a controversial figure for his outspoken views.
Newman has been married to three other women previously. He has three sons, Max, Jack and Jordan, from his former marriages.