Phil Hughes: Country kid died doing what he loved

Phil Hughes

Phillip Hughes attended St Patrick's Catholic Primary School in Macksville, starred in the NSW Catholic primary schools cricket team, and was destined for Test glory. Fr Michael Alcock presided at his funeral on Wednesday.

Phillip Hughes, cricketer

1988 -  2014

- The Guardian

As an opening batsman, Phillip Hughes, who has died aged 25 after being struck by a ball during a Sheffield Shield match at the Sydney Cricket Ground, was very much a product of the frantic modern era.

While Test match openers in years gone by were staunch guardians of the game’s defensive traditions and technical touchstones, Hughes brought the spirit of Twenty20 to the long form of cricket, slashing the ball to all parts in a fashion that paid little heed to the traditionally correct and miserly techniques of his predecessors.

Hughes’s belligerent approach mighy have had some wide-­armed agricultural facets, but it was a pleasure to watch and often devastatingly effective. It brought him 26 Tests for Australia, including participation in three Ashes series against England, and playing contracts not just with his native New South Wales (2007­-12), but in England with Middlesex (2009), Hampshire (2010) and Worcestershire (2012).

From 2012 onwards, he plied his trade with South Australia, and from 2013 with the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.

The son of a banana grower, Greg, and Virginia, his Italian wife, Hughes was born in Macksville, a small town on the New South Wales coast. Although he showed an early talent for rugby league he also shone at cricket, and by the age of 10 was spending so much time using the bowling machine at Macksville Cricket Club that the club relocated it to his house.

A lefthander with an exceptionally good eye, by 17 he had moved to Sydney to play for Western Suburbs in the highest level of grade cricket while studying at the Homebush Boys high school. He made his debut in first-class cricket at 18, for New South Wales against Tasmania in 2007, and the following year became the youngest player to score a century in a final of the Sheffield Shield (then known as the Pura Cup) as his 116 helped New South Wales to victory against Victoria.

Test cricket was not long in coming, and he made his debut for Australia aged 20, on the 2009 tour to South Africa as a replacement for Matthew Hayden

Read full obituary: Phillip Hughes obituary: a very modern batsman destined for greatness (The Guardian)

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The Hornsby Adocate recalls Phil's early success in the Polding NSW Catholic Primary Schools Association team HERE.

The Daily Mail has posted the order of service for his funeral, HERE.

The Wauchope Gazette has posted footage of Fr Michael Alcock's homily and other eulogies HERE.

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MORE:

Phillip Hughes’ funeral a celebration of a wonderful life (news.com.au)

How Phillip Hughes' death moved the nation (Eureka Street)

Tears and Prayers Follow the Tragic Death of Cricketer Phillip Hughes (Catholic Communications/Archdiocese of Sydney)

Vatican cricket to honour Phillip Hughes (The Catholic Weekly)

Phillip Hughes' distraught mourners reminiscent of Diana's death (SMH)

IMAGE credit: The Daily Telegraph

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