AFL icon Sam Newman was out with friends and reportedly tried to contact his wife before coming home later that night to discover she had died.
Amanda Brown, 50, was found dead inside the couple’s Melbourne apartment on Saturday night, sparking an outpouring of grief from the footy community.
Newman and Brown got married in October last year and had been together for nearly two decades before she suddenly passed.
Victoria Police will prepare a report for the coroner and have confirmed there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding Brown’s death.
According to entertainment reporter Peter Ford, Newman tried to contact Brown while he was out on Saturday, and was puzzled as to why she wasn’t responding.
“He’d been out with a couple of friends just for a quick catch-up and some fish and chips on Saturday night and while he was out he was sending texts to Amanda and she wasn’t replying,” Ford said on Gareth Parker’s 6PR radio show.
“He said to his friends, ‘That’s really odd she’s not replying.’ They said, ‘Don’t worry, she’s doing something.’
“He was getting concerned about it because that’s not how it worked normally with them.
“He got home and unfortunately found her on the floor, dead.”
The Herald Sun also reported Newman called Brown “several times”, and not responding was “out of character” for her.
Support floods in for Newman
Newman, a 300-game legend for Geelong who became a mainstay in Australian media through his work on The Footy Show, has been flooded with condolences and messages of support since the tragedy happened.
Great mate and former Footy Show colleague Eddie McGuire was among those to throw their arms around Newman.
“Sam, we know that you know we’re thinking of you, buddy,” he told Fox Footy. “I spoke to him last night and (he’s) clearly devastated by the whole situation.”
Melissa Huynh, the partner of Newman’s friend and former AFL agent Ricky Nixon, posted photos of them together on Facebook.
“My heart goes out to you Sam. Deepest condolences for your loss,” she wrote.
“We are all devastated and lost for words. RIP Amanda Brown … you will be missed dearly. Taken far too soon.”
‘She didn’t want to be in the spotlight’
Newman and Brown were first spotted out together at a Crown Casino function on New Year’s Eve in 2002. The former AFL star — who has a complicated history with his love life — got married for the fourth time when the pair tied the knot last year in an intimate ceremony at their Docklands apartment.
Perfect Match host Greg Evans officiated the wedding, and spoke previously about how Newman had organised to surprise his better half with a proposal for her 50th birthday.
“She opened the door and said, ‘What are you doing here?’” Evans told the You Cannot Be Serious podcast. “I said, ‘I have come to wish you a happy birthday’, because it was the said bride’s birthday.
“Then Sam said, ‘Well, Amanda, happy birthday and I was wondering if for your birthday you would like to marry me?’
“This beautiful lady, her knees started to shake and her hands started to shake and she said yes four times.
“‘Yes, yes, yes, yes’, she said and it was just a beautiful moment in her life, in Sam’s life and in my life. I was privileged to be there.”
While Newman was never short of publicity as a high-profile member of Melbourne’s footy fraternity, Brown remained largely out of the limelight.
“She didn’t want to be in the spotlight at all,” Ford said. “She was very much her own, confident woman but she didn’t want to be a celebrity by default.”
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