Footy great Sam Newman knew he had lost his wife and best friend but worked for 20 minutes to save her life.
Taking to his popular podcast You Cannot Be Serious on Wednesday, Newman has detailed the tragic final moments of his wife Amanda Brown’s life.
He had found the 50-year old unresponsive on the floor of their Docklands apartment on Saturday night.
Sam Newman and Amanda Brown had been together for 20 years before they were married last year
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
Sam Newman’s wife Amanda Brown (pictured on their wedding day on November 27) was found dead in their Docklands apartment aged 50
‘I get home and I walk in the door and the television’s on in the bedroom. So I look down there and lying in her underwear — she’d obviously been in bed or she got out of bed to get something to eat,’ Newman said.
‘She’s lying there on the tiles outside the laundry and as soon as I saw her I knew she was dead, I just knew it.
‘I rang 000 and the very helpful person said you better try and give CPR and she talked me through that.
‘I’ve got the phone on speaker and I’m pumping this poor woman who’s lying there looking so peaceful, obviously dead, but the operator said keep doing it in case there’s a spark of life in her, I think she said.
‘So for 20 minutes I’m giving CPR to what I knew was a corpse.’
Sam Newman has bravely spoken about finding his wife unresponsive on the floor of their apartment
Sam Newman (right) with good mate Don Scott (left) and Mike Sheahan (centre). Sheahan quit Newman’s podcast after he was embroiled in a scandal involving former AFL great Nicky Winmar
An emotional Newman said he wanted to speak about losing his wife, whom he married last November after a 20-year relationship, but was unsure if they would ever actually air the podcast.
‘I want to do this,’ he said.
‘I’ve had a pretty tough week so before I start, I don’t want anyone listening to this to feel sorry for me.’
A humble Newman said there were plenty of other people within the community who had suffered greater adversity than him.
‘I’m not singling myself out for sympathy or anything like that,’ he said.
Speaking to great mate and former AFL legend Don Scott, Newman said he had been overwhelmed by the support he had received over the past few days.
‘I’ve had people reach out to me, you wouldn’t believe the people who’ve reached out to me who’ve suffered similar episodes in their life,’ he said.
‘There’ll be a significant amount of people that don’t have sympathy for me and that’s fine too.
‘They’ll say I got what I deserved and good luck and good riddance and all that, and I understand that and I don’t mind if you have that opinion of me and what happened to me. That’s fine because I’m a polarising influence I suppose.’
Amanda Brown (centre) with mates in happier times on Sam Newman’s boat
Melissa Huynh and friend Amanda Brown spent good times together
The podcast had begun like every other, with a confident Newman talking for more than a minute before he addressed the tragedy.
Newman revealed he had written a note about his soulmate after she died.
Choking back tears, Newman paid tribute to the woman he referred to as the love of his life.
‘It’s been 24 hours since I wrote this, it’s been 24 hours since I arrived home and found dear Amanda, lying on her side on the tiles besides the laundry,’ he said.
‘She was not fully clothed and as the television was on in the bedroom I’d presumed she’d got up to grab a bite or go to the bathroom. She looked so calm and gentle and innocent but somehow, I knew instantly, she was dead.
‘It’s difficult to describe the feeling of having the 000 number on speaker while the operator talked me through the CPR technique which I continued for a futile 30 minutes while waiting for the ambulance.
‘This is by no means a criticism of the instructions or the time the ambulance took to arrive, but more the desperation of feeling completely helpless as the woman I married … six months ago ceased to be.
‘So why am I writing this? Maybe it’s cathartic, or maybe I want to share what a relationship means to me because at 75-years of age, it’s taken three quarters of a century to discover the formula.
‘I’ve married and loved a number of women and for extended periods of time have enjoyed a harmonious existence with them all but sadly, not an everlasting one.
‘The reasons they did not endure are complex, yet so simple. Restlessness, tension, egos, simmering angst and above all, stubbornness to yield.’
Melissa Huynh and friend Amanda Brown spent good times together on the boat
Sam Newman, Mike Sheahan and Don Scott began the You Cannnot Be Serious podcast before Sheahan quit
Newman revealed he had been enjoying a fish and chip meal with mates when he repeatedly called Ms Brown to see if she wanted to join them.
The television funny man said he had even joked that ‘she was probably laying on the floor dead’ unaware that his worst dreams had become a reality.
Ms Brown had managed to remain largely out of the limelight during some of her partner’s most controversial years on The Footy Show.
Newman revealed he had lived with Ms Brown for 15 years and had hardly had an argument.
‘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 such rifts due to her innate nature of compromise,’ Newman said.
‘I never felt any pressure to conform or adhere to tacit universal rules of co-habitation 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 at the end of a day was such a genuinely pleasant thing I looked forward to. There was never any harbouring angst pent-up in either of us.
‘If there is a greater presence guiding us I’d like to think it is why I planned to marry her sixth months out from her 50th birthday. So, on the 20th November 2020, she opened a knock on the door and in the presence of my friend and celebrant Greg Evans, my dear and longtime friend Kevin King and my eldest son Jack, we became Mr and Mrs Newman.
Sam Newman had been enjoying a feed at Kippers in Werribee when he became worried about his wife Amanda Brown
‘I have never seen someone so happy with genuine pride to be my wife, and I thank God for the memory of that day.
‘She was loyal and loving, concerned and protective and as strong willed as any person I have ever met. I will always love her for who she was and what she was.
‘An adage I’ve cited often when people face adversity is, ‘Never cry over things that can’t cry over you’. I’ve cried a lot over Amanda Newman.
‘Finally. another adage I value is, ‘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.’
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.