Instead, Phil and I took the train to the city and made our usual walk across the Riverbank Footbridge to the Adelaide Oval. We had been to the Oval for other events but today was our first sporting event.
Not to cheer on our beloved Crows or to attend a T20 match but to farewell Phillip Joel Hughes.
My daughter shares her birth year with Phil, Alisha was born in January and Phil in November. It was a real wake up call, that life is so fragile, that it can change in the blink of an eye.
2,500 fans gathered at the Oval today to celebrate the life cut short. They were many stories to share and I think the one that got me the most was a junior cricket player, got to 37 n.o and came off the pitch. They wondered if he was OK and he replied. “Hugheys now has his 100″
As a quiet hush moved over the oval as the service started, people were not afraid to laugh , when stories were told, tears were wiped away when it got tough. As each speaker finished there was thankful applause of support for each of those who shared about Phil’s life.
When Michael Clarke got up to speak, I think the whole country was willing him to make it through, without breaking down. As he finished, I do not know what happened at the other places, but we stood and clapped, thanking him and giving him support. Pup had put into words how we all felt.
At the conclusion of the service we were able to walk down to the pitch and have that few minutes to say good-bye, we went to the Cathedral End and left our gift to him.
I have this picture as Phil arrives at the oval in heaven, Tony Gregg greats him and shows him around, there is an acquaintance that I would like you to meet, as they walk over to where he is standing, Sir Don Bradman turns, holding out his hand to shake and says to Phil, ” I have heard a lot about you, young man, let’s have a hit and see what you have. ”
the game will never be the same, batting at the Cathedral end will always have a missing piece.
Tomorrow is a new day, getting on with things and finding that new normal. As Micheal shared that Phil told him and that I will try to do tomorrow
Dig in and get through to tea