John Farnham health update: Australian icon ‘deeply touched’ by Robbie Williams’ epic tribute during 2022 AFL Grand Final pre-match entertainment

John Farnham’s family have thanked Robbie Williams for his touching tribute during the AFL Grand Final pre-match entertainment.

As the nation prepared for the almighty AFL Grand Final, music superstar Robbie Williams brought some to tears with his touching tributes to two Australian icons.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Robbie Williams’ touching tribute to Shane Warne and John Farnham.

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As pre-match entertainment at the MCG on Saturday, Williams pointed to Shane Warne’s stand, before dedicating his next song to “one of Australia’s biggest rockstars”.

“I love you Warnie!” he shouted while starting to sing his hit “Angels”.

Williams was notoriously fond of Warne, and the pair had become good friends.

He was unable to travel to Australia for Warne’s funeral earlier in the year, so he recorded an acoustic version of the song in his memory.

Robbie Williams dedicates his pregame performance to the late Shane Warne. Credit: 7NEWS

In an offering to another Australian legend, Williams then sang You’re the Voice, dedicated to Farnham, who recently underwent reconstructive jaw surgery.

“The next song is Australia’s unofficial national anthem,” Williams told the crowd.

“Let’s all send our love to John and his family.”

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 24: Robbie Williams performs during the 2022 AFL Grand Final match between Geelong Cats and Sydney Swans at Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 24, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/AFL Photos/via Getty Images) Credit: Cameron Spencer/AFL Photos/via Getty Images

The Farnham family said John watched from hospital and was deeply touched by Robbie’s performance.

“We were delighted to see Robbie Williams dedicate his performance as you are the voice to John,” said Farnham’s wife, Jill, and sons, Rob and James.

“John was watching from the hospital and was deeply touched by this very generous gesture. He was also very appreciative of Robbie’s performance.

John Farnham health update

Diagnosed with oral cancer, Farnham underwent surgery to remove a tumor last month and his recovery is “going in the right direction”.

The You’re The Voice singer’s operation involved reconstructive surgery, as part of Farnham’s jaw had to be removed in order to remove a cancerous tumor in his mouth.

Given the nature of Farnham’s surgery, it is unknown if he will sing or perform live again.

John Farnham underwent a 12-hour operation in August to remove a cancerous tumor from his mouth. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

On Thursday, Farnham’s wife Jill shared an update on her husband’s progress as he recovers from the intensive 12-hour surgery.

“John’s recovery from last month’s surgery for oral cancer is progressing well,” Jill began.

“His medical team are very pleased with his progress over the past month. He was transferred from intensive care to general ward a few weeks ago.

“That in itself was tremendous progress.”

John Farnham is recovering in a Melbourne hospital after undergoing surgery for oral cancer. Credit: AAP

She shared that her husband has been transferred to a rehabilitation center and that “these measures mean that things are moving in the right direction and for that we are extremely grateful”.

“Our family is so grateful to all the amazing teams of Victorian healthcare professionals who took such good care of John,” Jill continued.

“These results are a credit to their dedication, skills and compassion.

“We have received many thousands of beautiful messages through the website since its launch.

“Being surrounded by so much love and support has meant the world to all of us. Thank you,” the statement concluded.

John Farnham pictured with his wife Jill, eldest son Robert (bottom left) and younger son James. Credit: AAP

Sunrise Entertainment reporter Peter Ford shared that the Farnham revival “seems to be months away”.

“I know there are a lot of people who say, ‘Oh, is he still going to sing?’

“It doesn’t even cross John’s mind or that of his family. At this point he wants to find out the things he is able to do in an orderly way and he wants to go home, sleep in his own bed and be with his family,” he said.

“He is also stunned by the thousands and thousands of messages that have come in,” sharing that the website has been “flooded.”

John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John are performing in 2020. Credit: Joel Carrett/AAPIMAGE

Williams’ performance was one of the greatest Grand Final entertainment performances in league history, as the AFL decider returns to the MCG for the first time since 2019.

“I’m so excited to play for all the fans, on hallowed ground at the MCG, for the biggest game of the year,” Williams said earlier in the year.

“I’m really looking forward to performing with a cast of very talented local Australian musicians, and I can’t wait to see you all on this last Saturday in September.

“If all goes well, I might even raise my hand to be the next CEO of the AFL.”

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