I got up at 3 am yesterday morning to watch the funeral of Phillip Hughes. I had been shaken by the tragic and completely unexpected death of a young man who was just playing the game that he loved. I wanted to pay tribute.
I say unexpected because I have a friend who was bowling in indoor practice 30 years ago. He tried to take a return catch. The ball flew up off his hands and hit him on the temple. Short story and long trauma. He suffered a subdural haemorrhage but he lived. Admittedly, we then had to pick him up off the court, pitch, fairway or whatever every so often. It never bothered him or us and they eventually stabilised his medication.
Thus, I expected Phillip to make a recovery, full or partial. It was only after his death and after they released the whole story that I learnt that there had never been any realistic chance of him surviving. I wanted to be there for his funeral.
I was moved by the orations. His cousin, brother and sister were restrained and dignified and the cattle breeder gave a powerful eulogy.
And Michael Clarke (known as ‘Pup’) became one of the greats in my sporting Pantheon with his tribute.
‘We must dig in and get through to tea’ is as good as it can get for a life motto. In my opinion.